This month, Manhattan Country School welcomed two new alumni representatives to the Board of Trustees. Sophia Morel '94 and Adjowah Scott '92 have begun their two year terms, taking over for previous reps Harris Friess '98 and Nicole Letelier '94. Meet your new reps and hear about what they hope to accomplish in their new roles.
Sophia is the Senior Director of Education, Career and Enrichment Services at CASES
(Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services). She manages a department that serves youth and young adults who have been impacted or are at risk of being impacted by the criminal legal system.
Sophia spent ten years at MCS, from the 4-5s through the 8th grade. Her favorite memory is "all things Farm and Farm Camp. I attended Farm Camp every year I was allowed." She fondly recalls the parties in the rec room, complete with a boombox, walking into the town of Roxbury, and sleeping in the hay jump. After graduation, Sophia attended Calhoun for high school, followed by the State University of New York at Albany. She graduated in 2002 with a major in Communications and Rhetoric and a minor in Business Administration. She later attended Bank Street College of Education where she received a degree in Leadership in Community-Based Education.
Sophia currently lives in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan and remains connected to Class of 1994 friends Nicole, Amelia, Viviana and Jorge. She is also the caregiver to a rising MCS 9-10s student.
Adjowah is an instructional coach for Catholic schools in the Bronx and Staten Island via the Cooke School and Institute
. She supports teachers and administrators in developing and implementing the best possible strategies for working with children who have special needs. She also delivers professional development on a variety of topics to help build capacity in these schools.
Adjowah also spent ten years at MCS, starting in the 4-5’s. Her brother Asa ('92) and cousin Zenobia ('94) also attended MCS. Of her time at MCS, she says, "I have so many amazing memories. I cherish my experiences at the Farm as a priceless part of my education. The freedom we were given to think, create and believe that anything is possible still resonates with me and is at the core of who I am."
After graduation, Adjowah went to LaGuardia High School as a drama major, but says that her "transition from the small nurturing environment to a larger than life talent factory was extremely overwhelming." So during her sophomore year, she obtained her GED and enrolled at Nazareth College of Rochester where she graduated in 2000 with a degree in English and minors in technical writing and theater.
Adjowah lives in Queens with her partner James and son Xander. "I spend lots of time with family and still find myself connected to many folks from my MCS journey."
Q. Why did you decide to join the MCS Board of Trustees as an Alumni Rep
Sophia: I have been active as an alum over the last couple of decades. I go in and out of engagement. My two god children enrolled at MCS in its first year in the new 85th Street building, and I had a chance to interact with MCS as a caregiver. The opportunity to join the board is yet another way to engage with MCS. It was especially interesting to me, as a change leader, to come on board during this time of great transition – new director, global pandemic, shifts in education.
Adjowah: I decided to become an alumni rep based on recent adjustments in my life. With the onset of COVID I found myself with more time which made it easier to commit to the Board now.
Q. What are your specific goals for your tenure as alumni rep?
Sophia: As an alum, our voices are important to the mission of MCS. This is a chance to 1) have my voice be heard; and 2) find other alum who want to engage with MCS. I’m hoping to engage with alum and represent that community on the Board.
Adjowah: I would like to help build upon the cohesion that has already started. I really want to tap into those folks who are “missing” and have them reconnect with the legacy we carry. I am also hopeful that we can figure out ways to give back to the current MCS community as alumni in solidarity of its mission.
Q. What advice do you have for alumni to get involved or reconnected with MCS and why should they get involved?
Sophia: Like many alum, some of my dearest friends are people I met at MCS. Being engaged is an opportunity to also (re)connect with those other folks who shared this unique experience, the ones you don’t still talk to everyday! We are a small and mighty community!
Adjowah: My advice would be to just jump back in! Attend an assembly or contact your bestie from back in the day. Share a memory that will conjure up the experiences. MCS will be forever evolving but remember that much will remain the same. It is through the alums that the school stays alive.
Q. From your perspective today, what do you think is most valuable about MCS' mission and program?
Sophia: MCS supported the development of my voice and my confidence as a leader. Allowing students to lead their learning and encouraging critical thinking/questioning is integral to the mission of MCS. Couple that with the focus on social justice and that will never go out of style.
Adjowah: The inclusivity, self awareness and social justice.