The Edge, the high school seminar program at Chestnut Hill Center, is finishing its sixth year this May. The Way Things Work, a similar program, was held here for ten years prior to The Edge.

Both programs have been seeking to achieve a common goal, to help young men prepare for life after high school. We strive to help young men develop the skills and attitudes necessary to be effective in college and later on as a father, a professional, a friend and a citizen. We emphasize the importance of growing in character, and we try to weave into all the activities of Edge the value of growing in such virtues as fortitude, perseverance, and service as young men seek to become mature adults.

Many high school students have attended the Edge or one of the other educational activities here, such as the Sebago Leadership Camp, the CIT or Counselors in Training trip, or one of our summer enrichment seminars here. I thought I would highlight one of these young men, Paul Reilly.

Paul graduates from Boston College this spring. At BC, he majored in Operations Management at the Carroll School of Management, minored in Music, and soon will be starting a job in the world of e-commerce with a manufacturing company upon graduation. Paul was a camper in the Sebago Leadership Camp from 5th to 8th grade. He then was a counselor in the Camp during his high school years. During the school year he attended first, The Way Things Work and then The Edge. He joined fifteen other high school students from the U.S. for a rigorous service project in the mountains of Peru in the summer after his sophomore year. After high school, Paul traveled to Pamplona, Spain to spend his freshman year of college at the University of Navarre. Then he transferred to Boston College for the next three years.

Paul took some challenging business internships during summers of his college years. But he made time for assisting in the Sebago Camp and CIT trips, as an experienced advisor for the younger counselors. One anecdote: I heard that on one rainy night at Camp, Paul, without any encouragement from others, unclogged a plumbing system so the campers could take showers the next morning.

Paul graduates this year and will be starting his first full-time job even before college ends. However, he will still take a week off in late June to be the Operations Director of the Sebago Camp, working closely with Bob Sylvain, who has been the overall Director of the Camp for the past twelve years.

We are grateful to Paul for his service to the Center over the last twelve years. We hope he keeps coming back to share his experiences to the younger high school and college men.