“Blue Ridge Taught Me to Never Give Up”

Throughout my professional career, I have always been drawn towards working for something bigger than myself.  My first job after college was working as a field director for a United States Congressional election in Waco, Texas, and like all first jobs out of college I was underpaid, overworked and constantly learning on the fly.  After my candidate won that election, I set my sights on Washington, D.C., and a career in campaign politics. I decided I was going to fight for the change I wanted to see in the world.

As I progressed in my career, I traveled to many states, drove across the country twice, slept in my car more nights than I can remember, and maintained a diet that would make most nutritionists and cardiologists run for the hills. After six years and three election cycles, my attention shifted and I focused my energy on my alma mater, Blue Ridge School. As an alumnus, I had founded the Blue Ridge School Alumni Lacrosse game and wanted to continue working with alumni and the great staff at the School. Additionally, I sought to apply what I had learned on the campaign trail to help energize our alumni base and become a progressive force on campus.

Every boy that comes to Blue Ridge School has their own story, but I think the one thing that unites us alumni and students are that we all came to Blue Ridge School because we had not yet realized our full potential in our hometowns. As a student, I always felt that the faculty on campus were truly invested in helping us become complete people, always emphasizing that we should leave a positive impact on every situation presented to us.   For example, my junior year English teacher, Mr. Rob Irons, always taught us that boys are more likely to embrace subjects in literature when they fully understand the subtext as much the context.

In 2003, Faculty Emeritus and former Athletic Director Carl Frye pushed me to sign up for track where I trained as a distance runner and, through hard work, broke the six-minute mile barrier.  He pushed me to join the wrestling team and I, in turn, experienced more pain learning moves, dropping weight and taking on more highly skilled competitors than ever before. Blue Ridge taught me to never give up. There is something great about a Blue Ridge student who can take his share of lumps and keep pushing himself towards a goal. In my opinion, the success stories at Blue Ridge School are not always the boys who come in and immediately become star athletes and honors students, but the boys who work to improve themselves the most during their time on campus.

To read more about Blue Ridge School alumni, click here.

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