Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting to Know: Anthony DeRita '14

In today's post, Mr. Turner '00 chats with Anthony DeRita '14 (Blackwood, NJ) about his time at the Prep and what lies ahead.

As a talented eighth-grader from Blackwood, NJ, Anthony DeRita '14 had some options before saying yes to St. Joe's Prep. It came down to one thing for him: diversity. And as Anthony, a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, completes his last semester at 17th & Girard, the Prep's blended community is still his favorite thing about the place.
Anthony DeRita '14

Why the Prep?

The Prep is so different from where I come from. When I interviewed with Mr. McCloskey for my Ignatian scholarship, he asked me a similar question and I said diversity. So I'll stick with that answer. I come from South Jersey and I love the area, but I just wanted something different.

What do you want your Prep teachers to know, now that you're almost done?

I am so grateful. I would say, "Thank you for everything you've done" and that I'll be back soon to say it again.

What do you enjoy most about the Prep's faculty?

That's tough because I can only pick one thing - but I truly enjoy the faculty-student relationships. For example, Mr. Fitzpatrick's (Physics) availability and dedication are remarkable. I can show up before school, during a free period, or after school and find him offering extra help in the lab. Mrs. Primick's (Classics) willingness to incorporate creative projects into a strict AP Latin curriculum is also inspiring. I even wrote a college essay (ahem, Harvard) about it.

Have you applied to other colleges?

Uh, yeah. Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Stanford are the so-called top-tier schools I've applied to. I've also received full scholarship offers from Northeastern, Temple, and Fordham. I'm still waiting to hear from a few others.

When you're not applying to the nation's top institutions of higher learning, how do you spend your time?

I'm president of the Forensics Team (speech and debate), I'm involved in Cape & Sword (drama), I'm a student officer for Breaking Barriers (club advocating inclusion and tolerance), a co-editor for the Hawkeye (student newspaper), and I'm on the Mission and Ministry Board (student retreat leaders/organizers). I'm surprised, however, by how much free time I have. I hang out with friends, go to the mall, and some days I just sit around and watch TV. My three main shows right now are: Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and American Horror Story. I'm a big cinephile, too.

Any plans for the summer?

For the fourth summer now, I'll be working at Morey's Pier in Wildwood, NJ. I love that job so much. I meet so many young people from around the world - mainly East Asians and Eastern Europeans.

Finally, why should a family consider St. Joe's Prep?

It's not just a school, it's a community. It's easy to market the statistics - how many AP's we offer, what our average SAT scores are, and so on. It's a little harder to articulate the brotherhood that exists here until you experience it. But it's here, for sure.

This blog post was written by Mr. Ed Turner '00, Director of Admission.

Image credit: PowerSchool