For Andrea Morgan, ’10, beating a rival on the basketball court epitomized life in the classroom at CCSC and gave her the confidence she needed to succeed at college.
For Andrea Morgan ’10, the singular moment in time that captured her experience at Community Charter School of Cambridge came not in the classroom, but on the basketball court.
“When we beat Prospect Hill,” she said. “We ran out to each other and we hugged and laughed and cried. We had never beaten them. Ever. For us, it was like winning a championship.”
Her coach, Katie Rieser, remembers that game quite well.
“The Prospect Hill game she refers to marked a turnaround moment for our team,” Ms. Rieser said. “We had always lost to Prospect Hill, a school with a much larger student body and a longer running program than ours.”
Ms. Rieser said CCSC won that game because of its commitment to teamwork and sportsmanship, two characteristics Andrea personified on the court and in the classroom.
“We won because we passed the ball, communicated, and were no longer afraid. Andrea's personal growth reflected this team’s growth,” Ms. Rieser said. “She steadily waited out myriad storms and continued to shine as a player during her time at CCSC. She was a dream to coach.
Now a sophomore at Providence College, Andrea says the early morning practices, all the extra work her coach put her and her teammates through, it all paid off. “That game taught us a lot. Thanks to CCSC, I know I can do anything I set my mind to,” she said.
By the time she graduated, the self-described “shy girl from Dorchester” had transformed herself into a confident and loquacious senior ready for college. She chose Providence College over Fairfield (“too big”) and Wheaton (“too small”) and because she liked the campus, liked the location, and felt good about the majors offered. She plans to major in business management, with a minor in Spanish.
Andrea says she loves college life and admits she still relies on three lessons learned during her time at CCSC, three lessons she’s quick to pass on to current students trying to find their own way to college:
1. Go out there and do things. Don’t be afraid to take chances. Don’t be afraid to step out of your shell.
2. If you don’t understand something, ask for help.
3. If you want it, work at it.
Then she remembered a fourth lesson, just for CCSC students: “Don’t get detention.”
“Look, CCSC is hard,” she said. “It is a lot of work, much more than I expected, but it was so worth it. Don’t get depressed about all the work. Don’t give up. If you’re struggling, go get help. Join a study group. Get a tutor. Go ask your teacher for help.”
Becki Norris, now principal of CCSC’s Lower School, was Andrea’s 8th grade science, 9th grade geometry, and 10th grade Algebra II teacher.
“Andrea started off quiet, but quickly made friends and was — dare I say? -- often loud and boisterous. Fortunately, Andrea brought this enthusiasm to her studies, where she could make good use of it. Her dedication and vivacity added to class each day, and I missed her immensely when she was no longer my student. It was a privilege watching her evolve into a mature young woman.”
Her mother, Lisa Morgan, said she is forever grateful for Andrea’s CCSC experience.
“CCSC introduced us to the word “college” at our very first meeting. Prior to that meeting, we had never thought about college, and it was never mentioned at Andrea’s previous school. I remember thinking that Andrea might not want to go to college. One of the staff members said ’Every child who graduates from this school will be accepted to college.’ CCSC worked with Andrea in every area academically and personally to enhance her learning and to give her the confidence she needed to know that she was going to be able to go to college. She was motivated every day to learn and do her best.
“My advice to families considering sending their child to CCSC is to do it! It’ll be the best experience of their lives. The teachers all have advanced degrees. They are creative and innovative thinkers. They are 100% supportive of the child and the family. Parent/teacher communication is the finest I’ve ever seen at any school. My daughter will never forget her years at CCSC. In part because of CCSC, Andrea has grown into an amazingly smart, well-rounded, and eager to learn young lady. We are very proud to have been a part of the CCSC family.”