Find Yourself at ISKL – Friendship and Belonging

Embark on a journey of friendship and belonging as Zhao and Elsa showed us how friendship can be forged in a lot of different ways.
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All of us, at one time or another, seek meaningful friendships that will last a lifetime, and they can happen at any point in our lives. No matter when we begin building these friendships, the impact is what matters.

At ISKL, we are passionate about equipping students with a better understanding of their unique role in an ever-changing, ever-complex world. We encourage them to discover their passions and build lifelong friendships while at school.

For this edition of our ‘Find Yourself At ISKL’ (FYAI) series, we met with Zhao Yang and Elsa, who showed us how friendships can be developed in many different ways. We invite you to read their warm stories about how a simple bus ride to school or being part of a school play can help create a sense of belonging and form bonds that will remain throughout their lives.

Zhao Yang K., Class of 2025

“My friendships have really helped me in all my years of being here (at ISKL); even when I have felt really down about myself, they’ve been here to cheer me on, and sometimes because of my differences––I can feel judged but it’s important that they help me feel proud about myself.” 

“After the Middle School play, when I put on a really weird costume and played on a really weird character, I felt great in having my friends support me. We did a giant group hug, and it felt really great to be a part of something bigger and to find my place within that. I’ve made lots of diverse friends—and even though people come and go, the thing that really comes back to me when I think about it is those memories.” 

“I think that everyone in the community is always so welcoming, and whatever we do, we always make sure to include everybody, and it always feels really good inside and motivates me to be all that I am. I think that friendships were how I found myself at ISKL, just through mutual support.”

“My friends always appreciate who I am, and sometimes when I can’t accept myself for just being myself, they really have supported me in realizing that I am a beautiful person. And that I should realize that just as much as they do.”

Elsa R., Class of 2020

“This picture was taken on my first day at ISKL at the bus stop with my best friend, Meixi. On this day, we were really nervous to start our first day at school as juniors, but we managed to talk to each other and encourage each other to have a great first day at ISKL.”

“I found myself in ISKL through the bus rides, as I was able to talk to Meixi every day. I started my day talking to Meixi and ended my day talking to Meixi.”

“It was really refreshing to be able to see her face after a long stressful day. The rides to school really ignited our friendship and it’s helped us stay connected to this day.”

ISKL believes that it is a fundamental human right for every student, faculty, staff, and parent to feel included and able to access and participate fully in the learning and life of its school community.

A huge thank you to Zhao Yang and Elsa for sharing their anecdotes with us; it is a testament to how students can be all they are and feel a sense of belonging in our community.

Interested in discovering more about how our community found themselves at ISKL? Watch here for heartwarming anecdotes that fully encapsulate the High School experience. Besides that, the entire Find Yourself at ISKL playlist is also available on ISKL’s YouTube channel. Go ahead and give it a watch!


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