Elise DeBruzziWhat do you love about MPA?
I love the environment and the people, staff and students both. When you walk into MPA, especially the classrooms, it feels so warm and inviting all the time! I tend to stay after school frequently and I’m constantly surprised how everywhere I go has a safe feeling to it.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
For me, the encouragement comes from all of the opputunities. Part of what I love and appreciate so much about MPA is that they help you find opportunities to expand knowledge and/or experiences in certain fields. (college counseling, history day, writing competitions, math competitions, etc.) So the encouragement comes from all of the opportunities that are presented to me and knowing that there are teachers and other adults that want to help me succeed.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
I’ll be honest, I’ve never really thought about this! All of the teachers I’ve had (and have) are very thoughtful and understanding, and not to mention, they are all extremely good at what they do. Maybe they are like that because they’re trying to create and maintain a good teacher-student relationship. It’s very easy for students to take teachers for granted, but I also feel the same is true about teachers to students. It takes more effort to create a lasting friendship with a teacher, but I think that is why the MPA teachers teach the way they do–because they care and want to be a part of the students’ lives.

If you have attended another school, how has your experience here been different?
I have attended a few other schools before MPA. One of the main differences that was blatantly obvious to me was that everyone who works at MPA actually does care about you. Mental health and well-being always come first.

The other thing is the curriculum and classes. When I shadowed MPA the first time, I was told time and time again that courses were accelerated and you’ll be challenged in any class you take. Now if I’m being completely transparent, I had heard that before at other schools and the majority of them failed to follow up on that. But at MPA that is 100% true! The teachers do help students specifically and give them side projects or activities to keep them working, but they can also help students if they’re behind. In my experience, it is really rare to have one teacher match you and either offer help or more work, yet every teacher here does that. It took some adjusting, but I absolutely love that about MPA! There’s always more to do and more to learn.

In what ways has MPA prepared you for life beyond school?
Firstly, MPA has taught me time management. Through various assignments with some projects due months out, I was taught how to manage my time so that all of the work I’m doing is my best work without being stressed or overworked. Because if you push yourself too hard or hit your breaking point, then it’s not your best anymore. So MPA teaches you to find the happy medium!

I was also taught how to self-advocate and work with others. Yes, MPA gives you a lot of opportunities and options, but you need to be able to put in the work and communicate with other people around you. You’ll go far working by yourself, but you’ll go even farther if you work with people with a similar goal as you.

What’s your big dream?
Short term, I want to get into college, get a degree, then start working! But long term, I want to help people and make a difference and have a positive lasting impact in whatever field I end up going into. For me, the dream is really just to be happy! Whether that means working, traveling, or relaxing, I just want to know that I have the security and the ability to do whatever it is I want to do.

What would you tell another student your age considering MPA?
I would tell them that they should join! Even though there’s a small number of students, you will find your people pretty fast and once you do it’s smooth sailing from then on out! There are also so many options for you to explore. You like theater? There’s a winter and a spring show as well as classes you can take! You like drawing? There are numerous classes with a large variety of mediums! The list goes on and on and on. And on the off chance that what you’re interested in isn’t offered in a class, start a club or meet with a teacher and you can both look for other outside options. At MPA, the only one that will limit you is you, so if you can dream it then you can make the path to achieve it. But make sure you’re willing to put in the work 🙂

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