When David Bamforth ’11 came to Carroll in the second grade, his parents Morag and Mark could see he had incredible potential—and with his unique brain, his learning path was going to be his very own.
“Like so many kids like him, David masked his learning differences beautifully, but he didn’t have to hide at Carroll.“ says Morag. Now, almost two decades later, David is a college graduate (Wentworth Institute of Technology ’19) and the owner of two growing businesses, one of which he began while he was still in college through a dedicated entrepreneurship co-op. His trajectory shows a clear path from his passions to his purpose.
Jennifer “Jeffie” Wilkins Chapin, beloved daughter of Steve and Sarah Wilkins, knew, too, from a young age what her dream was: to live a life surrounded by horses. Jeffie was also a gifted teacher who used her craft to touch young lives at Carroll and beyond. She ultimately pursued her skill as a horsewoman into competition, and created a horse farm in Wenham, MA that she shared with her husband, Deacon, and their many other animals and dogs.
When Jeffie died in an equestrian accident in 2019, she was doing exactly what she loved—and her lifelong dream became an eternal one. Heartbroken to lose Jeffie, the Carroll community shared in the Wilkins’ grief. The Bamforths were compelled to create a tribute that would live on as part of Carroll’s Arts & Innovation Center.
The Bamforths have supported the A & I Center’s development from the beginning, and through their extraordinary lead gift in recognition of the If Not for Carroll campaign. "If it had existed when David was there,” Morag says, “it’s exactly the kind of place we’d never have gotten him out of. The A & I Center enables kids to dream and explore and take a risk in an environment where their creativity is encouraged and unleashed. It can be used by anyone at the school to teach in exactly the way Carroll students’ brains work.”
For Jeffie’s tribute, the Bamforths were inspired by a sculpture David created for Morag years ago, and the desire to create something equally as interactive as the Center itself. The phrase, “Live Your Dream,” became the perfect point of inspiration for the Bamforths, represented by a large mural depicting the mountains in New Hampshire where the Wilkins family lived before returning to Carroll— and lettered with Sarah’s beautiful calligraphy.
“We wanted to represent the highs and lows that come to any one of us pursuing a dream. Sometimes you face a steep climb to reach a magnificent pinnacle, and sometimes it’s just gentle ups and downs.”
The other part of the tribute is the “Dream Wall”, where Carroll students can use one of 299 wooden capsules (marked with Cartesian coordinates—Steve’s idea!) with colorful edges to store their own dreams. They can access, update, or change their dreams at any time, but the physical capsule keeps them safe—and as private as the student desires them to be. The colorful spine of each capsule, and the play of light on the Dream Wall ensures the structure is vibrant, dynamic, and perpetually new to viewers.
David was able to bring in Jaywalk Studio—an industrial design studio founded by a group of fellow Wentworth graduates— to support the creative process and fabrication of the project.
“Live Your Dream” has now launched in the A & I Center, where students get hands-on with the process and materials behind its creation, and discover for themselves how an idea becomes a design, and then a physical reality— a project-based learning experience perfectly in sync with the Center’s vision.
“So much of school life is structured because it has to be,” Mark says. “The A & I Center allows students to break out of that structure and experiment and learn new things on their own terms. It’s exactly the kind of thing a family of engineers would choose to support!”