Alexandra Doering-Dorival '96

March 2018
I will start by saying I'm not your typical Brearley success story. I have the same marketing job I've had for 17 years. I was married for 10 years with no children, and we are now divorced. I live a comfortable life in NYC, and don't take many chances.

But Brearley showed me that I can do what I want to do.

I was a full scholarship student (mixed race; lower middle class) when I joined the student body for high school in the mid-90's and quickly realized that I was very different. My parents wanted my brothers and me to go to private schools for HS, but didn't have the money to pay for them, so I didn't do Prep for Prep like the rest of the new students; I don't think they knew about programs to help me figure out the private school system. It took a little while, but the faculty and students at Brearley made me feel like one of them, like I could open up and be who I wanted to be (or as much as you could be at 14!).

I remember my 10th grade English teacher introducing me to Toni Morrison. My 11th grade English teacher getting me to love Shakespeare. My 9th grade Chemistry/10th grade Physics teacher (who was also my faculty mentor) telling me that a mole was not just an animal (it's 6x10 to the 23rd power, if memory serves). One of my drama teachers (Robert Duke, who OMG is still there!) encouraging me to do what I love doing!

I had the courage to be a theatre major in college; to start boxing; to volunteer (even though I am very introverted and kind of shy) at many Pride events in NYC; to use my life story to teach others; to realize that who I am is a beautiful, strong woman who doesn't need to prove herself to be validated.

I am thankful to Brearley for these things and more, and I appreciate Ms. Foley Fried's introduction to the latest Bulletin. Thank you for the opportunity to write!