Jade Wilkinson: Dart High School Scholar Update

In 2015, Jade Wilkinson’s outstanding academic performance resulted in her receiving the Dart Scholar High School Scholarship. More than an accomplished student, Jade also has a passion for tennis, which led her to study at the renowned IMG Academy in Florida where she finished high school while elevating her tennis game. This experience helped her make the women’s varsity tennis team at Vassar College in New York where she started in August  2019. As a Dart Scholar, Jade has explored various work experience opportunities at Dart, which is helping her decide whether to study Maths and Statistics or International Business. Read on to learn more about Jade, her experience as a Dart Scholar and what’s next for this bright young woman. 

What led you to apply for the Dart High School Scholarship?

I applied for this scholarship because of all the opportunities it provides for students. I was interested in the mentoring program and work experience as I thought it would help me decide what I might want to study in college and pursue as a career. All the work experience and summer work I have done at Dart so far has given me the opportunity to learn first-hand what certain career paths are like. The summer trips provided huge opportunities to experience new things, learn more and make new friends all over the world. After travelling to a Quantum Learning camp at Stanford University, taking a psychology course at the University of Oxford, England, and learning about engineering in Toronto, Canada, I have strengthened my studying skills which help me at school and I have made friends that I am still close with today.

How has being a Dart Scholar helped you achieve your dreams of playing tennis? 

Being a Dart Scholar allowed me to pursue my dream of being recruited for collegiate varsity tennis. Dart supported my move to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida where I trained with lots of girls my level and above, had coaches and advisors help me find a great school and team to be a part of, and exposed me to a lot of college coaches. Without this move, continuing to play tennis competitively would have been very difficult. Thanks to Dart, I was able to attend IMG Academy and achieve my dream!

What has been your favorite part about being a Dart Scholar? 

My favorite part about being a Dart Scholar is the Work-X summer experience. During school breaks, I’ve been able to work in different departments in Dart which has helped me decide what to study. I was very surprised to see how many jobs you can do with a Maths major, from helping Decco with design to analyzing statistics in marketing. I encourage all students to apply to Dart’s Work-X programme so they can gain valuable real world experience. 

What led you to attend IMG?

I attended an IMG Academy summer camp where I trained for a week with lots of different coaches and many talented players. Growing up in Cayman, I was the only girl in my age group so I had to play against the boys which helped me become a better tennis player. The camp coaches encouraged me to finish high school at IMG Academy- where I would practice tennis in the morning, go to school in the afternoon and then go to study hall in the evening to finish my studies. It takes hard work and dedication but it’s worth it.

What advice would you give to young girls who are hoping to excel in sports?

I would say to make sure you put school first but focus on your sport when you are not doing homework or studying. You will most likely have to compete against the boys but don’t let this scare you because they will push you to be the best you can be. When I was playing in Cayman, I was the only girl in my age group so it would be great to see more girls get involved. 

What are you most looking forward to next year at Vassar College?

Well, I can’t decide if I’m looking forward to the winter or if I’m worried about it! I’ve only lived in Cayman and Florida so I don’t know what to expect. I’m really looking forward to playing college tennis and studying at a school where everyone is motivated to learn. Vassar is a really forward thinking school and I’m excited to be around other driven students.