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Rachel O’Brien (she/her)

Rachel O’Brien (she/her)

Current Name:

Rachel O’Brien

Graduation Year: and years at MSSM?

2007. I attended 2006 & 2007 as a 5th year senior

Hometown/Sending School:

Biddeford High School

Where did you go after MSSM?

Unity College then Florida Institute of Technology for grad school

What are you doing now?

I work predominantly in non-profits with teenagers in inner-city Memphis TN. Currently, I am the director of a Boys and Girls Club for high school students where we focus on real life skills like college and career readiness, Financial literacy, social skills and just general adulting skills.

What is your favorite (or one of your favorite) memory from MSSM?

One of my favorite core memories was Music Appreciation Club with one of the RAs. Every week we would watch a new music documentary or concert as a group in the lower lounge. One time the RA Alex set it up so we could go to the top of the control tower at Loring to watch the DVD of the Phish concert, It.

What class/teacher most sticks out in your mind?

AP Biology with Zen. I failed the class, but Zen still instilled a deep love of biology and science in me. When I went to college I became certified in secondary biology education and have taught that very class several times.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your past self as you prepare for MSSM?

I would tell my 16 year old self to be less anxious and really live in the moment.

What role did MSSM play in who or where you are now?

At MSSM, I learned to define success in ways that were different from how I was raised. MSSM not only prepared me to be the first in my family to graduate college, MSSM prepared me to easily find success in any academically rigorous environment. Where I previously relied on my intelligence to skate by, MSSM differed because everyone is smart and the only skating is for the dummies who go outside during winter in the County. 

What is the best book/movie/tv show you can recommend to your fellow alumni? 

My favorite fiction book for young adults or prospective educators is Rule of the Bone by Russel Banks, my favorite nonfiction book is The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson. Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic for MSSM I watch Real Genius with Val Kilmer.