What are the most important take-away’s from your time at BTA?
During my time as a student, I learned three skills that are applicable in almost every aspect of my life: love for learning, ability (or flexibility) to engage with people of diverse backgrounds, and time management. From BTA's humble beginning in 2002, it was apparent to me that faculty and staff wanted me to be a life-long learner in a culture where success was defined by money and status. I learned that in order for my education to mean something, I needed to approach my studies intentionally and develop curiosity of how the world is interconnected. Organically, that taught me to see diversity from the posture of humility and not as a competition. This new perspective towards diversity challenged the immigrant narrative I grew up hearing: "You need to prove yourself to be worthy just like your counterparts." My education and experience at BTA released the pressure of being perfect by allowing me to grow from my mistakes and learn my identity in Christ. Lastly, on a more practical level, I learned the importance of time management since I was very involved in the BTA community. I wanted to serve the people who had given me so much, while at the same time do well academically, in addition to my other responsibilities outside of BTA.
How did your BTA experience shape you?
I believe I am an example of what Boston Trinity Academy produces. The first line of the school's mission statement says, "Boston Trinity Academy educates students from diverse backgrounds, in an academically demanding, Christ-centered community, inspiring them to lead lives of faith, integrity and service." Well, BTA did educate me and inspired me to live faithfully with integrity. BTA didn't just prepare me for college work; more importantly, they invested in my character formation. This was essential for me, as in college I began to explore the meaning of vocation and true leadership.
How did BTA prepare you for college?
By the time I graduated, Boston Trinity Academy had given me tools to be successful in college. In my 5 years as a student, I realized that I needed to integrate faith and learning, to lead with integrity, and to love others as myself. With the support of my teachers, I felt empowered to develop my leadership skills into a vision of the future where my passion for urban education corresponded with God’s calling for me. With this vision, I was intentional about my studies at Gordon College and my involvement in the community. For me, college work wasn't difficult to manage because I had already learned how to be a student at BTA, and college work was more than a means to an end. In addition to being academically ready, I was also prepared to engage with students of various backgrounds, and I didn't struggle developing friendships with people drastically different from me. My experience at BTA allowed me to flourish in college, and I am deeply thankful for it.
Which faculty member was most impactful for you and why?
Hands-down, Mrs. Guerra was the most impactful and influential teacher for many reasons. To me, Mrs. Guerra is an example of a godly woman. She is a woman of integrity, grit, and conviction, all concepts I strive to embody in my persona. With her, I was able to be transparent about my feelings, thoughts, and doubts. Whenever I struggled to do "the right thing," she kept me accountable of my commitment to my faith without judgement. Regardless of my roles at school, I felt known and loved by her. She treated me with respect and didn't tell me to suppress aspects of my Latino culture in order to do well in affluent environments. Instead, she taught me the biblical importance of timing and how in life there is a time for everything, a lesson that is still relevant to me.
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering a BTA education?
Boston Trinity Academy is a unique place. As cliché as it may sound, learning also takes place outside the classroom. Students don't just learn how to be effective students--they learn how to be a part of a community. The approach to education is holistic. Therefore, students are challenged academically, spiritually, physically, and personally. It is a place where integrity and character development is at its core. However, this can only be attained if there's a personal commitment to change and growth. You are not just another unseen student at Boston Trinity Academy. If you attend here, you become visible and valuable.
Nancy "Joqui" Girón-Meléndez graduated from BTA in 2007. She is currently a teacher in St. George, Greneda