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An Alumnus Shares His Breck Story

Feeling Grateful: An Alumnus Shares His Breck Story

Dear Breck, 

This is the time of year that we commonly reflect on all the blessings that we have been granted. I hope that you don’t mind me sharing my Breck story. I am hoping it may inspire others to also pause and reflect on the gifts that have been received but not always noted.

I grew up on the North side of Minneapolis and was attending a local junior high when I was introduced to Breck. A group of Breck parents reached out to my community. To this day I am not completely certain how my name surfaced but I know an invite was extended to me to visit Breck School, which at that time was located on West River Road in south Minneapolis. My father had the wisdom to know what a prestigious academic institution Breck was and, despite my initial hesitation, we accepted the invitation. Departing from my friends on the north side and starting a completely new chapter of my life was not something I was eager to do; however, my father urged me to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity that was graciously presented to me. Clearly, we did not have the resources to pay for a private school. Both my parents were blue collar workers that lived from one pay check to the next. Neither had a college degree but thankfully they had a vision of the many advantages a Breck education would offer. Thankfully, a scholarship was offered to me and it was accepted. 

In 1974 I joined the Breck community and it did not take me long to realize that Breck was going to be a challenge. My academic standing entering Breck was not the best. I had fallen behind in my previous studies and was far more occupied with other things outside of academics. Despite the challenges, it was quickly apparent that Breck was loaded with teaching staff who were passionate about education and eager to assist students and help them succeed. I will always be indebted for the encouragement I received that helped overcome that awful insecure feeling of not being bright enough to make it at Breck. My late father, too, was supportive and I know that he was very proud of me when I graduated from Breck and went on to attend college. I was the first in our family to obtain a college degree and there is no doubt in my mind that Breck played a key role toward that accomplishment. 

Being a three-sport athlete, I was equally impressed with the amazing coaching staff that also played an instrumental role in helping me succeed at Breck and beyond. I recall many times during my sophomore year that the coaches would go out of their way to give me a ride home after some late games and practices. My Breck teammates accepted me even though many of them had attended Breck from kindergarten. 

To be honest, had I not attended Breck I am not certain how my life would have unfolded. Suffice it to say, the years attending Breck from 1974 to 1976 were pivotal in getting my life focused. Graduates of Breck leave not with a question of whether college is an option but rather which college is the right choice. The continued emphasis that Breck places on academic excellence is what makes Breck what it is. 

I realize that this is a challenging time for schools. Setting budget priorities and remaining competitive is difficult but I hope that my donation can go toward the recruitment of inner city less advantaged students. It would be very satisfying to know that others may have a similar blessing that I was so fortunate to receive from Breck. I am enclosing my Annual Fund gift with this letter.

Sincerely,  

— Breck Alumnus from the Class of 1976