||"Good morning and welcome to Malvern Preparatory School. I am a senior here at Malvern. I’m here today not to sell you on coming to Malvern, but just tell to you about my Malvern experience and give you an idea of what your son’s experience could be like.
I came to Malvern in ninth grade from St. Agnes in West Chester. In eighth grade, I played football, basketball and lacrosse and was mainly a “B” student. I was a much different person then and without question I am grateful for all that Malvern has done for me.
When deciding where to attend high school, my parents really left the decision up to me. I got a great feeling at Malvern when I visited on a preview day and decided I wanted to go here for high school, and my parents fully agreed with this decision. I am very lucky that I chose Malvern; it has been a great experience here and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
A big part of my Malvern experience has been the friendships that I have made. Coming into freshman year, I was lucky that I had three close friends from grade school. Today, I still have these friends, but I have also made new ones. I am closest with people that I did not know coming into Malvern. And these friends are not just from the teams I play on, but also from almost all the other teams and activities at the school. One of the best parts of Malvern for me is that you get to meet new people and you simply don’t go to high school with the same people you went through grade school with. I love the small class size that allowed me to make close friendships with a group of guys not just from West Chester but from all over the area.
Coming into my freshman year, I realized that I was probably not big enough to play football at Malvern. I played offensive line and knew that I was probably not going to be able to compete with my 220 pound, future Division 1 classmates. I only lasted a few days without playing a fall sport and then thought I would give water polo a try. I knew this would help me get in shape for lacrosse and it sounded like fun. When I came to practice the first day, I told Coach Schiller that I had had no prior experience with the sport and really was not a very good swimmer. He said that my lack of experience did not matter, and he couldn’t have been happier to have me on the team. Coach Schiller has had a huge impact on me as an athlete and as a person since that day, and is one of the reasons I am grateful to be at Malvern.
Also, during my freshman year, there was one teacher that had a significant impact on my time here at Malvern. That teacher was Mr. Rawlings, my Algebra I teacher. He did more than teach me how to factor quadratics and solve equations. He gave me something even better that will influence me the rest of my life. He gave me confidence. He made me believe in myself academically and is one more reason I am grateful to be at Malvern.
Up to my sophomore year, lacrosse was my primary sport. I had been playing since fifth grade and I loved every minute of it. I had been successful during my time playing for West Chester Lacrosse. I wanted this to transition into my time at Malvern as well. I started on the freshman team, but when I tried out my sophomore year the competition was tough and I was cut from the team. I was really stunned and in a matter of seconds my life, as I saw it then, had been completely changed. It was always my dream to play varsity lacrosse for Malvern, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I was pretty sad all weekend but then by Sunday I told my mom and dad that I was going out for the track team on Monday. When Monday came around, I was walking through O’Neill [Malvern’s gymnasium] after school, and I noticed a practice going on in the gym. I looked in and was watching the newly formed rugby team at Malvern. Just as I looked in, Nick Cicione, a junior and a stranger to me at the time, walked by me and said, “Let’s go. Practice already started.” And just like that I walked in and joined the rugby team. Imagine the look on my mom’s face when she read my text that afternoon saying “Rugby practice was great!” I think the visuals of “football without a helmet” and me missing teeth were all too real for her. The way one door can close and another can open and turn into a great experience is another one of the reasons I am grateful to be at Malvern.
Looking at my Malvern experience, one of the things I really is that it was not simply a continuation of my time at Saint Agnes on a new campus. Instead, it was about new opportunity. Malvern gave me the opportunity to grow into a man by learning new things, dealing with challenges and the occasional disappointments all the while giving me the confidence to succeed.
In water polo, I am entering my second varsity season with a team that has high hopes to win its first Inter-AC title.
Since Mr. Rawlings’s confidence boost, I maintain a 3.93 GPA in the classroom and currently take three AP and two honors courses. I am currently applying to schools, among which are Drexel, NYU, Pitt, and the University of Pennsylvania. In college, I plan to major in business in college and am leaning towards international finance.
Two seasons with the rugby team has been so gratifying. I was one of the founding members of the team my sophomore year, and was part of the team that placed third in the State Playoffs my junior year. This year I look forward to a successful senior season and hope our team is able to pull off a tour of Wales this spring.
I came into Malvern as an eighth grader thinking a little about football and a lot about lacrosse and maybe getting a few A’s and a few B’s. My experience turned out a little different:
Four years of water polo, three years of rugby, two years on the swim team, the President of the National Art Honors Society, the President of Diversity Club, playing lawyer at Mock Trial, competing in Academic Competition and taking a big interest in the Pro-Life clubs and getting a lot more A’s than B’s.
I have grown so much through my Malvern experience and sometimes I think I was just lucky it all worked out for me. Then I look at my classmates and realize they must have all been pretty lucky too. Malvern’s a great place and, as I said before, I am grateful for all that Malvern has done for me.
Thank you for listening to my journey. I also want to thank you for coming today. I will be around later today for questions. Please feel free to stop by and ask me any questions you might have about Malvern. I hope you have a great day. Thank you."