Alumni Spotlights

Eleanor Napoli ’16

Class of 2016
“I believe that the concept of active listening and learning was cultivated at WFS, and this included being open to feedback. Being willing (and knowing it’s okay!) to change your mind, and constructively disagreeing helped prepare me for post HS life. On the topic of seeing something differently, it was here that I learned that it is perfectly fine to disagree with someone or not see eye to eye, but it’s imperative for everyone’s personal growth and development to do so in a kind, respectful, and gracious way. I think this is the most powerful lesson I took away from Friends and one that I see necessary to practice daily in our world, now more than ever.” 
Eleanor Napoli ’16 graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2020 with her degree in English Literature (with a minor in Communication and African Studies). Eleanor certainly made the most of her time during her four years in St. Lawrence County as she served as a Freshman Orientation Leader, an Admissions Ambassador, an Admissions Senior Fellow, and a Civic Dialogue Fellow. A member of the Dean’s list from 2017-20, Napoli studied abroad in Kenya for four months in 2018 where she interned at a rural health clinic. A three-sport athlete in cross country, swimming, and lacrosse at WFS, she decided to walk-on to the women’s crew team and spent four years competing for the Saints. An avid marathon runner, Eleanor credits Erin O’Conner, Paul Nemeth, and Devon Adams for her development as an athlete and her passion for competing. She adds, “They have helped me so much develop into a healthy athlete who hasn’t forgotten to add and keep the fun alive in such a competitive sport!”

Upon graduating from St. Lawrence in 2020, Napoli was scheduled to travel to Uganda and begin a Public Health Fellowship. Unable to take part in the fellowship due to Covid-19, Eleanor quickly pivoted, and found herself working for Northwestern Mutual in Boston, Massachusetts as a Financial Planning Associate for the past two years. Thankful for the opportunity that she received, Eleanor enjoyed working with the Northwestern Mutual team as she learned how to use new platforms and software while providing support for her colleagues on the analysis and development teams. However, as Eleanor began to reflect on both her WFS senior exploration where she shadowed multiple physicians and her experience in Kenya, she had the itch to return to school and explore a career in the medical field. So, this fall, Eleanor will begin her journey as a post baccalaureate candidate at Georgetown University which will help her transition to medical school. 

Her advice to a WFS senior? “Just say yes and don’t doubt yourself. Just take the class you want to take, be in the show you want to be in, try the new sport, apply to that college, do the extra credit, do it all. There’s no reason for you to think that a classmate or peer can do something and you can’t - you absolutely can. When you think that something isn’t working, try one more time. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help or guidance. We all have 24 hours in a day and tomorrow is always fresh. WFS has so many resources and people to turn to while you’re there and after graduation, take advantage of our beautiful, strong, smart, fascinating, compassionate network!”

Good luck this fall, Eleanor!
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