Our Strategic Vision

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Leading the School in Smiles

Gabby Kemp is smiling—and it is the worst kept secret at Brooklyn Friends School. Mostly because, Gabby Kemp—a member of the Class of 2024—always seems to be smiling. Here’s the second worst secret kept at BFS, she makes everyone around her smile, too!

Since arriving at Brooklyn Friends in the sixth grade, Gabby has made her mark here. She is a true, humble leader, who gets things done at the highest level—in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in the greater community. She seems to always be at the center of it all.

“I think that BFS has given me a voice,” she said. “I know that teachers and adults listen to me. It is so important to get our voices out there. I think the values of this school give students a voice.”

A voice indeed. Gabby serves as a student ambassador for BFS, founded the Upper School Photography Club, has attended the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference for the past two years, and is an elite athlete—serving as captain of both the soccer and basketball teams. She names her time competing for BFS as an important force in her life.

“I have spent a LOT of my time here in athletics,” she said with that usual big smile. “It is a great environment, spending time with my teammates and coaches. Everyone is committed to the team and everyone cares about the teams. In basketball, only five people can be on the court, but everyone that is on the bench is cheering their teammates on, and I feel like there is that sense that we are all in this together. There is great team spirit.”

One of Gabby’s most memorable moments was when Coach Admir gave the senior captain an opportunity to play forward in the final soccer game of her BFS career.

“I usually play center-defense, and the whole season, I had been asking Admir if I could play forward,” Gabby said. “I remember I was so sad during the pregame speech and in our circle chanting. I was actually sobbing during our ‘Panthers on 3’ cheer because I was realizing that this was the last time I would play soccer here at BFS, but Admir made that moment special by letting me try the position that I really wanted to play.”

Despite the understandable sadness a senior experiences, Gabby is excited for things to come.

“It’s sad thinking about being around everyone in the Upper School for the last time, but I am also happy because I get to do new things and go away to college,” said Gabby, who is planning to attend Spelman College in the fall. “I have been at BFS for a really long time, so it’s definitely going to be a change.”

Asked what she will take with her, Gabby is quick to talk about her experience at a Quaker school.

“I really enjoy Quaker Meeting,” she said. “Trying to find the light within and just having a space to be centered and think about things that we don’t often get to think about. I try to have moments in my life where I just sit and think. I love going to Schermerhorn. It is great, as a senior, to be on the facing benches and see the younger students during Meeting, sort of in their moment.”

She is also thankful to everyone she has come across in her time at BFS, and as she prepares to enter her final months here, is thankful to many.

“I will always remember the teachers who pushed me to be better, but also not be so hard on myself. I will also remember my friends who were by my side for this entire time.”