Unification News for February 2002
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.
We have some exciting news about our school this year, and we hope that through this message you can better understand what we’ve been doing this school year. There have been many improvements at BIA this year, and we’d just like to publicize them and give you an accurate impression of our school. Please take a few minutes of your time to read the following.
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 influence, 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 Board and administration developed a number of names and then chose Bridgeport International Academy.
BIA as a Day School
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 several trophies), a Basketball team, and a Swimming team.
Clearing Up Misconceptions
Some people may believe 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 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 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.
Just recently, our school has been authorized to issue I-20’s, so that international students can receive F-1 student visas. This allows students from other countries to be able to attend BIA through obtaining a visa to study in the U.S. Also, there’s good news for those of you wishing to attend the University of Bridgeport for college. UB has just announced that students graduating from Bridgeport International are offered a 30% scholarship towards their tuition to UB. This means that through four years of attendance at UB, you can save over a year’s worth of tuition money.
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 cleansed 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 hope you can help spread the good news about 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.
Theodore Kirkley is a member of The Student Council; other members are Chris Breland, Alex Martinez, Chris Martinez, Josh Scazzero, Chi Pang Fan and Masjo Ward.
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