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Alumni Focus

Justin Cedeno

Waterside School Class of 2006

College

Elon University

What is the indelible lesson you learned at Waterside and still carry with you today?

"Looking back, I would say that Waterside really helped drive home the importance of holding yourself accountable. Whether in school, with friends or even now at work, how well I perform is based off of how much work I am willing to put in and Waterside really helped me understand that."

What advice would you give to current Waterside students?

"My biggest piece of advice would be to set goals. Then after you set those goals have a realistic understanding of what it takes to reach the goals. It’s not enough just to want something, you have to commit to working towards that goal."

What is your favorite book?

"I love reading sci-fi/fantasy so the Eragon series is one of my favorites."

What is your favorite quote?

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Neale Donald Walsch




Alumni Focus

Anna Guo

Waterside School Class of 2010


College

Boston College

What is the indelible lesson you learned at Waterside and still carry with you today?

"One indelible lesson that I learned at Waterside was to work hard, be strong and respect learning. That really stuck with me throughout middle school and high school. I was always reminded of how fortunate I was. Waterside also taught me to be persistent in what I wanted for my future and that really helped me in school. No matter how difficult something seemed, I learned that anything is possible with work and determination."

What advice would you give to current Waterside students?

"To current Waterside students, I want to say that you should always believe in yourself. The only thing that matters in school is what you do with what you learn, not everything is about doing well on tests. Be openminded to what teachers want to tell you because you can learn more than what a textbook tells you. Go to office hours and meet with your teachers!"

What is your favorite book?

"My favorite book is The Republic by Plato. Socrates in The Republic asks a lot of important questions about the soul of a person. The book really goes into what justice is and what it means to be truly happy. I started reading it this fall and it made me think of who I am as an individual and what kind of friend I am to others."

What is your favorite quote?

"The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be."
Ralph Waldo Emerson




Alumni Focus


Alyssa Thomas

Waterside School Class of 2009


College

Johns Hopkins University

What was your favorite memory at Waterside?

"One of my favorite memories at Waterside would probably have to be this one year, I believe second grade, where there was some gift exchange event where I got a pair of boots and the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I remember getting through this book reasonably quickly and continuing to read one after another. I also recall my participation in the ABT (American Ballet Theatre) program that Waterside provided. I remember auditioning, practicing each week, and going to New York City to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House. I believe I did this about twice during my time at Waterside. The connections Waterside had that made the gift receiving I first detailed and my ballet participation possible definitely added to the unique experience that is Waterside."

What is the best quality of Waterside?

"The best quality of Waterside was probably its commitment to its students, even once they have left. I know that I was a difficult one during my time but the individuals within the school, particularly Ms. Visage, made sure that I wasn't neglected. I was able to continue my education at Waterside, participate in many great programs which set me up for where I am now, all the while feeling secure in the support I had of my family, teachers, and administration."

What piece of advice would you give to current Waterside Students?

"My advice to current Waterside students would be to find at least one thing you enjoy and do it as often as possible. For example, if you love reading when you're at school make it a habit of doing so outside of school. If you like the physical activities you do in gym, perhaps look into joining a sports team. The same can be said of dance and academics. Ask questions about how you might become further involved or challenged in the things you do every day. How can you become better at x, y, z?"

What is your favorite book?

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

What is your favorite quote?

"Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12




Alumni Focus

Andres Soto

Waterside School Class of 2006

College

Columbia University

What was your favorite memory at Waterside?

"Again, a bit hard to pinpoint a single memory at Waterside as I had many. I always think about the good times I had playing tag and playing outside with my peers, whether it was tag, kickball, basketball, soccer, making paper airplanes, to even exploring our surroundings.

One of my favorite memories at Waterside also had to be Family Night (I think they call it Bingo Night now). I found it so cool to see all my friends with their friends and family in our school in the hopes of raising money for the school (our goal back then was to buy a small school bus). I had a lot of fun running around the school after hours."

What is the best quality of Waterside?

"I think that the utmost best quality of Waterside has got to be the sense of community. You don’t find it anywhere else. Everyone is committed to Waterside’s dream and purpose, from the parents and teachers, to the students and even the janitors and administrators. It’s quite clearly reflected in the volunteer efforts across all the parents."

What piece of advice would you give to current Waterside Students?

"To dream big and to cultivate those dreams with a strong work ethic, and resilient attitude."

What is your favorite book?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What is your favorite quote?

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.




Alumni Focus

Jessica Johnson

Waterside School Class of 2007

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College

Syracuse University - Newhouse School of Public Communications

What was your favorite memory at Waterside?

"When Waterside first opened, there were very few students, which made room for a lot of bonding between grades and families. Almost every weekend, the Waterside families would meet at Burger King, enjoy a meal together and the kids were able to go play in the ball pits. It seems simple but it was in these moments that I noticed the support system I and all other Waterside students had behind them. We truly were a family and Waterside is what brought us together."

What is the best quality about Waterside?

"Waterside has such an intimacy between students and their families. They want to know you and understand your story and where you come from. They want to help you and they want to see your child do great. They don't give up on any child and always try to do what is best for them and honestly, that is amazing. It may not be recognizable to those used to this close Waterside bond, but every school is not like this. To have the care and support from every single faculty member is truly a blessing that I feel every Waterside student and family should be aware of."

What piece of advice would you give to current Waterside students?

"Never forget how great you are. Hold yourself in high regard because you have the ability to excel in ways you are not even aware of yet."

What is your favorite book?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

What is your favorite quote?

"Oh ye of little faith, why did you doubt?

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