Sophomore Dayshawn MacDonald transferred to Kingdom Prep prior to the start of the 2022/23 school year and sensed immediately there was something different about KP. As he began the required late-summer “leadership term”– a two-week required orientation for all new and transferring students to KP—Dayshawn was surprised by having “school before school starts.”
“We weren’t doing regular classwork before school (started), we were building things, doing team building, communicating with the other (new) students and learning about other people who we were about to see once school started.”
As he reflects on his first semester at KP, he recalls one of the highlights was the chance to visit area colleges as part of an Exploration Thursday—a weekly out-of-school activity for KP students. Since then, Dayshawn has his eye on earning an academic scholarship to attend Wisconsin Lutheran College after graduation.
Dayshawn (pictured above in the orange t-shirt) has also enjoyed the Nehemiah Hour class and has been inspired by the story of Nehemiah in the Old Testament: “I like how Nehemiah took a risk—from being the cupbearer to the king, being 2nd in command—to going and building a wall around Jerusalem. I really connected with Nehemiah on a deeper level, trying to understand why he chose to do that.”
Dayshawn’s experience in Nehemiah Hour this year has included building small, model cardboard houses—where he learned to be precise and accurate in his cuts and measurements—and making wood boxes that required learning to use a variety of hand and power tools. Dayshawn’s learning and growing interest in building, ignited by Nehemiah Hour, led him to join a KP student-team that designed and built a playhouse that they entered in a competition sponsored by the Metropolitan Builders’ Association of Milwaukee: “We competed with other high schools and built it in three and a half weeks. When we first started, it was just a pile of wood. . . and then a few weeks later it was a playhouse! We got a good amount of praise for it at the MBA Home Show—lots of compliments.”
In the future, DayShawn hopes to take these experiences along with a future college education and get involved in building things: “I enjoy it. It’s like having a child and then at the same time you watch that child grow, and you watch it become an adult. For me, building something is like starting from almost nothing and building and transforming some raw materials into something beautiful. It’s something that holds a spot dear to my heart because I’m a creative person. I’m a person who loves things that are wacky and wonky and colorful. And so, if I have a chance to do things and make those things on my own, then I will eventually do it.”