This blog will now take a quick break from its ongoing reporting about the California High School Summer Program to discuss the New England program, which begins on July 25. Below is the first of three stories profiling a few of the TAC students who will be serving as prefects:
David Carey (’23)
The middle of eight siblings and originally from Wilton, California, David Carey (’23) “cannot wait for his first time” working as a prefect for the Summer Program. “Thomas Aquinas College is a great place to hone your God-given gifts and explore things speculatively,” says David. “I’m very practical, but this education lets you learn how to think for yourself instead of living life on autopilot. That’s why I chose to go here and why I love TAC.” David will spend the rest of his summer working on campus. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and working on cars.
Gabrielle Margand (’24)
Rising sophomore and Yonkers, New York, resident Gabrielle Margand (’24) excitedly anticipates “meeting everyone who comes” to the Summer Program. After completing the program two years, ago, “I left with great friends and a new intellectual curiosity in me,” she reflects. “It will be great to be a part of that for the attendees.” Gabrielle advises the program’s students to “be open” and “approach everything with enthusiasm,” so they can experience TAC to its fullest, particularly the class discussions. “Share your views!” she says. “Many of the things we discussed deeply resonated with me and made for great conversations.”
Simone Kelly (’22)
“When I went to the Summer Program, I wasn’t sure if I would choose to go to TAC,” Simone Kelly (’22) admits, “but it completely changed my mind, and going here has been the best decision of my life.” Although she lives in the same city as TAC, California, Simone is a student on the New England campus and has served as a prefect at both of its previous Summer Programs. “TAC’s community is beautiful and unique. Everyone is striving to know God here and helping each other reach that goal,” she observes. When she isn’t a prefect, Simone will be working on campus for the Admissions Department, grinding away at her summer reading, and planning her upcoming wedding.
Casey Kirk (’23)
Watch out for Casey Kirk (’23) on the Meany Gymnasium basketball court. He’s been playing the game since he was two years old, and he’s ready to take on all comers! A first-time prefect and the oldest of 10 children from Rockville, Maryland, Casey loves “every single game, except for ultimate Frisbee.” He also loves the College’s classical curriculum, and encourages Summer Program attendees not to let themselves be intimidated by it. “There’s an apparent depth to these readings which might seem intimidating, but take them in,” he says. “You’ll find you can understand them a lot more than you think. Trust me, I’ve been there.”
Marie-Norah O’Brien (’24)
Marie-Norah O’Brien (’24), or Norah, as she prefers, is eager for a new experience this summer, having never been a part of the TAC Summer Program before. “I was drawn to this because my brothers have been involved,” she says. “I love TAC. It’s great, and I’m excited to show attendees just why that is.” The main reason, Norah explains, is the College’s unique academic program. “I really love how the curriculum is connected. You get this holistic experience and you can talk to anybody about your classes, including the upperclassmen,” she remarks. “It makes you feel more connected with the school and everyone there.”
Jonahs Chavez (’22)
“Give yourself to TAC. Leave the internet behind to work hard and play hard. This place is worth it,” says Jonahs Chavez (’22). “If you let it, this place can change your life in the best possible ways.” A rising senior from Chowchilla, California, Jonahs loves the New England campus and the surrounding area. “The Connecticut River just outside of campus is home to some of my favorite memories — jamming with friends, going for a swim, sharing deep thoughts,” he reminisces. He also loves the campus’ spiritual and educational climate, which he describes as “a total blessing.” Jonahs looks forward to sharing that blessing with all of this year’s Summer Programmers.