By Sean Murphy
Up until a few weeks ago, I had not heard of Milwaukee Collegiate Academy. I am embarrassed to admit this because I am in my fourth and final year as a student at Marquette University. I was introduced to MCA this year through my part-time job at Marquette working as a student coordinator for the service learning program. Two summers ago, I interned in Washington, D.C., my hometown, with a non-profit called the Faith & Politics Institute and managed the social media accounts by working with the communications team. My supervisor at the service learning program asked if I would be interested in using my experience from that summer to help manage the social media and communications for MCA. The opportunity immediately interested me, and I was eager to learn more about MCA.
In early February, I met with Judith Romelus and went on a tour MCA. I was fortunate enough to tour MCA with Milwaukee Alderman Ashanti Hamilton and Jarett Fields, Adam Paige. Throughout the tour, I was amazed to see the close bond between staff and students at MCA. All throughout the tour, students and staff were engaging inside and outside of the classroom, and it became clear that all of the incredible student accomplishments that I was learning about are fueled by the MCA staff’s passion and commitment to the students. This is by design; MCA was built from the ground up to allow students to further their education in college. Most importantly, at MCA the students I met had put a remarkable amount of time and work into applying for colleges, and they all had acceptances into multiple colleges. For students at MCA, I learned the question was not “will I go to college;” rather, the question students are faced with is “what college do I want to go to.” MCA is a school that fits no existing stereotype. By simply walking through the halls, it is apparent that MCA is an environment where true learning is taking place and students are being empowered with the necessary tools to follow their passions in life.
The most rewarding part of my intern experience so far has been meeting current students and alumni of MCA. Just the other day, I was reaching out to alumni to see if they would be interested in writing an alumni story piece for the MCA blog. When I asked alumni over the phone if they would be interested in writing for the blog, I was repeatedly told that they would be thrilled to and that they would happily help MCA in any way that they could. It is truly rare that alumni have such a strong emotional connection to their high school, and it speaks volumes as to what makes MCA a one of a kind school. Few schools empower students to overcome obstacles in their life and peruse their passions like MCA does. I am excited to continue working with MCA as an intern and beyond so that more people hear the amazing stories the MCA community has to share, as I heard this year.