Meet tour guide Nyjah Smarr '22


Soccer team dance at pep rally

Nyjah Smarr ’22

Nye ’22 discovered a passion for activism while at Peddie, and is grateful for a school community that is willing to embrace change.

Outside of the classroom: Dorm prefect, Black Student Union, co-leader of Amnesty International, varsity soccer, cross country, track, lacrosse 


Advice for new Falcons:

Peddie is an amazing place to branch out and try new things. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and see what you are capable of — you’ll be surprised. Peddie offers so many different opportunities to students and all you need to do is take advantage of them. 

What being a Peddie Student has taught her:

Peddie has taught me three important things. First, never underestimate yourself — you are capable of more than you know. Secondly, make sure you take advantage of all of the resources that Peddie has to offer, like academic support, your advisor, extra help or study groups. Lastly, it is so important to always be open to trying new things. I had never heard of Amnesty International until I received emails from the organization asking me to join. Now, I can’t imagine my life without that experience. 

Reflection: My favorite time of day is Thursdays at breakfast, when the dining hall serves Dunkin' muffins, or lunch, when they are serving chicken cheddar wraps. My friends and I are always the first ones in line for chicken cheddar wraps. Walking into the dining hall I can always expect a warm greeting and occasional laugh from Ms. Cheryl. 

When I arrived on campus as a freshman, I had this mindset that I wouldn’t really be interacting with the juniors and seniors on campus until I was in those grades. But as soon as I got to campus, the upperclassmen were so nice. Whether in classes or on a team, it doesn’t really matter what grade you’re in — everyone gets along. One of my favorite Peddie memories (so far) is from the Peddie-Blair Week pep rally my sophomore year. I was a part of the girls' varsity soccer team dance in front of the whole school. We rehearsed the dance so much leading up to the pep rally and it was so much fun to perform with my teammates in front of the school.

At Peddie, I quickly discovered my passion for activism. At the end of my sophomore year, during the time of George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter movement, I really found my voice through speaking at protests and through Zoom meetings I ran with fellow MAPL [Mid-Atlantic Prep League] students. Some fellow Peddie students reached out to me, and together we worked on creating a virtual event that would inform and unite others in that moment. We called the event “12 Hours of Action.” Pulling together students from other schools in the area, we planned presentations and discussions and registered over 700 students and adults from around the country and the world for the event. I’m pretty sure almost all of the Peddie faculty showed up; it was so amazing to see their support. 

While there are so many things I love about Peddie, I love most the school’s willingness to change. During this past year, we have gone through some extremely tough times as a country. Through it all, Peddie made sure to provide an outlet for students to express ourselves and process what was happening. They were also ready and willing to make the changes that were needed to create a more inclusive community and to support students in the moment. 

Learn more about what life at Peddie is like and find out what it takes to join our wonderful community.