Student-Led Pro Vita Classes

Sanjna Srinivasan

 Pro Vita at Berkshire is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated weeks of the school year. Aiming to embrace Berkshire’s motto Pro Vita Non Pro Schola Discimus, which means “Learning, not just for school but for life”, students have the opportunity to explore their diverse range of interests through unique and interactive classes. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, our annual Pro Vita has transformed into hosting almost all 400 students on campus. This year, Berkshire has ten phenomenal student-led Pro Vita classes, ranging from learning to love your body to playing Fortnite. The leaders were asked three questions: What motivated you to teach this class? What do you hope to accomplish? What are you most looking forward to? Their responses are listed below.

Autumn Coard ’22

Class: Indigenous Foodways, Music & Media

 I was motivated to teach this class by the joy I felt from first sharing my indigenous culture with the Berkshire community. Through this course, I hope to educate about the history of Native Americans as well as share parts of my culture that everyone can enjoy, like food. I am most looking forward to cooking and trying different recipes with everyone. 

Cal Osterberger ’22

Class: For Life Tools

 Creating a group of people with the same interests as Dr. Stetson and me excited me as I believe there will be numerous opportunities for everyone to learn something new from each other. I can see how some of the content, while very interesting, may come off as dry, so I hope to create a hands-on experience, which will make the class engaging and allow for the time to fly by. I’m eager to learn more about what I plan on teaching. People will undoubtedly bring up new ideas and thoughts outside the scope of my knowledge, allowing both my peers and me to learn alongside one another. 

Leo Yang ’22

Class: Write One Song

 I have always enjoyed writing songs and often do so during my free time. Through this class, I wish to share my passion for songwriting with my peers. I hope that students experience the process behind creating their own song and learn the skills necessary to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions through songwriting and music. I genuinely look forward to listening to everyone’s masterpieces.

Sanjna Srinivasan ’22

Class: Indian Culture At Your Fingertips

 After celebrating Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, on campus last spring, I became eager to continue to share my culture with members of the Berkshire community. As someone who finds joy in making and creating, I centered my class around creating traditional Indian arts and crafts. While we get our hands messy and discuss the history of India, I hope to inspire people to explore cultures other than their own. I look forward to sharing my heritage and culture with my peers in a fun and interactive way.

Wakaba Aihara ’22

Class: Finding Your Voice Through Art Activism

 As my third year teaching a Pro Vita class, I decided to change my approach in sharing my passion for digital animation with my peers. Inspired by the rise in online art activism in recent years, I want to focus on how art can be impactful, allowing students to develop the skills to visualize and communicate their ideas and thoughts. Through a collaborative approach, I hope that those who take my class will be able to broaden their perspective and deepen their understanding of various topics. 

Aidan Pesce ’23

Class: I Love My Body – A Ticket To Understanding Body Positivity In A World With Stereotypes And Expectations

 I was motivated to teach this class because I want everyone to have an outlet to talk about their own issues and have a safe space to unpack and learn to be more body positive. I hope for everyone in my class to be engaged and passionate about the subject in order to dive deep into meaningful conversations. And lastly, I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone who takes the class on a personal level!

Andrew Shen ’23
Class: The Sky’s The Limit: Building Custom Drones​​

 I chose to teach this class because I want to share my passion for aerospace engineering with my peers. I hope to inspire people to enjoy and explore drones and their wide range of uses, like aerial cinematography and racing. I look forward to teaching my friends, sharing what I find cool, and perhaps inspire others to follow my footsteps.

Coco Vaughn ’23

Class: Kidizenship: Create Your Campaign For Healthy Bodies And Minds At Berkshire

 Through spending time with my aunt, Amanda Little, I have been motivated to teach this class with Ms. Simmons. My goals for this class include promoting a platform for student’s voices at Berkshire. Change starts with us as young people, and by teaching the lessons from Kidizenship, which Little is the founder and director of, I hope students will become inspired about the subjects of body positivity and food choices. I am most looking forward to learning about different perspectives and how students can make change in our community here at Berkshire.

Grace Monahan ’23

Class: Beading Bears! 

 I was encouraged to teach a class by Mr Anselmi, and was motivated by the fact that jewelry making is a hobby I really enjoy. I hope that each person who takes the class learns something new and comes away with a new piece of jewelry they love. I’m most looking forward to getting to teach about wire wrapping, which it one of my favorite jewelry making techniques

Saul Salazar ’24

Class: For Fortnite, For Life!

 I have always enjoyed gaming and exploring the use of technology from a very young age. I figured that teaching this class would be a wonderful way to allow others to experience this hobby of mine whilst also being educated about the future of technology as a whole, such as what web3 and VR are doing. I hope to be able to educate everyone who takes this course while offering a fun experience that they will be able to look back upon. Being able to teach others about something I find fun and interesting is really exciting.