TJ Ferri (Class of 2018)

What is something you enjoy doing and how has it shaped you?

“Soccer is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve played recreational since I was 8, but for some reason, I found myself to be a better coach than a player. So I try to apply this mentality to other aspects of my life. For example, every day I try to encourage/ push others to do their best so they can succeed rather than focusing on my own success above others. Because if you’re on a team or a place like TAMS – where you’re always together – you can’t only focus on yourself. You have to help the others around you. That’s the goal in soccer – communication with confidence – being unafraid to talk. “

Describe how you’re different from your high school and TAMS.

“A while back, I was so shy that I wouldn’t go up to anyone and introduce myself – especially at my old high school. I always asked myself, “What if they aren’t the best person to talk to?” I just didn’t have the guts. At TAMS, I feel like there’s more security. Everyone else feels what you feel, or at least something similar to it.

The weirdest thing happened at my old high school. I had this algebra 2 teacher and advisor who really pushed me to be the best I could. One day, I actually asked her if she was going to miss me. And surprisingly, she said, “not really”. I kinda felt bad and said, “Oh, ok. Is there a reason why?” She replied, “‘I want the best for you.” That reply really made an impact on me; I think it taught me that the best thing you can do for yourself is to take every opportunity you can get.

Classes here certainly do push us. The professors who I feel really care are those who push me above normal classwork. Professor Acree, for example; he definitely cares about our learning, especially TAMS students. He makes sure that we don’t have any questions that needed to be answered after class ends. And my peers here definitely push me to be my best as well, for me specifically in a social way. I don’t want people to feel like that they should be reserved just because they don’t know people they should be open about anything because we are one big family.”

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