Michael Child ’24 Feels ‘Consistently Challenged’ at the Academy

It is not uncommon for a Christian Brothers Academy student to follow in family footsteps when ultimately deciding to attend this college preparatory school.

For Michael Child ’24, however, his family’s CBA roots run deeper than most. Child’s father, John ’89, was one of six siblings to graduate from the Academy, joining brothers William ’88, Kevin ’91, Thomas ’93, James ’98, and Ryan ’02.

With his father and five uncles having been Colts, it would have been natural for Child to have felt pressure to join the family legacy, but he says that was not necessarily the case.

“I can remember being pretty young and listening to my grandpa talk about how much he loved CBA, he spoke so highly of it,” Child recalls. “It is clear he credited a big part of the men that my dad and my uncles are today to their CBA education. It was ultimately my decision to come here, but there was never really a doubt. I am really glad I made the decision.”

The Bradley Beach native attended St. Catharine School in Spring Lake for the entirely of his grammar school years. With a strong Catholic school foundation, CBA’s commitment to students’ faith and service was a big draw for Child.

During his time at CBA, he has been a Lector and Extraordinary Minister of Communion for Masses, while also participating heavily in service initiatives.

“My faith has always been really important to me, especially always going to a Catholic school,” he says. “Getting to take part in the CBA faith community has been a real blessing. Probably my favorite thing I have done outside the classroom at CBA was a service immersion trip to Appalachia this past summer. Honestly, just a formative experience in my life. It definitely helped me realize I want to do stuff like that in the future.”

It is clear that Child has felt enriched by CBA’s offerings outside of his academic courses. Inside the classroom, however, he has been regularly at the top of his game.

Child is a National Honor Society inductee, as well as a 2023-2024 National Commended Scholar and a First Honors recipient every semester of his CBA career. While his academic accolades are impressive, he is quick to credit CBA’s classroom environment as a big reason for his success.

“I definitely have to call upon my AP Biology class freshman year with Mrs. Slattery, which threw me headfirst into what CBA academics and rigor really was,” he says. “I just happy because I am so much better because of it. It was really rewarding to find success in it and that definitely helped shape the path I would take.”

He also points out Mr. Cusick’s Creative Writing course and Mr. Villeta’s sophomore year English as classes that have played a significant role in his academic journey.

With his appreciation of CBA’s offerings, Child knew what he was looking for when browsing through potential colleges. He quickly zeroed in on the University of Virginia as his first choice and was pleased to receive the acceptance earlier this school year.

“I think I have been consistently challenged here, which is definitely what I was looking for coming into CBA as well,” Child says. “I think UVA offers that. I have had the opportunity to learn under some really incredible teachers here, so I am looking forward to hopefully making connections with professors at UVA. There are opportunities both academically at UVA and outside of that to continue to develop what I started at CBA.”

Child knows that his class days are numbered at the Academy and has tried to mentally prepare for the bittersweet feeling of leaving a place that he has so wholly enjoyed.

“It is definitely true that I will take it for granted because I am just sitting around all these kids in class every day and it doesn’t really feel like suddenly we just won’t see each other,” he says. “It is going to be kind of jarring when that happens. It’s the teachers who have helped me grow so much – and I really can’t thank them enough for that – but also the people I have met here. The little things like talking at lunch and in the hallway is stuff I don’t think I am really going to fully grasp until it is over.”

So when given an opportunity to pass on some parting advice as a graduating senior, what does he recommend to students coming up behind him?

“Everyone really wants you to succeed and everyone is here to lean on if you need it. I would just take all of it as it comes. Looking back, it is hard to really focus on anything but the positives, which I think is a sign of just how good of an experience it was for me. There are ups and downs, so if you kind of appreciate all of it, I think you’ll be better because of it.”

About Christian Brothers Academy:
Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) is a private, Catholic, academic preparatory school for boys located in Lincroft, New Jersey. Founded in 1959 and taught in the Lasallian tradition, CBA is dedicated to helping students become intellectually mature and morally responsible leaders for society. Through generous contributions from family and friends of the Academy, CBA awards over $2.3 million in scholarships and financial aid to current students. Experience the Academy at CBALincroftNJ.org.