Every fall, Prairie students come together to usher in a new season of learning and growth.

As a standout student-athlete at Prairie, Alana Trotter ’06 became used to performing in front of crowded gymnasiums.  So, when the internal medicine doctor and entrepreneur returned to campus as the guest speaker at Prairie’s year-opening Convocation on September 11th, she felt right at home in front of a packed Johnson Athletic Center.

“Don’t be afraid to do something just because others wouldn’t,” Trotter said, speaking to Prairie students in Early School all the way through 12th grade. “Just because it’s the path of most resistance doesn’t mean it’s not possible.”

Trotter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison – where she earned an athletic scholarship after walking onto the basketball team – in 2010 with a double major in biology and Afro-American studies.  While attending medical school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she founded DoctorGoals.com, a website designed to help aspiring physicians navigate the process of researching and applying to medical school.

“You can have 99 people tell you you’re not going to accomplish something followed by all the reasons why,” said Trotter. “However, all you need is that one person to say, ‘I think you can do it.’ And sometimes that one person is you.”

Prairie opens each year with Convocation to embrace the opportunities that abound with the beginning of a new academic year.

Falling on September 11th, 2017, there was a poignant solemnity added to this year’s ceremony. The gathering began with a moment of silence for everyone affected by the 9/11/2001 terror attacks, and included remarks by Dr. Nat Coffman, Head of School, and Aaditya Kumar, Student Body President.