Rachel Menziuso '18
Currently Attending: Tulane University
Years at Shipley: 4.5
Activities & Positions Held: Co-Founder and Co-President of the Operation Smile Club, Shipley Crew Team, DECA, Handbell Player, Spanish Abroad Trip Summer 2016
How Shipley Shaped Me
Shipley has impacted my life greatly. Having come to Shipley in the middle of eighth grade, I was nervous. However, on my first day, all of the students and teachers were so welcoming. Everyone was genuinely interested in getting to know me, and I had never been in a community like that before. I also realized that my teachers truly cared about my successes, and wanted to take the time to help me succeed.
At Shipley, I was encouraged to take risks in everything I did. I was greatly challenged academically, but I was always supported in those risks. My freshman year I was only in one honors class. Through Shipley’s supportive academic environment I was encouraged to continue to challenge myself with each year. By my senior year, I was in four honors classes. At Shipley, I have learned it is okay to take a risk and not succeed because even if you do not succeed you will still learn from the risk.
Furthermore, I truly learned to push myself in new directions at Shipley. I tried activities that I had never tried before. My freshman year I joined the crew team and quickly fell in love. By my sophomore year, the double I was in was making it to finals at many regattas, including City Championships. From crew, I learned that if you work as a team you will be more likely to succeed, and that is a lesson I will keep for the rest of my life. If it were not for Shipley I would never have tried crew, and learned the lessons of teamwork that it had to teach. While I begin my journey at university, I am ready to reach out and challenge myself because Shipley gave me the foundation to do so.
Who was your most influential teacher and why?
My most influential teacher was Ms. Ku, my United States History Honors teacher. I came into her class knowing I needed to find confidence in my writing ability. Throughout the year, I met with Ms. Ku and my writing began to drastically improve. She taught me step by step on how to write a successful and informative paper. It was as if she made it her goal to build my confidence as a writer, and that meant so much. It was through our meetings that it became clear to me that she cared about my success. Through her initiative, the techniques she taught me are so valuable I will definitely use them throughout university.
Most Memorable Experience
My most memorable experience at Shipley was going on the Summer 2016 Spanish Immersion Trip to Seville, Spain. It was the first time I had traveled to Europe by myself, but I never expected the lessons I would learn about myself through this trip. Stepping off the plane in Seville, I have to admit I was incredibly nervous as I had never lived in a host family’s home before, and I was afraid that they would not understand me. As I attended classes at a school and explored the city I began to feel more comfortable. One day that stands out to me was when my host family and I were having dinner. We began to have a conversation sharing about our families, dogs, and their love of Disney World. We began to find out that we were not all that different. Through our conversations, my language developed, and I even began to even think in Spanish! When I got back to Shipley I was able to relate what I was learning in the Spanish classroom to what I experienced on the trip. It truly made me into a global citizen, and now I am definitely going to study abroad in college!
Plans for Fall 2018
I will be attending Tulane University.
What is your future ambition?
My future ambition is to work for a marketing firm or a corporation in their marketing division. Shipley offered me many ways to explore the possibilities that awaited me in my future. Senior year I took Macroeconomics Honors with Dr. Rebholz. It helped me learn the basics of macroeconomics, and what it is actually like to start a company through the Simulated Business Plan Competition. Through building my business, and learning how to make it successful, I knew I wanted to have a career in the realm of business. Furthermore, I was a member of the DECA club all four of my high school years, and through competing I learned strategies on how to market new products. Also, I learned what projects may look like in the business world through simulated pitches. Shipley finds ways to help every student find what their passion is, and they encourage their students to follow that passion.
What does “Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing” mean to you?
To me it means that even if you fail or something does not work out, you still learn from that experience. Shipley has taught me that I will be all the better for taking a risk even if it did not work out the way I planned because I will still take something away from that experience.
Complete this sentence: Shipley has prepared me...
Shipley has prepared me to feel confident in my future studies, and make a difference in the world around me. At Shipley, it is expected that you participate, and now going into college I am not afraid to participate in the classroom setting. Shipley has taught me that I have something powerful and important to contribute and that everyone can learn from what others have to say. Furthermore, through Shipley’s commitment to service, I know that no matter the size of the act I am doing, it will still have a meaningful impact on the lives of others.