Leila (Voyles) Wood
2000 Harmony graduate
This #GivingTuesday, I am giving to my alma mater, Harmony School. Harmony was my second home for 12 years. At Harmony, I learned how to learn, when to ask for help, how to be part of a community, and to trust myself and my own process. None of this experience would have been possible without the generosity of donors and families that paid the full Harmony tuition. I come from a single parent household. My four other siblings (Jeremy, Nick, Molly and Alex) all attended Harmony at some time or another. Our amazing mother, Martha Voyles, sometimes worked two or three jobs to get by and private school tuition was not possible for us. Year after year, the staff at Harmony was able to secure my scholarship to attend.
At Harmony I developed lifelong friendships that have provided me a foundation in both joyful and hard times (including my BFF and current Harmony elementary school teacher, Lana Cruce!). I was incredibly lucky to be guided in my learning by some of the most gifted educators Bloomington, Indiana has ever seen, including my beloved 3rd and 4th grade teacher, Jo Banks, who remains an avatar of compassion and strength in my life. The most important thing about my time in Harmony, especially as a young female-identified person, was how I was supported and celebrated for being my authentic self. It’s no wonder I am a feminist anti-violence researcher focused on ending intimate partner violence and sexual assault. (Thanks for the encouragement, Ursina. <3)
What I want is for Harmony to continue to be an accessible and safe place for low income families, so that kids who benefit from the Harmony model are able to access it, regardless of income. I hope you will join me in making a donation to Harmony School. I’m paying it forward for a new generation of authentically curious, passionate, and kind leaders, ready to fight for change, justice, and democracy. It’s more important now than ever.