Just what the doctor ordered

on May 21 | in Alumnae Connections | by

Caleigh Bravo
Caleigh Bravo ’16 | Photo by Olivia Body ’08

First-year student grateful for the early recommendation

Pediatrician Wendy Ault ’72 will say that her longtime patient Caileigh Bravo “fell in love with Hollins all by herself,” but it didn’t hurt that Ault planted the idea early. “Ever since I was a little kid she’s been telling me all about Hollins and what a wonderful place it is,” says Bravo.

Bravo, a first-year student from Gainesville, Virginia, was so convinced she’d made the right college choice that she applied early decision and found out she was accepted in December of her senior year of high school. “I knew where I was going to school before my friends even applied,” she says. “I was a happy camper.”

No doubt what started the conversation going between Bravo and Ault was their mutual love of riding. “We always talk horses when I see her, and she told me what a fantastic barn Hollins has and how awesome the trainers are,” says Bravo.

I was completely, 100 percent decided I wanted to be here.

As a high school student, Bravo was pretty sure she wanted to apply to Hollins, but attending a Hollinsummer session made her certain. She took classes in creative writing and film and did some riding, too. After that experience, “I was completely, 100 percent decided I wanted to be here,” she says.

Bravo enjoys riding, but she’s passionate about film, and she was drawn to Hollins’ increasingly well-known film program. She took advantage of the first-year internship program to work in January with a local photographer, and she’s pursing a summer internship with a TV production company in Bethesda, Maryland. Although she’s tentatively planning on a double major in film and mathematics, she’s wise enough to keep her options open. Her dream career is to make “movie trailers, but it’s such a specific, rare thing to do that I have to be a little open to different careers,” she says. “I have to see how my internships go.”

If a high school student were to ask her about Hollins, what would she say? “I love, love, love the small community here,” she replies. “You really get to know your professors on a personal level. You don’t feel embarrassed to speak in class.” She wonders if students at larger schools get the same opportunities as Hollins students. “Are you getting the internships, studying abroad? I tell my friends that I’ve already had an internship, and they can’t believe it.”

Bravo continues to be grateful for Ault’s recommendation. “I don’t think I would have known about Hollins otherwise, and I’m so thankful because I love it here.”

If you’d like to refer a student, go to the online form.

Jean Holzinger M.A.L.S. ’11 is the editor of Hollins magazine.

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