Senior Seminar: Alumni Panel Offers Insight for the Class of 2024

By Mrs. Zehra Naqvi, Donor Relations Coordinator 

On Wednesday, March 27, during senior seminar, Montverde Academy hosted an alumni panel where MVA graduates returned to share their post-high school experiences with seniors. The seminar provided a valuable opportunity for current students to ask questions and gain insights into college life and beyond. The panelists, representing diverse fields of study and career paths, offered candid reflections on their journeys since leaving Montverde Academy.

Bradley Peterson (’21), a psychology major at Rollins College, emphasized the importance of creating focus: “Take time to figure out what you want to do and keep that your motivation. Working towards a goal will help you tremendously.”

Similarly, Elicia D’Orazio (’14), who pursued a Bachelor of Science Degree in health science and psychology at Marshall University, highlighted the significance of diversifying interests. “Venture outside of what you would normally do. Maintain a balance between academics and sports. Understand what your identity is outside of being an athlete,” she advised.

The discussion extended beyond academics, touching on personal growth and resilience. Gloria Katuka (’15), a PhD candidate at the University of Florida, shared, “Montverde Academy prepared me to face challenges and be resilient. Being here, the support I received helped me move forward. Even now, I can take that mindset and overcome any challenge that comes my way.”

David Graydon (’12), a St. Louis University graduate and coach at the Montverde Academy Soccer Academy (SIMA), stressed the importance of communication and establishing a routine: “Coming up with a routine was extremely useful to me. It helped me stay on track and manage everything that comes with college life.”

For many seniors, the panel served as a reality check, offering practical advice and dispelling myths about life after high school. Kurt Schindele (’22), a finance major at Florida Atlantic University, encouraged seniors to “have a positive mindset, try new things, and explore various extracurriculars” because “you never know what you might end up loving.”

The panel provided seniors with invaluable guidance as they prepare to embark on their own journeys beyond Montverde Academy. The key takeaways for the class of 2024, as Mr. David Bernatavitz, Assistant Head of School, Upper School, and Student Affairs, recapped, were to “show up, communicate, and position yourself… sit in the front row of class because chances are, those who start there, stay there.”

We are thankful to our alumni for taking the time to share their experiences. They are a testament to the transformative power of education, and we are proud to see them thriving in the world.