Aaron Salinas '16

I am and I will be forever grateful for my experience at Malvern Prep. I have grown and matured so much these past five years, thanks to the balance of academics, athletics, activities and spiritual formation the school has to offer.

I am now confident in my own knowledge and abilities and feel fully prepared for the next step of my life. I know this feeling is something not all high schoolers are able to experience, so I consider this to be one of God’s greatest blessings for me.

I was first introduced to Malvern Prep through a grade school swim meet 9 years ago. At that meet, my performance caught the eyes of Mr. Hornsleth and Mr. Schiller, who introduced themselves to my family. There Mr. Hornsleth would tell me more about the school and the opportunity that was there. At that young age, I was able to recognize that Malvern’s caliber of student was higher than that of normal high schools. I wanted to be a part of that community, and experience its opportunity. Little did I know that the school was much more than just academics and athletics. I had known the school was a catholic school, which was in line with my own faith, but I didn’t know how much further the school would strengthen my belief in Christ. I had no idea that I was taking the first step into becoming the best version of myself.

I arrived in eighth grade after two years of cyber school, excited and ready to get to work. The adjustment between schools was and will always be one of the most exciting moments of my life. I started playing water polo in addition to swimming, met some legendary teachers and just had the greatest time that year. The upper school was even better for me, with its variety of classes, clubs, activities and a higher level of competition for athletics. In the upper school, I took Honors and AP classes and had the privilege of being taught by many of Malvern’s famous teachers. From Mr. Ellis, to Father Thom, Mrs. Gordon, Captain Boyce, Mr. Roper, Mr. Legner, Mr. DiDomenico and many others. I learned not only the subjects they taught, but valuable life lessons that I will carry with me forever.

I started taking part in the Newspaper, Friar's Lantern media page, became the Vice President of the Diversity Club, was inducted into the National Honors Society and Science National Honor Society, became a mentor to a lower classmen in the Adelphia Society, participated in art shows, and ushered for the play. My athletic career at Malvern has been extremely successful, with three consecutive Water Polo Inter-Ac championships including the first one ever, and the first one outright. I contributed to four consecutive Swimming Inter-Ac Championships, was captain of the team and played my own part in rewriting our record board.

I have been able to do all these things, and achieve my goals while having a rigorous class schedule and living 40 minutes from school. The reason why I was able to do it was simply because Malvern offered me an environment to do so. Matthew 7:7 is something that I’ve always associated the opportunity Malvern provides. “Ask, and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock, and the door will be opened unto you.” The school is an amazing place, and has the ability to transform the student into a strong man of character. However, it is up to the student to make the choice to become that person.

The most important aspect of my Malvern experience that I have yet to cover is my development of faith. I was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and went to church every Sunday, but through Malvern’s theology classes, Christian Service weekends, my Christian Service Trip to the Dominican Republic, and MECO Leadership, I have made my faith my own, and I have proudly included a sense of spirituality into my personality. On top of that, I have been able to grow with my classmates, binding us in Augustinian brotherhood.

At the final moments of my Malvern career, I have a sense of accomplishment and pride. In June 2016, I will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, and I am excited to bring the lessons and experiences Malvern has taught me by representing Pennsylvania as a part of the Long Grey Line. Even though I am now officially a Black Knight, I will always remember that I was a Friar first.
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Malvern Preparatory School is an Augustinian School, Catholic and Independent for boys in grades 6 through 12, located in the Greater Philadelphia suburb of Malvern, Pa. We are committed to the Augustinian values of VeritasUnitas, and Caritas, meaning Truth, Unity, and Love.