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Jesse Blanco
EC Class of 2016
The University of Pennsylvania

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
Definitely the warm, community environment. I have never gone a day in my life walking through the hallways at EC without a teacher saying “Hi” to me as I walked towards my next class of the day. Everybody is friendly and it is easy to get comfortable and acquainted with so many caring and unique people that make up our school environment.

Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
Definitely Mr. U because he is such a personable and charismatic teacher. He began chatting with me near the end of freshman year because he began to anticipate his future sophomore class and immediately picked up on my love and passion of history. He has such a way with students by combining personal anecdotes and effective, hilarious, humor and balancing that with the seriousness history classes offer. Over time, he has become one of my greatest influences by pushing me to become a better student though my papers and projects. He has also been a strong mentor by supporting my endeavors and quest to become the future President of the United States.

In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
It is amazing that in every subject I have taken in school, the teachers have done such an amazing job of intertwining our Christian values and worldview into the subject material. I have learned that God is relevant in any subject or occupation that I will pursue in my future. EC has brought me closer and shown me the essential need of having a strong personal relationship with Christ in order to flourish in the world.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
I was able to take rigorous courses that pushed my academic limits by classes that engaged me such as Humanities and the honors courses in math. In addition, the electives offered by EC were beneficial to my interests such as International Relations and American Law because I have the intention of majoring in Political Science in college. Experienced teachers, like Mr. Beverly, were able to challenge our preconceived thoughts on certain issues and make us look at the world through different lenses; this certain transformed the way I looked at the world.

How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
The personal experiences and lessons I have absorbed from teachers have left a lasting mark on my life. It is so comforting to know that the teachers here at EC absolutely love their jobs and want their students to be world changers. EC offers an abundance of rigorous courses, and I was able to space them out throughout my four years so I could keep pushing myself to attaining my goal of getting into an amazing college. Here, it’s not just about taking set courses that culminate towards a large test or final at the end of the semester. You have flexibility and choices in pursuing what you want to do by picking different, diverse classes and this allows you to start charting a course towards college and beyond.

What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
Although high school is a place of new beginning, and that can be intimidating for many, make sure you feel right and comfortable because high school is the launching pad for your future and career towards college and life in the real world. Everything clicked for me at EC because of the strong community of students, dedication to teaching from teachers, and strong, personalized support from our amazing College & Career Office (Mr. Struck was instrumental in getting me to the place I am today). Eastern Christian really is a school where you can thrive and grow in such a supportive Christian environment by being yourself and pursuing your passions.

What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
One of the most profound, deep experiences I have had at EC was after a baseball game. The day was April 15, 2013 and word quickly spread on the bus that the marathon at Boston had been bombed. It was a very solemn game we played that day knowing that a sporting event was affected by an act of terrorism. After the game, we asked the other team to pray with us and that was such a powerful experience. It didn’t matter that the other team was a public school, but we were able to come together, with Christ unifying us, and pray for our nation that had been wounded that day.