Success Stories


Meg Cusack

Student Teacher: 2010-2011
Mentor Teacher: 2012
Dean of Faculty: 2013

“ My time at Summerbridge has changed me in so many ways, it’s difficult to identify the single, biggest way I’ve grown in the past four years. I feel in some way it is not so much that I find myself here again and again, but when I am here, I inevitably find more of myself – as an educator, a mentor, a person.”

Witnessing the Transformative Power of a Supportive Culture

During Meg’s first year as a young student teacher, a summer internship turned into an experience that began to shape her to become the educator she is today. Meg was surprised at the positive impact that she could have on students as she witnessed their exponential growth in self-confidence over a short period of time. Students who were at first extremely shy to speak up in class, by halfway through the summer were on stage performing confidently in front of a hundred of their peers and teachers. Meg witnessed first-hand the transformative power of a supportive culture; she realized that when students felt supported, they became more confident in themselves. Watching the 180-degree transformations each summer was an eye-opening experience, and was a fundamental influence to Meg as an educator.

Giving Back to Summerbridge as a Mentor to New Student Teachers

Many people ask Meg why she ended up at Summerbridge for so many summers. With all that she gained from the program, Meg felt compelled to return to Summerbridge to train and mentor the next generation of student teachers. As a Dean of Faculty, Meg strived to give the young teachers the experience she had: she spent hours brainstorming creative lesson ideas together with individual teachers and talked through strategies for building a positive and inclusive classroom. As Meg shared the skills and perspectives she learned at Summerbridge, she always kept in mind the importance of fostering the culture of support not only for the students, but for the teachers as well.

Taking Her Summerbridge Experience into Classrooms in Spain

Meg has served as an English teacher for four years in Spain and she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Education and Bilingualism at the Universidad Camilo José Cela in Madrid. Throughout her time as an educator, Meg credits her Summerbridge experience to have greatly influenced her teaching style today. In her classroom, Meg prioritizes creating a highly supportive environment for her students because she has witnessed how a lack of confidence can be detrimental to students’ achievement and growth. For instance, she sets the expectation to be on improvement and not on perfection, while consistently articulating that she believes in her students’ potential even when they don’t see or feel it themselves. It is her core belief as an educator that regardless of background, students can achieve more than they can imagine, especially when they feel supported and know that the people around them truly believe in their ability to succeed.