Last Thursday, January 14, we hosted the second assembly in our new Middle School Alumni Speaker Series. To kick things off, our Alumni Office connected with four alumni from varying careers and diverse backgrounds to host this collaborative virtual assembly for our Middle School students. The topic for this virtual assembly was Alumni in Sports and featured presentations by Ibraheim Campbell '10, Dan Gargan '01, Kelly Flatow '90, and Dave Sims '71.
Our first speaker, Ibraheim Campbell, graduated from Chestnut Hill Academy in 2010 and attended Northwestern University. In 2015, he was drafted into the National Football League (NFL), starting his career with the Cleveland Browns. Since then, Ibraheim has also played with the Green Bay Packers and currently plays for the Indianapolis Colts. During his presentation, Ibraheim shared some of the obstacles he's had to overcome, including multiple injuries he sustained in college which impacted his ability to play and support his team. A poignant moment of wisdom he shared: "At the end of the day, life is less about what happens to you and more about how you react to it." So well said, Ibraheim!
Dan Gargan, our next panelist, graduated from Chestnut Hill Academy in 2001 and went on to play soccer at Georgetown University. He was drafted into Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2005 to play for the Colorado Rapids, but has also played for many MLS teams including Toronto, Chicago, San Jose, and Los Angeles. Dan is now the General Manager of the Lou Fusz Athletic Club in St. Louis as well as a commentator for Fox Sports. A bit of advice Dan shared in his presentation: "You have to work every day for your spot on the field...You have to be adaptable, and you have to be ready to face the adversity of something you have never seen before."
Our third speaker, Kelly Flatow, graduated from Springside School in 1990 and moved on to attend American University, graduating with a degree in Communication and Media Studies. She has worked for many major companies including Coca-Cola, Live Nation, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) where she is currently the Executive Vice President of Global Events. Her latest project ensured the success of the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida. During her presentation, Kelly shared a few pearls of wisdom: "There is no substitute for hard work. It is what sets you apart from anyone and everyone else...Be a sponge and learn something new."
Last but not least, Dave Sims graduated from Chestnut Hill Academy in 1971. He moved on to attend Bethany College in West Virginia where he played football and studied Mass Communication. Dave's career began as a sportswriter for the New York Daily News, but has expanded into sports broadcasting for Major League Baseball (MLB), the NFL, and college basketball. He currently is a full-time sports broadcaster for the MLB Seattle Mariners. In his presentation, Dave shared the challenges he experienced in being one of very few Black students attending CHA in 1967 and noted the changes and improvements the school has made since then: "At the time, and I look at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy now, and it's remarkable—the diversity is 1000%, maybe several thousand per cent, better than when I got there in '67 and when I left in '71." And yet, there's much more diversity and inclusion work to do!
A huge thank you to our accomplished alumni for spending their Thursday afternoon with SCH students!