Weekend Wisdom

Mel Balzano Gumina ’08

“Be a perpetual student and don’t be afraid to let your passions take you down an unconventional path.”
“My job never looks the same two days in a row. I can work at a federal agency interpreting meetings in the morning, then be at a hospital interpreting in the emergency department at night. I jump from college classes to baby swim lessons, from construction sites to rock concerts. I’m always learning, sometimes about seemingly random subjects, but it’s this thirst for knowledge and the desire to keep growing that makes me successful. I recently spent an afternoon with a colleague poring over a textbook on tort law, all in the name of an upcoming assignment. I’m always on my toes, and preparing to step into new environments is beyond thrilling.
“Kent Place encouraged my love of learning, and prepared me to dive in with both feet at the prospect of the unknown. It was also the kind of out-of-the-box thinking cultivated there that led me to interpreting as a career option in the first place.

“As a lover of the theater arts, I studied music and drama during all seven years I was at KPS. The longer I’m in the field of ASL interpreting, the more parallels I’m able to draw between acting and the work I do daily. It falls to me to convey the nuance in a person’s tone and the meaning behind a raised eyebrow. Knowing that the love for performing I nurtured in the Hyde and Watson Theatre is put to use every day in a variety of unique work environments makes me forever thankful for the education I received at Kent Place. I hope future graduates allow their passions to take them down unconventional roads and are never ready to stop learning.”

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.