Meet Walker, a junior at Holden High School

Once a quarter we feature a Holden student. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Walker, a Holden High School student! He is currently a junior.

junior at holden high school, orinda

How has attending Holden impacted the way you feel about school (and life)?

I actually like coming to school now. I’ve experienced a lot of anxiety and depression throughout my life. Before Holden it felt like I was mentally holding my breath all the time. 

The anxious thoughts still pop up from time to time when there is a lot to do. But, since I started at Holden, the general fears and worries I had are subdued because the environment here is so welcoming and comfortable.

It’s super helpful to have a whole RES period once a week that’s dedicated to helping me process my thoughts and let go of the ones that don’t actually serve me.

I accept myself a lot more when I’m here. I can be my unapologetic self.


Describe your experience with school before Holden?

Before Holden, I hated going to school so much that I had trouble falling asleep at night during the school week. There were times when I intentionally stayed awake until 3 or 4 in the morning just so I would be too exhausted to feel anything throughout the school day.

My previous school operated on a one-on-one learning environment. My classroom consisted of myself and my teacher only. I definitely feel like this model helped me grasp academic concepts with zero distractions, but it also hurt my ability to grow socially.

At first I didn’t mind this teaching model, but after awhile the lack of a social structure started wearing on me. I felt claustrophobic.

Why did you choose Holden?

I looked at lots of different schools and I knew Holden was the school for me after my visit day. I remember sitting in an Algebra class and feeling very light-hearted about everything I was seeing and hearing.

The interactions between the teacher and the students were very encouraging. I didn’t feel pressured to have all of the right answers. I felt comfortable and reassured.

Before Holden, I was socially guarded. It used to take a very long time before I felt comfortable enough to open up and make new friends.

Holden has allowed me to come out of my shell. I feel more comfortable socially now than I ever have before.


What do want people to know about Holden?

Holden is a community. It’s this big welcoming environment where you can be yourself and you can find someone like you . I thought I was weird, but then I came here and found people just like me.


How has Holden helped you pursue your passions and interests?

Everyone at Holden is so supportive. They’ve made me feel more confident in what I enjoy doing. A couple years back I would not have been comfortable enough to tell people that I enjoy writing.

Fun facts about Walker:

  • Enjoy’s writing (film scripts, short stories, works of fiction and movie reviews).
  • Loves video games
  • Enjoys weight lifting

If you’d like more information about becoming a Holden High School student, schedule a tour of the campus or join us during an Information Session.

City of Orinda