Griffin Jusko

STUDENT, class of 2019

As a Chaminade High School senior, I clearly recognize the difference in a Chaminade education. My high school experience would have been completely different academically, spiritually, and socially had I made another choice. In 8th grade, after speaking with several Chaminade alumni and students, I knew I wanted to become a part of the Chaminade Family.

The summer before freshman year, however, I was filled with trepidation and apprehension about my upcoming four years. Would I fit in? Would I keep up?
3-C Week, an orientation program for all incoming students, quickly put my fears to rest. It is meant to emphasize three key components of the Chaminade experience: community, confidence, and commitment. Plato wrote, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” All freshmen participate in different team sports and school spirit activities with their peers. Students also attend classes to acclimate themselves to the school’s curriculum and technology. I soon realized that I wouldn’t have been happier anywhere else. All my uneasiness dissipated, and Chaminade truly began to feel like my “home away from home.” Effortlessly and unknowingly, lifelong friendships are formed during 3-C Week.

Chaminade teachers show a true passion for their respective subjects, and always generously offer their time to help us before or after school. These dedicated educators captivate, entertain, and motivate their students. In the last two years, our teachers have also introduced the use of iPad to use in class. We can easily access notes and textbooks, track and submit assignments, and collaborate with classmates. This technology has taken our understanding of lessons to a new level.

Now, we look to the new Dolan Family Science Technology and Research Center – a true game-changer on the Chaminade campus. This 34,000 square-foot state-of-the-art building includes computerized lab probes, a meteorological observation deck, 3D printers, robotics, hydrodynamic simulators and two Anatomage tables. The company calls them, “the most technologically advanced anatomy visualization system for anatomy education.” This affords students the opportunity to expand their interests in different capacities ranging from medical to meteorological fields. Students will learn how to use these devices to their full potential, preparing them for college and careers in science, health, and engineering fields.

Education and faith are woven together at Chaminade to create a well-rounded Catholic man. Students pray before each class and have the opportunity to offer their own intentions. Each day also starts and ends with a special Marianist prayer. Once a month, the entire student body celebrates Mass in the school’s Activity-Athletic Center. What a powerful experience it is to have more than 1,700 students and faculty praying together. This spiritual environment reminds each and every one of us that we are children of God.

“Looking back on my years as a Chaminade student, I often wonder where I would be without everything the school has given me.”

After school, extra-curricular activities have also proven to shape the person I am today. I am an anchor for the school’s live televised morning announcements and participate in the Chinese Club, the Social Studies Club, and the service-oriented General Student Organization (GSO). With the opportunity to develop a wide variety of interests, I find myself able to start and hold conversations with almost anyone on a number of different topics. I was chosen to participate in the Molloy College Business Boot Camp and was one of five students awarded a scholarship. I also parlayed my interpersonal skills into effective work habits outside of school as a lifeguard and camp counselor, teaching children how to swim and interacting with their parents.

Before coming to Chaminade, I spent three summers raising money for the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, which supports the families of hospitalized children. I began growing tomatoes and selling them from my driveway, with the proceeds going directly to the charity. In the fall of 2016, sophomore GSO volunteers from Chaminade helped me expand the idea, selling noshes and refreshments at a summer festival in Oyster Bay. Over the years, these fundraising activities raised more than $10,000 for the Ronald McDonald House!

Looking back on my years as a Chaminade student, I often wonder where I would be without everything the school has given me. Inspirational teachers, technology, and faith facilitate a motivational learning environment for all. Because of this, I feel confidently prepared to enter college and beyond, aspiring to be an elected official, investment banker, or commercial real estate developer. The lessons I have learned both in and out of the classroom have given me a solid foundation from which to grow. Our teachers, friends, and active alumni all over the world create the Chaminade Family of which I am so proud to be a part!