Meg Corbett Remarks at the 2020 (UN)GALA

Jemile Dragovic ShinnUncategorized

On Saturday, February 22, members of the Crossroads school community gathered for the (UN)GALA, a community-wide party to support scholarships. Attendees heard from senior Meg Corbett, who reflected on Crossroads’ impact on her. 

As a senior, I’ve spent many stressful weeks laboring over a college essay that would hopefully drop jaws and have the admissions offices click “accept.” In doing this, I’ve reflected on what made my time at Crossroads so unique to me, outside of the classroom. While Crossroads is small, it represents different races, zip codes, socioeconomic classes, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. Learning in an environment where I discuss the Baha’i faith, hear classmates recite poetry on growing up black in America, and follow my friend’s journey on testosterone has made my world so much richer (as well as grossly misinformed as I thought 50% of the world was Jewish until I reached 9th grade!)

What I didn’t have time to stuff into my precious 750 words, was that diversity at Crossroads means so much more than the demographic boxes students check. It means, more than anything, a diversity of experiences. Between my two older brothers and I, we have been on every sports team, been in the play, one acts, and the musical, participated in lip syncs, sewing activity, Makerspace, Bridge, Chess club, and have still been able to achieve academic success. Crossroads has made my “best of both worlds” High School Musical dream come true. And us Corbetts are not some group of overachievers; that list of accomplishments is common among Crossroads students, so before I go any further, I would like to give a huge thanks to each and everyone of you who have donated in years past. It is because of you that my brothers and me, all of us recipients of financial aid, were able to take advantage of the opportunities Crossroads presented to us that have prepared each of us so well for our futures. Or at least that’s what I’ve heard, I personally have not yet been to college, so it could be a complete disaster for all I know. But here’s to hoping.

The experiences I’ve had here have laid a foundation for college, sure, but so far beyond that, as well. Crossroads has built my confidence, as students cheered for my friends and I during the lip sync contest, even though our dance moves surely left something to be desired. It taught me grit when I was given the opportunity to prove myself as a volleyball player. At any other school I would have been cut from the start, but because of our no-cut policy, I was able to work hard and stick with it, ultimately becoming the varsity libero this year. The one acts taught me how to be a good, relaxed public speaker, which is coming in handy right now. I was able to not only learn the Bridge card game, which makes me a hit on Grandfriends’ Day, but also was given the chance to teach my fellow classmates how to play, which was a great lesson for a soon-to-be-education major in how much patience is required in teaching. Quick shoutout to all my teachers out there. When I was younger, I figured this high school experience was typical, but after talking with peers who didn’t end up at Crossroads, I realize that I could get all of that nowhere else.

Nowhere else could I get the everyday relationship building that Crossroads fosters. The teachers here are invested in their students, and I can attest to the fact that we students, in turn, care deeply about our teachers. Knowing how to not only talk to adults, but also build relationships with them is a skill that will be vital in years to come. Crossroads teachers show an unparalleled dedication to our education, and I can’t stress enough how much I’ve gained from it. Because of Joe, I don’t dread math class and thank him for allowing me to invade his lunch period, which is endearingly titled “Math Cafe.” I can for maybe the first time say I’ve actually got a handle on the subject. Because of Brittyne’s AP Government class, I was convinced for the better part of the year that I wanted to be a lawyer, until I realized of the amount of paperwork they have to do. But even still, she has made me invested in our country’s democracy, as is the entire class; we are currently planning a voter registration drive after being incensed by Brittyne’s last lesson on voter suppression. Because of Mark Norwood’s very presence, pretty much everyone in the school strives to be the best version of themselves; because we’re “his little grasshoppers”, we never want to disappoint. I could go through similar stories of the impacts each one of my teachers has had on me, but they may start playing Oscar style music to usher me off.

My last six years have left no stone unturned. No “what if I could have done this or that,” because I’ve been able to dip my toe in every pond. I can truly say that whatever comes next, I feel sure I have been awarded the tools to face it. And that, is because of people like you. Your generous donations are the reason my classmates come from 52 zip codes and are able to come here to exchange new and diverse ideas. You are the reason I don’t have any free time after school because I am jumping from sports to theater and back again. So I want to thank Crossroads, yes, for the opportunities that have made me the well rounded person I am today, but also each and every one of you. Because without you, I don’t know who I’d be. Thank you.