Like so many people, Christopher Monde ’16 was forced to alter his original plans in 2020. On the brink of graduating from Elon University in May 2020, Christopher and his roommate went into quarantine for the remaining months of the spring semester. Fearful of exposing their families to potential illness, they completed their classes online from their off-campus apartment.
College graduation went virtual as well, with an online video message from the university president and a diploma received by mail. Christopher earned his B.S. in business administration with a minor in finance and sports management. He planned to take a gap year post-graduation and work for Moondance Adventures, a travel company that arranges trips for teenage groups. Instead he will pursue that work in summer 2021; he spent this past summer and fall in St. Petersburg, Fla., working in sales and marketing for his aunt and uncle’s fitness centers and is headed to Vail, Colo., to teach ski lessons this winter. Later on, Christopher plans to pursue employment in account management.
His adventurous spirit stems partly from his experiences at Holy Innocents’, where he was a student in the Program for Global Studies. In college he spent the fall 2018 semester in London with the Foundation of International Education. Students took classes for the first half of the term and then worked an internship for the second half. Christopher was assigned to a soccer (football) academy franchising company. He also traveled to eight different countries during the semester, enjoying activities such as paragliding in Switzerland and playing golf at St. Andrew’s in Scotland.
“Global Studies definitely had an impact on me,” he said. “The conversations in the classes stepped outside the HIES bubble. Mr. [Chris] Yarsawich pushed me in a good way, gave me confidence and made me believe in myself.”
An Alpha-Omega graduate, Christopher ran cross country in Middle School and Upper School. In Middle School he ran track and was on the wrestling team. In Upper School he and his dad coached his sister’s softball team. Christopher played violin from fourth through twelfth grades and was a member of the orchestra. He keeps in close contact with friends from HIES as well as Elon, which was the perfect fit for his college experience.
“Big schools aren’t for everybody and at smaller schools you get more attention from teachers and can be more of a leader in your community,” he said. “I loved going to a brand-new place with new people and had such an incredible experience.”
And now, he’s off to the next adventure. “I’m looking forward to the unknown. It will be rewarding to learn from new people and experiences,” Christopher said.