William Van Der Rhoer is a high school student with a vision. When you walk through the halls of York Prep, you can see his creative vision via some of his framed photographs that adorn the walls. His perspective is unique—he sometimes zooms in on a subject so that the viewer takes on an unexpected point of view. His compositions are often poetic. Read on to learn more about William’s inspiration and how he plans to apply his photography skills towards his other passions.
When did you enter York Prep?
I entered in 9th grade. Previously, I was a student at Stephen Gaynor School.
Why did you choose York Prep?
I wanted to find a school where I would be challenged, while not being too overwhelmed by the work. After visiting and learning more about the school, I felt I would benefit from the different academic tracks (levels) that each subject provides.
What clubs and/or sports do you (and did you) participate in here?
Currently, I am an active member of the Photography Club, where I allow myself to further develop my skills as a photographer. In class, we get inspired by looking and critiquing other photographers work. We can apply the skills that other photographers used such as finding the right angle and attention to detail for when we take photos. Outside of the club, I am a member of the cross-country team and spring track team.
What are your interests and hobbies outside of school and how to do you pursue them?
Every day, I enjoy taking photos of the buildings and people surrounding me on my way to and from school. I sometimes find my best shots when I run around Central Park in my free time. Outside of school, I am an active Boy Scout with a goal to reach the rank of Eagle within the next year or two.
Tell me about any outside projects or events that you are working on outside of school.
Outside of school, I am going to be shadowing a professional real estate photographer in order to learn more sophisticated photography techniques. In terms of my architecture photography, the next step is to gain access into the interior of the new developments around Manhattan in order to photograph them. Recently, I have been focusing on portrait photography. I see the world through a camera lens. As I further develop as a photographer, I intend to create a website, where I will be able to sell my own work.
Who do you look up to at York?
I look up to my photography teacher Ms. Tabourin, who has allowed me to discover my passion for photography. I also look up to my Jump Start teacher, Ms. Borden, for helping me understand difficult concepts.
What are three characteristics that you aspire to embody? How do you (and did you) apply these characteristics to your student life?
I embody perseverance, creativity, and self-confidence. I love to set high goals and targets that some may believe are unachievable. Every day, I apply the 10X rule and mindset everywhere I go. This means to work 10 times harder to help me achieve a goal or task and take 10 times the amount of action.
What is your favorite subject and why?
I enjoy English class because we have been reading action-packed books such as A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah and 1984 by George Orwell.
Who is your favorite teacher(s) and why?
My favorite teacher Ms.Umansky because she expresses lots of passion for teaching English and the books we read, making it an exciting class.
What has been your best memory at York? What moment/achievement are you most proud of?
Definitely my favorite memory has been seeing my photography on the walls throughout the school building as well as at the spring Art Show. I am also deeply proud of being recognized the Honor Roll and the Headmaster’s List.
If you could give advice to yourself as a student entering York Prep, what would it be?
I would advise a prospective student to do your homework and be present. These are the keys to being successful at this school. Also, don’t be afraid to take advantage of all of the help and resources this school provides.
Please feel free to add any other notes or stories that you feel would add to your story as a York Prep student.
I recently reached out to take photos at sports games and found that it is a thrilling challenge to be able to shoot action successfully. I particularly enjoy taking photos at basketball games.
What do you plan to do after you graduate from York? After that?
After I graduate from York Prep, I would like to study real estate, architecture, and design. During my education, I would love to get a real estate license. Through learning more about people, homes and design, I would love to ultimately create an award winning real estate business that will forever change New York City and international living. Creating another show similar to Million Dollar Listing New York may also come in my near future.