Wendy Bayer has been a member of the SGS community since her granddaughter, Eva D. was part of Seattle Girls’ School class of 2014. Having seen the incredible impact SGS had on Eva, Wendy continued to donate to the school even after her granddaughter’s graduation. Read this thoughtful conversation to hear Wendy’s story and why The Seattle Girls’ School gives her hope for the future.
How did you first get involved with the Seattle Girls School?
I was drawn to SGS when I saw the cultural diversity of the school and how it helped Eva develop into the young woman she is today. I was born in Australia during the depression. Women were not encouraged to attend university or to think seriously about a career. Seattle Girls’ School taught Eva that being a woman was important. I was very impressed with how Eva learned to deal with all sorts of new people. When I walked in the room (pre-pandemic) as a visitor, a student would always come to the door and welcome me to the classroom. What a fine way of encouraging self-confidence in the students.
How would you describe the impact the SGS had on your granddaughter’s life?
Seattle Girls’ School was critical for Eva’s development. At SGS, the staff and students alike respected her for who she was and encouraged her to go deep onto herself to find out what her talents were. That encouragement is what allowed Eva to blossom in high school. If it weren’t for the encouraging atmosphere at SGS, I am not sure that Eva would be enjoying the same success that she’s found at Pratt Art Institute in Brooklyn. As Eva’s grandmother, I wanted her to soar as high as she could and SGS gave her that opportunity.
How does SGS fit into other causes that you are invested in?
I’ve been an educator most of my life, so I’ve always been interested in education. I believe everyone should have access to a quality education. I taught young women in Austria in the 1960’s who had crossed the border during the Hungarian Revolution, and because I was fortunate enough to have had people invest in my education, I was able to pay back by preparing these young girls to live in a new way. It’s not just about preparing young women for the classroom, it’s about helping prepare them for the wider world. My belief that women of all backgrounds are needed is something that I see reflected in SGS.
What would you say to someone considering sending their child to SGS?
This is a school where your child can realize her true self. She can learn enough about her capabilities to cope with a more difficult world. The way of coping, thinking and living from a parents’ perspective isn’t the same anymore. If young women are able to learn about their country’s history, they can decide to work to make a community where all people are able to thrive. SGS can lay the groundwork for your child to live confidently and successfully.
What inspired you to give to SGS the first time and why do you continue to give?
My daughter (Eva’s mom) first told me about it, so that’s how I first became involved, but after I learned more and more about SGS, and saw its impact on Eva, I knew that I wanted to continue. I want to see Seattle Girls’ School have that same impact for years to come.
Why is giving to SGS important for the school’s future? What would you say to others who are considering SGS?
I would stress the importance of helping mold young women for what is often a difficult journey. We are now seeing so much harassment and disrespect, and now I’m worried about the increasing acts of hate towards Asian people. I believe society could change if we had more women running the country. We wouldn’t be wrecking the environment and we wouldn’t be fighting so many pointless wars. I believe that women want their children to live in a comfortable place. I now see a change happening for the better. I look at our Senate and the House of Representatives and notice different types of people beginning to become leaders, and that’s what we want. We want the Seattle Girls School to train good leaders and citizens so that’s why we should donate. We are educating for the future of our planet.