Unification News for December 2001
Bridgeport International Academy
by Theodore Kirkley
I am a second generation from New York who is currently attending Bridgeport International Academy (formerly known as New Eden Academy or NEA). Our high school was set up and ordained by True Father and True Mother five years ago, and it is situated on the University of Bridgeport campus in Connecticut. There have been many improvements at BIA this year, and we hope that this will help to give you an accurate impression of our school, or even encourage you to enroll here for the spring or fall semester for 2002.
In the process of creating a new school there are always hindrances and problems that must be overcome. BIA was no exception. The change in our name and transformation into primarily a day school (instead of a residential school) has created a new beginning for us. This new year brings many new and exciting changes to BIA, and we have much to be proud of.
But first of all, I'd like to explain the reasons behind our name change. The Board of Trustees of NEA decided that we should open our school doors to people who aren't only Unificationists to broaden our appeal, while keeping a strong emphasis on morals and character education as we always have. They decided a more universal and less sectarian name was needed. The administration and faculty developed a number of names and then, with True Father's approval, chose Bridgeport International Academy.
Along with the new name came the removal of our old residential school system. It is now nearly all day-students, who live at home and come to school for only the day. This means that there is no longer a dorm, and new students will need to find a family for homestay. Homestay means that they will reside with a local family in Connecticut during their enrollment at BIA. Even with this change, however, the students and staff here are dedicated to finding eligible homestay families. If you are interested in attending our school, it is very probable that we can find a family you could live with.
Now, to explain a bit about what Bridgeport International exactly is, let me start by saying it has always been a college preparatory high school. In other words, it is a high school that resides on a college campus and gives students the opportunity to take university courses for actual college credit! In this way, BIA students have the opportunity to get high school and college credit at the same time. A few students are graduating after their junior year, because they have enough cumulative high school credits to get a diploma. BIA also has access to every one of the university's facilities, including a large gym, a gigantic nine-story library, an elaborate dining hall, and the various events and festivities that are held on the campus. There's a lot to offer here that most high schools cannot.
In addition, the recent developments from this year have been quite remarkable. BIA has an active student council that has already completed two successful fundraisers. In October, we held our annual Haunted House for the blessed children around the area. We've also set up various extra-curricular activities and three active teams that compete against other high schools in the area. These are the debate team (that has already won a trophy), a basketball team, and a swimming team.
Some people may think that our school is not a professional high school, but that is completely false; we have official approval from the Connecticut State Department of Education. The school curriculum fulfills the state's standards, and we have always been graduating students with legitimate high school diplomas. All students are required to take the PSAT and the SAT tests, just as in other high schools. Some may also think that BIA is located in a dangerous place but that is all not true at all. The students are very safe because UB employs a very professional security system called Burns Security, which is rated as one of the best security systems in the world. The area around the University is also quite safe. It has been improving in recent years, and no local residents have harmed our students for the entire five-year history of the school. People also may think that BIA's students are not motivated about their education. But let me assure you that this is also false. This year, even more than in previous years, our students have a great deal of incentive to study and graduate with honors and extra credits. Students have been participating in extracurricular and community service activities, as well as attending and working hard in class. Our greatest achievement this year is the fact that all the students are serious about their education.
The mission of this school has not changed from the day it was formed. We want to make it known that the faculty and student council have continually been striving to provide an excellent learning environment for Blessed Children that is purged of the problems and secular influence of everyday public high schools. We believe that our school provides a purer place to learn. If we had more students, we would be more able to operate this school well and fulfill True Parent's expectations, so we encourage you to consider us.
In closing, we would like to thank you for your support and your consideration, and we implore you to change any previous misconceptions of our school. Please keep in mind how far we've come this year. If you would like to learn more about Bridgeport International, please contact me at the student council's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. And you could always contact the school by calling (203) 334-3434, email email@example.com, or through the mailing address: Bridgeport International Academy, 400 Linden Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06604.
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