Local Midland students prepare for life after graduation

By Victoria Martinez

As Midland School seniors prepare to move on to the next stage of their educational careers, some of them have found that their small, unique community has prepared them for aspects of college that many young adults struggle with.

“Independence,” Grace Kelley answered quickly when asked what Midland had taught her.

Kelley, a Santa Ynez resident, has spent her time at Midland running cross country, playing basketball, and mentoring freshmen as a freshmen prefect, who functions as a bridge between the students and faculty.

Although her family resides in the valley, Kelley has lived on the Midland campus along with the other 80 students at the school. She will soon travel south to either Pitzer College or Scripps College for the next stage of her education.

Angelica Murillo, a fourth-generation Midland student, also lives in Santa Ynez when not in school. Her mother, Gloria Murillo, is Midland’s chef.

“I’ve learned to be independent here. I’m more confident to ask questions and seek help,” Murillo said.

Murillo has enjoyed being head of horses along with playing volleyball, soccer and softball during her time at Midland. She’s also spent the past year as a sophomore prefect. In the fall, she will begin pursuing a nursing degree at CSU Channel Islands.

Olivia Ciana of Santa Barbara speaks eagerly about her love for the Midland community.

“Everyone here is part of the family,” she said.

Like Murillo, she was also head of horses this year, and she spent time playing volleyball and softball while at Midland. She has been the junior prefect this year, and she plans to attend Santa Monica City College to study dental hygiene.

All three young women acknowledged the big transition ahead of them and said that even though they’ve enjoyed their small, close community for the past four years, they believe the independence they’ve learned at Midland will lead them toward self-sufficient adulthood.