York School News

Alumni Spotlight: Kaylyn Williams '13

“The IB curriculum definitely made settling in at York easier for me” 

By the time Kaylyn Williams (‘13) joined The York School in Grade 10, she already had a lot of experience adjusting to a new city and home: “My dad worked for General Motors and we moved every 3 or 4 years for his job,” says Kaylyn, “We arrived in Toronto after a year back in Michigan, and before that I had lived in Mexico and Europe as well.” 
For Kaylyn, the key to creating a smooth transition after each move was to look for consistency wherever possible. As a competitive dancer, one of the places she always felt that sense of belonging was at the studio, where she knew she would find a community of others who shared her interests. And when it came to school, it was the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum that offered her the foundation of learning she had been familiar with since elementary school. 

“The IB curriculum definitely made settling in at York easier for me because I knew exactly what to expect,” recalls Kaylyn, “That was something my parents valued and were able to keep consistent for me and my sister no matter where we were living.” 

By Grade 11, Kaylyn was dancing more than 14 hours a week outside of school while pursuing her interests in student government and other leadership opportunities, serving first as a house captain and as a mentor to students in lower grades. Then in Grade 12, she was elected as “Head Girl”, a position that has since evolved into Co-chair of Student Council. 

Following graduation, Kaylyn attended Yale University where she initially thought she might pursue a medical degree but by her sophomore year she discovered that her true passion was for the social determinants for health, such as education, housing and food insecurity. Kaylyn shifted out of pre-med and ultimately received a 5-year Master’s Degree in Public Health from Yale. 

Today, Kaylyn works as a consultant for Community Wealth Partners, a DC-based organization supporting nonprofits and foundations with a mission to create social change. When reflecting on her path to where she is now, Kaylyn recognizes that the rigor of the IB program undoubtedly helped her meet the demands of post-secondary studies as well as contributed to her professional success: “All of my education, including my time at York, taught me the value of hard work and instilled in me a work ethic that I still rely on to this day.”

About the York School

Canada's first gender-inclusive independent IB World School
The York School is a gender-inclusive JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from junior kindergarten (JK) to university entrance. As an IB World School, The York School's motto is Experientia Docet or Experience Teaches.

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Junior School (Grades JK-5) 1639 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 2W6 
Middle School (Grades 6-8) & Senior School (Grades 9-12) 1320 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X2 
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