Written by Shamira James
L’Nya Caldwell is a freshman from Harlem, NY. She is undecided as a major, but she is a part of Maroon Movement, RC Modeling Club and she is a goalie for the RC women’s lacrosse team.
“I’m a part of Harlem lacrosse, which is a program back in NYC. I started at my middle school before I came to VA for boarding school. It started as a boys’ program, but then they started recruiting girls to play and I was interested. Being a part of the program opened a lot of doors for me, especially because of my educational background and where I’m from. I wasn’t thinking about college after high school, I was just kind of living everyday one day at a time. This program helped me so much as far as everything I struggled with at home and school. They helped me afford to go to certain trips. At the end of my first year, they told me they wanted me to go to a boarding school. I enrolled in Foxcroft school in Middleburg, VA. I did club there and that’s where I became goalie. The college program at the school was really good, and my counselor was really dedicated to helping me start the recruiting process. We were kind of confused with the process, because my parents had never been to college, my sister had gone to community college, so it was a new experience. I ended up touring the school and met with the coaches, and I said I wanted to play so she looked up footage of me and was happy. Immediately, I disregarded all the other schools I was looking at because I wanted to go here, and the opportunity came and I wasn’t going to let it go.”
“The move from a big city to this little town next to the mountains was definitely something different. Harlem is truly the city that never sleeps, so the pace is a lot different here. The people surprised me the most, the way they talk and dress is so different compared to Harlem, they’re even a little nicer down here too. But I’ve gotten used to being down here too because of school, and it’s funny because I actually prefer it down here because of how peaceful and calm it is.”
“The girls on the team are all from different backgrounds and are involved with different things on and off campus, and so that can result in certain more permanent friend groups, but we turn into such a family on the field and when we’re doing team bonding. We cherish the time we have together and grow with each other and keep each other motivated and focused. Lacrosse is definitely a RC favorite and the support we get from the students, staff and even Mac and Bob’s is incredible. We haven’t won a ODAC game since 2009 and we’re 5-2 right now, and I feel like we’re in good shape. Everyone is calling it a ‘10 year plan’ for our next win, so I have high hopes for us.”
“I had always heard stories of it not being diverse enough down here but I wasn’t not used to that. In high school, there were only four African American girls there and we were all friends. I feel like touring schools only gives you a very small glimpse of what a school has to offer, but there’s so much more, you just have to be willing to look. It was a little hard at first because I felt like an outsider because I wanted that same tight-knit group from high school, and I didn’t get that. I’m better now though, because the friends I have now are so diverse. I love and cherish that so much, because now I’m surrounded by and learning about other minorities and cultures who are so different from my own.”