From the kindergarten classroom to the Eighth Grade graduation stage, The Girls’ School of Austin is known for cultivating lifelong passions within its students. For Cicily Hewlitt (Class of 2020), that passion began in the art studio.

“I definitely got my love for art from the GSA,” shared Cicily, now a senior at Stephen F. Austin High School. “We had an amazing teacher named Mrs. Nancy Hoover, and she really pushed everybody to be the best in their art. I love that the GSA builds in a part of your day to be creative, and I still use the creativity I gained there today.”

Cicily is particularly thankful for GSA’s art curriculum in preparing her for college application season.

“I want to study architecture in college, and a lot of programs I’ve applied to require an art portfolio. So my art background at GSA really helped me. I also ended up using some of the pieces I created at GSA in my portfolio.”

One of Cicily’s portfolio pieces was inspired by Tess McMillan (Class of 2014), a former member of Cicily’s Sister Group during their time shared at the GSA.

“I’ve always admired Tess. Not only did we go to school together, but she lived in my neighborhood and babysat me when I was younger,” Cicily recalled with a laugh. “After she graduated, she began a successful modeling career in New York. I asked if I could use one of her Instagram pictures as inspiration for an art piece. I named it after Tess and sent it to her, and it was so cool to reconnect with her after all these years.”

Whether they live as far as New York City or attend school as close as Austin High, Cicily can attest that all GSA alumnae remain connected after Eighth Grade.

“Out of my graduating class of sixteen, eleven of us went to Austin High. And if I ended up having a class with one of them, they were always someone I could talk to and relate to — even if we weren’t close before. You can really recognize all the values we were taught at the GSA: the respect, the kindness, the inclusion. I recognize it in both myself and my peers.”

We are incredibly proud of Cicily and her upcoming high school graduation, and we wish her the best of luck as she enters a new chapter of her life pursuing higher education!


The Girls’ School of Austin is proud to have supported students like Cicily along their academic journey, and we would like to continue that work for years to come. That is why we are participating in this year’s Amplify Austin Day, a 24-hour online giving event benefitting over 700 local nonprofits in Central Texas. When you give on Amplify Austin Day, you directly support the work we do in helping students cultivate their passions, inside the classroom and beyond.

Please consider contributing to our school from March 6th, 6:00 PM to March 7th, 6:00 PM by visiting our Amplify Austin Day Profile and making a donation. You also have the option to participate in Early Giving from now until March 5th.

Your contributions are greatly appreciated, and we thank you for your continued support towards girls’ education and empowerment!