I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, in a very outdoor lifestyle. Throughout my childhood I often found myself hunting or fishing in my free time. I visited Blue Ridge when I was younger but decided I was not ready to leave home. A few years later, I decided to attend to improve my educational foundation and prepare me for college. The Outdoor Program made the decision easier.
Blue Ridge challenged me in ways I could not have been if attending high school in Jacksonville. As a member of the golf team I improved my game, and maintained BRS principles. I was fortunate to make many close friends, from throughout the country and around the world that I look forward to visiting in the future. I enjoyed the diversity of the student body and appreciated my teachers—people who really care for their students.
I have no regrets leaving home in high school. Attending Blue Ridge School was definitely one of the greatest decisions of my life.
I got to know Bryce because he’s one of my best friend’s roommates. Even though I’m from Spain and he’s from Florida, we have a lot in common as we love to hunt, fish and golf. We’ve spent a lot of time together fishing on the lakes at school. In fact, we caught the biggest bass here on campus just this year.
We’ve been on several hunting trips while at Blue Ridge and while we had a great experience and got pretty close to three or four deer we didn’t actually kill any. We’ve made plans to visit each other next year. I’m going to introduce him to Spanish-style hunting next winter break and he’s invited me to Florida to go spearfishing with him.
We really enjoy golf too and have helped each other a lot on the course. We’re much better when we play together as we give each other advice on where and how to swing, and how we can improve.
Bryce and I are going to stay in touch even though I am back in Spain at the College of International Studies and Bryce is at Hampton-Sydney College in Virginia. Blue Ridge School gave us both opportunities to not only learn from our teachers, but to learn about different ways of viewing the world from each other.
When Bryce elected to attend Blue Ridge, my husband and I were saddened and relieved. We regretted advancing our only child’s departure yet applauded his choice – an investment in his future.
Bryce gave up his Florida lifestyle with plenty of hunting, fishing and freedom for the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and BRS structure. The Outdoor Program enticed him–his successes motivated him.
Bryce adjusted to Blue Ridge School through exploration. As a consummate outdoorsman, Bryce, with equally minded friends, found fishing ponds, spotted plenty of wildlife, and enjoyed the Outdoor Program. Later, environmental stewardship opportunities were identified and his passions unleashed. We were delighted when Bryce sought the chance to play on a team and contribute to the golf team’s success.
As Bryce’s confidence grew outside the classroom, he also grew academically. With the guidance of collaborative teachers, help of classmates, and self-accountability, Bryce found methodologies for success. The academic path has not been easy for Bryce but he has persevered. We are grateful to Blue Ridge for the growth Bryce has experienced, the foundation he has enhanced, and the friendships he has made.
At the beginning of the school year I found Bryce to be a reserved, polite and attentive student in my history class. He was always prepared and seemed eager to please. I only wondered then if I’d be able to break through to him because he was so quiet.
As time went on he became more relaxed and outgoing, even displaying a wry sense of humor. Bryce always worked hard, and he was able to earn respectable grades in history. He also wrote a very good senior paper on Women’s Suffrage, in part because he was sure his mother would appreciate it.
As he improved he became more confident, and this was also reflected outside the classroom. In his own quiet way, Bryce earned the respect of his classmates and interacted very well with them. They trusted him and his judgment, and sensed his basic decency and honesty.