Kenwood’s IB Diploma Prepares Students for College Success

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Kenwood’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian of 2021 were also IB Diploma earners.

Mikayla Gillum

Earning an IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma is a unique opportunity for students here at Kenwood. The IB diploma is a certificate given to students who complete a variety of exams and other components during their junior and senior years of high school.

With an IB diploma  students earn college credits while in high school. Students can earn up to thirty credits which means they would leave Kenwood,  starting college at the sophomore level! The IB Diploma helps students earn knowledge and skills for college and beyond. It helps students get into a good college for a better opportunity to earn degrees in the career they wish to pursue.

The process of starting to get the IB diploma is to enter the magnet through the  magnet application process which opened September 14.  Then students complete the courses and the exams through the two year internationally recognized college preparatory program with its internationally recognized curriculum, which is “the most rigorous college prep program in Baltimore County,” according to BCPS Magnet office.

While these benefits are great the students have to earn them. Students must take IB classes. Students have to take and pass exams in six subjects. They also must complete a reflective portfolio that takes eighteen months. Lastly, a research paper of 4000 words is required. However, the hard work is well worth it. 2021 IB graduate Jesie Jumawid shares, “Kenwood’s IB Program gave me multiple perspectives that showed me different ways of knowing things. I really liked how it me made more understanding–the most important principle in my opinion. Being a part of the IB program will make you a master of time management among all other skills! As a former IB student, I am not afraid to face my college classes because IB has prepared me for it (because my courses were college-level courses!). I met amazing people that I’m still in contact with today through the program, and I participated in activities that I thought I would never be a part of. The IB Programme is a worthwhile experience that will never be forgotten!”

Last year, the IB program graduated  five students with an IB diploma. All five IB graduates- Daniel Szczepaniak, Mikayla Schreiber, Ashby Gambrah, Jesie Jumawid, and Haylee Hylton- are headed off to college this fall to continue their academic success. 2021 IB Diploma Recipient Haylee Hylton is grateful for her experience in Kenwood’s program. “The IB Programme has benefitted me in unimaginable ways. Not only is there the fact that I don’t ever have to write an English paper again or participate in a science lab because I got those credits during high school, it also gave me a batch of lifetime friends and intangible experience.  Everyone in my college classes right now are freaking out because of essays and deadlines. I’m not worried about any of it, because I already did it. It gave me money for college, my dream school, and no fear when facing my assignments. Time management is so easy after the experience of the IB Programme. IB at Kenwood also has the best teachers in the world.”

As part of the IB Program students engage in community service as well. The CAS (creativity, activity, and service) project which is connected to earning the IB diploma “is a two year process of reflection in the areas of creative activity and service. Students also have to complete one project during this two year process similar to the MVP personal projects,” shares Ms. Forman, the IB Coordinator.

Each month the IB has a different focus for service as a program. For the month of September the program is collecting school supplies for a local non profit, Empower for Life. The following month of October they will be collecting toiletries for the homeless people and the organization LMS Compassion Center.

With the high school magnet application deadline approaching soon, middle school students interested in learning more about the IB program can attend Kenwood’s Magnet Showcase Night next Tuesday, October 12 at 6-8 pm virtually. IB DP Shadow day is Thursday, November 4 from 7:30am to 1:30 pm, and the deadline to apply to the IB program is Wednesday, November 5.

For middle school students considering Kenwood be sure to check out out our Why Kenwood Is a Great Choice for your High School Experience story.