Our Graduates Today

Birchwood School of Hawken graduates have gone on to great success in high school, higher learning, and their chosen professions that span education, medicine, science, computer programming, and more.

We would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to two Birchwood graduates, each at a different point in their life’s path, to give you a sample of the wonderful opportunities that await a Birchwood School of Hawken graduate.

Jane Nilson ‘17
Sophomore at Hawken School

Jane is currently a sophomore at Hawken Upper School. Regarding her Birchwood experience, Jane wrote that she is “grateful for the amazing teachers at Birchwood and the countless opportunities they have given me.” One of Jane’s most memorable experiences while at Birchwood was the opportunity to participate in History Day. In describing her joy, Jane wrote that: “Making it to nationals in History Day was a truly unforgettable experience. I learned about how to do research and write both sides of a story. It led to the opportunity to relate the story in an interview with WCPN on the Hough Riots.”

Dhweeja Dasarathy ‘13
Sophomore at Harvard University

Dhweeja is a graduate of Birchwood School of Hawken ‘13 and Hawken Upper School ‘17. Her desire to help others began at a young age when she noticed the vast educational and healthcare disparities that existed globally and in different communities.

Her efforts to improve educational systems began during her sophomore year in high school when she initiated a “STEM initiative for underprivileged children” in a village in rural south India with a predominantly indigent population. There, she currently teaches students, through a distance education program via Skype, about research and has assisted about 60 students in conducting their own research projects using local, easily available and inexpensive resources.
Additionally, as a part of her high school junior project, Dhweeja traveled to Managua, Nicaragua where she worked with AMOS Health and Hope, a nonprofit organization. In Nicaragua, she helped educate the Nejapa community about the Zika virus using local resources to develop a sustainable model for disease prevention.

Dhweeja also volunteered her time with the Doctors in the Street program in Cleveland, at St. Malachi’s church near downtown Cleveland. The program provides flu shots and other vaccines, as well as other over the counter medications to the homeless.

Outside of the classroom, Dhweeja excels in classical Indian dance and is the youngest graduate of her dance academy. She was also the captain of Hawken’s Lincoln-Douglas debate team and president of the Academic Challenge team. She was an international finalist in the 2015 Future Problem Solving Competition and a recipient of the prestigious Research Science Institute Scholar 2016 at MIT.

Dhweeja is currently studying molecular and cell biology at Harvard College along with a minor in public health.