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 Alumni Spotlight: Auburn Grad Connects Students to College & Career Opportunities

6/24/2020 12:00 AM

​We're featuring RPS 205 alumni on the 205 VIBE! We caught up with Auburn High School graduate Bridget French, class of 1996. Before attending Auburn, she attended Welsh Elementary School and West Middle School. After graduation, she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Illinois State University, and she is certified in nonprofit management. Bridget lives in Rockford and works as the Executive Director of College & Career Readiness for Rockford Public Schools.

What's your favorite memory about attending school in RPS 205? It could be a class, an accomplishment, a teacher or event. What I remember most about my education at RPS 205 are the teachers who helped shape my experiences. When I think about my education, the teachers who I remember the most are those who made me feel important, like Mrs. Vetrono and Mrs. Caldwell at Welsh and Mr. Stokes and Mr. Stalter in high school at Auburn! When I think about these teachers, what made them memorable was not instruction, but that they made me feel like I mattered, and I belonged.

How has your time in Rockford Public Schools contributed to your success – whether in your career or life? When I was in middle and high school, my home life was difficult. School was a safe place where I could relax and be myself. When I moved back to Rockford after college, I became an advocate for RPS 205 because I want my experience to be replicated for all students in our district. I went to school with no intention to have a career in education, but my volunteer work led me here. I'm so glad it did. I am fortunate to not only be an employee of RPS 205, but a parent of two RPS 205 students. I want for them — and for all students — to know that we care deeply about them and their success.

Is there anything else you want to say about your time in RPS 205? I have advice for students: Join something. Our schools have so much to offer. Extracurricular activities make a difference! There are so many opportunities to get involved in something you love.

Listen to a 205 VIBE Podcast about the College & Career Academies:

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