Christian Marchesi ’19 doesn’t hesitate when asked to share about his post-graduate (PG) year at Brewster. Mostly because he hopes his story connects with any high schooler out there looking to discover their passion, build confidence, and strengthen their skills as a student. “When I was in high school, I could not picture being at the point I’m at right now—being as happy as I am, feeling proud of myself, and like I’m on the right track in life,” Marchesi says. “I would not be where I am today without Brewster.”
Today, Marchesi is a senior at Marist College, majoring in communications with a focus on public relations and minoring in fashion merchandising. Earlier this year he wrapped up a summer internship at Coyne PR, a midsize firm where he regularly drafted pitches and participated in high-level brainstorm meetings to craft client campaigns. He and a group of fellow interns even participated in a competition and had their original campaign selected to be pitched by the agency to a major pain relief brand.
But as a senior at Darien High School in Connecticut, this future felt out of reach for Marchesi. “I knew I was personally not ready for college,” he shares. “If I had gone directly, I wouldn't have thrived.” Luckily, Brewster was on his radar from exploring boarding schools as a sophomore. A PG year now seemed like the perfect fit. On his accepted student visit, Christian was sold, thanks to his “super friendly” tour guide, the school’s proximity to welcoming downtown Wolfeboro, and an indescribable feeling of being “at home.” Plus, it was one of the most beautiful campuses he’d ever seen. “And I've toured a lot of boarding schools in my day,” Marchesi, says, laughing.
At Brewster, Marchesi was in the Instructional Support (IS) program, where he mastered how to self advocate, a skill he says he now uses all the time. Before Brewster, he had been reluctant to talk to teachers. But John Anderson, his IS teacher at Brewster, pushed him to build those connections. “I'll always be thankful for the things that he did for me,” Marchesi says. “Today, I communicate with my professors, my organization is completely different, and I keep a weekly planner—all skills I learned at Brewster.” He adds, “More recently in my internship, I reached out to several executives at the company and even the CEO. Brewster helped me [learn to] just put myself out there.”
FINDING THE ARTS
Marchesi also credits Brewster with fostering his love of art, now a major part of his life, whether he’s drawing, painting, or visiting museums. “Brewster allowed me to explore that love, and it’s turned into a life-consuming passion.” Alicia Childers ’01, his advisor and fine arts teacher, encouraged him as an artist, and the two bonded over study hall time spent in the common room of the dorm. “Ms. Childers was a really big advocate for me,” he says. “She believed in me and encouraged me to do my best, going out of her way to help me.” Favorite memories from PG year (in addition to all the fun times with friends in Hughes House, of course), include two campus gallery openings, where his ceramic pieces and paintings were on display. “I felt so much pride seeing my art,” he recalls. “I felt, Wow, this place is allowing me to do this, they're encouraging me to do this, and it's turned into a life-consuming passion.”
During his year at Brewster, Marchesi joined a trip Ms. Childers organized to Italy, where the group make stops in Milan, Florence, and Rome. The group soaked up the culture, architecture, and art. “I am very proud that Christian was allowed the opportunity to flourish artistically here at Brewster,” Ms. Childers said, “and that he remembers all his amazing work and support he received here. It is so encouraging that he has allowed the creative spirit and his appreciation of art to continue to grow.”
“Before coming to Brewster, I was not a very artistic student. I enjoyed art and I loved looking at it, but I never engaged in actually making art. I was extremely passionate about fashion, but I just wasn't actually creating anything,” Marchesi recalls. “When I got to Brewster though, that really pushed me into starting to create and helped me discover my passion for art and creating art myself. And it's something that's stuck with me today. I regularly draw or paint or go visit art museums with my friends, and it's become a major part of my life and my future. And that's totally responsible to Brewster.”
MESSAGE TO CURRENT BOBCATS
The aspiring PR professional has advice for current Brewster students, and those in high school elsewhere: “If you want to go to college but don’t feel confident in your abilities as a student, take that year to learn those skills,” he advises. “The post-grad year at Brewster one hundred percent opened up my options. When I was interviewing at colleges, they were so impressed I was doing a post-grad year.” And when you get to college, he says, “Stick to everything you learned. Stay committed. And remember you’re there for your future.”
Marchesi’s big dreams for his future include owning a PR agency focused on the video game industry, a fashion retail store, or (the ultimate dream) an art gallery. “I did not believe in myself as a student or just in general before I went to Brewster. And going to Brewster gave me that motivation, and it planted that seed of belief in me and belief in my own abilities. And from that time and from the skills I learned while I was there, I was able to nurture that seed, and now it’s grown to who I am today. It was the start of all this self-confidence,” he says, adding, “Brewster helped me thrive and mature, and kicked the gears in motion for me to get where I am today.”
Portrait photo by Matthew Moraski, www.matthewmoraski.com
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