For Regan Leahy, a Keith School education prepared her for a fulfilling life that would take her all the way to London, where she serves as assistant manager with Citizenship at Hogan Lovells, an international law firm. Recently, Regan was recognized by the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, as one of its top 10 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Pioneers. She developed her firm’s first-ever global skills-based volunteering program, Barefoot Futures, which seeks to inspire young people to advance the SDGs in their communities.
Regan traces her interest in service and civic engagement to her time at Keith when, during her sophomore year, she was selected to represent the school at the Hugh O’Brien Youth (HOBY) Leadership Annual Seminar. She subsequently represented the State of Illinois at the HOBY World Leadership Congress in Washington, D.C. Those experiences, along with Keith’s 90-hour community service requirement, inspired Regan to create a variety of service and fundraising clubs at the school, join the Key Club, and host Community Leadership Workshops for students from local public and private schools. Those initiatives led to Regan receiving the Allan C. Mallquist Award for Community Service during her junior year.
Regan credits the small class sizes, along with the “variety and vigor” of academics and extra-curricular activities at Keith, for shaping her into a successful adult. She particularly loved studying Latin, playing volleyball, and engaging in music, art, and theater. She performed with the Dodecaphonics acapella group, played tenor saxophone in band, and served as stage manager for the spring musical. In high school, Regan was a competitive Irish dancer. During her junior year, she choreographed and performed an original piece with a friend, an opportunity she believes would not have been afforded to her at most other schools.
“My Keith experience gave me a wide range of skills, both in terms of academic skills as well as social skills that helped me build the life I wanted for myself. I was able to engage with teachers on a one-to-one basis and have focused support to hone those skills. Additionally, the variety of opportunities gave me a broad understanding of academics, art, and sports that provided a good foundation for my life.”
Regan’s advice to current and future Keith students is to take advantage of the flexibility and opportunities afforded to them. “There’s a lot of space to grow and build on skills with the support of teachers who can see progress over time.”