Alumni Stories: Danielle Brackett ’17
What do you love about Portsmouth Christian Academy?
I loved that the community of people at PCA gave me a group of friends that supported me and will last my entire life, and a network of teachers that supported and encouraged me both in academics and in becoming a godly woman.
Describe one (or more) of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she was a favorite.
One of my favorite teachers was M. Doucette. He taught French in such a way that we learned more than we thought we were capable of, but in a way that did not feel like we were being expected to do more than we were able to. I can honestly say that he made French fun, but more than that, he made the language and culture accessible to us in a way that I had never experienced before.
Another of my favorite teachers was Dr. Gamble. His passion for his students is unmatched. He truly loves each and every one of us and wants us to succeed, not only in history, but in life and to become godly men and women who will be lights in a world that is so often dark.
In what ways did you grow (spiritually, academically and/or developmentally) as a result of your experience at PCA?
PCA allowed me to grow in my faith, in a safe environment, surrounded with faculty and staff that wanted to challenge me in my walk with the Lord, knowing that my whole life would not be as simple as it was while in school. For me, PCA was a place to nurture my faith during the easy times so that I would be prepared for the hard ones. I learned apologetics with Mr. Morse and the overwhelming power of God’s love for me through my everyday interactions with my friends and teachers.
Academically, PCA helped me to develop perseverance in my studies, to work hard in everything I do, not just the things that seem worthwhile, but everything, and that if I put in my best effort, I can truly achieve anything.
Portsmouth Christian Academy’s mission is “to honor God joyfully by inspiring students to maximize their God given potential.” How did you experience this mission at PCA?
I was extremely blessed in high school, as there was very little that I failed at during my four years at PCA. I believe that in large part, it was because of the support I had from my friends and the faculty and staff at PCA. I worked hard because I wanted to work hard; I did not want to let down my teachers who believed in me; I wanted to do my part for the staff that had invested in me. I loved high school, and I know that not many kids coming out of high school say that, but it is entirely true. My time at PCA was wonderful because every day, I could look forward to being with a group of people that loved God and wanted to live their lives serving his purpose. The peers I had were truly awe-inspiring, in their faith and in their effort to do the best of their ability.
How do you feel that PCA prepared you for graduation, college, and life?
PCA prepared me for graduation, college, and life by giving me the basis of faith and community. I always knew I was loved unimaginably and always had a home to come back to. PCA gave me the courage of character and imagination to push myself and know that I would never be enough on my own, but through God, all things are possible. On graduation day I cried, yes, for my friends who I was leaving and the memories we shared, but also for the home that I was forever parted from, the 16 years of staff who knew and loved me as their own child, and for the community of faith that could not be replicated.
What would you say to a high school student considering joining PCA?
I would say that at PCA, you are not just going to school to learn and do homework. Obviously, those are things you are expected to do, but it is really a place to build your character, expand your perception of the world and learn to love learning. In a way PCA is a bubble, but it is not sheltering in the way that you ignore the outside world, but instead are able to view it through the eyes of a Christian world view and have help processing things that don’t make sense. The teachers really love what they do and are at PCA because of the students, not because of the paycheck. If you let them, they will do everything in the world to help you develop both your finite knowledge and your character.
What opportunities did you experience at PCA that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
The doors that PCA open are because of the character it builds in you. Qualities of integrity, perseverance, maturity and critical thinking will set you apart from other high school students. PCA students are opinionated and articulate, with a passion to change the world we live in. On the sports fields, in academic competition, and individually when away from school, PCA students have consistently been called out by others not attached to the school as not only high achieving but more importantly men and women of character.
Originally Posted: April 20, 2018