Megan Edgar ‘97
Before I came to Gould Academy my world was small. I grew up in a small, northern Maine town. I associated with a small group of people. I went to a small school, play sports on a small team, and travel small distances. I'd been told the world was big, but didn't really know it. The big world was inaccessible, far out of my reality.
Then I received the Bingham Scholarship to go to Gould Academy.
I spent a long time in complete culture shock. I couldn't believe my peers. They knew so much. It wasn't just that they had a better education than me from the start; they'd actually been to the places we talked about. Some of them spoke several languages. Some of them were from other countries. They had parents who were real writers, athletes, doctors, and politicians. They'd had more interesting and unique experiences by age 16 than any adult had had in my hometown ever. I'd never known knew anyone like that.
Then there was the money. I'd never seen anyone buy six pairs of skis in one day without batting an eye. I'd never seen a Rolex. I didn't know people actually had dilemmas but which car was best for the weekend trip in the snow. I never thought about going to Tahoe for the weekend. Where was Tahoe?
And my teachers... In my small world, adulthood was drudgery. It was barely paying bills, raising kids you couldn't afford, and spending hours at a boring job you hated and had no ownership in. The message sent was, "enjoy high school. It'll never get any better."
The adults I met at Gould were happy. They liked their lives. They were active and fit. They were well-educated. They were navigating life in ways that demonstrated compassion, a sense of adventure, and fun. They made adulthood seem like something I could actually look forward to.
I distinctly remember the day everything changed for me. It was winter carnival. Kids were outside getting ready for a rowdy game of broom hockey. I loved hockey, but I was up in my room in Gehring Hall, looking out the window at a world I could not figure out how to belong in. And then it hit me. A single thought that changed everything. "They wouldn't have picked me if they didn't think I belonged here.”
So I put on my jacket and I went out and played hockey. People cheered for me. I made friends with the girl who would turn out to be my best friend all through school. It didn't matter that I was a poor kid from northern Maine. I knew that now. The path of my life was up to me, just like everyone else at Gould.
Today I work as a science teacher at a charter school in Maui that emphasizes hands-on field science. I've lived in Colorado, Florida, California, the British Virgin Islands, and Hawaii. I've traveled all over and have plans to travel more. I've worked as a dolphin trainer and spent a long time on the Atlantic researching humpback whales. I’ve taught skiing and trail rides in Tahoe. I love my job. I have fantastic friends from all walks of life. My world is big, and I have Gould to thank for that.