Alum Returns to ACHS to Share Insights with Pathfinders
Seventeen years ago this August, Bryce Schintzius was in an orientation session at Amherst Central High School for his senior year as a member of the Pathfinder leadership group. An original member of the first Pathfinder group in 2000, he went on to experience success in college and in his professional career.
Now at 34 years old, the Pathfinders program still means so much to him. He returned to Amherst, this time as an inspirational guest speaker to kick off the Aug. 8 Pathfinder leadership training session.
"17 years ago, almost to the day, I was getting ready for Pathfinders," said Schintzius. "It means so much to me that Pathfinders is still here. It's hard to articulate why it's so meaningful, but it is."
He told the freshmen, juniors and seniors gathered for their Pathfinder and Trailblazer training that he has learned some lessons in adulthood that surprised him.
"People value authenticity," said Schintzius, a wealth management and tax consultant working in Boston, Mass. "No one hires me for how smart I am, they hire me because I bring my whole self to meetings."
He urged the students to bring their whole self to every interaction. He said he started making decisions about his health much earlier in adulthood than he thought he would when he was in high school.
Talking about the value of feeling good, he said, "the choices you make affect your overall life. Think about what you eat, what you don't put in your body, get enough sleep … so you don't miss out. You get to pick the type of person you want to be by taking care of yourself," he said.
"You also get to pick who you spend time with," he said, urging them to think about the kind of person they want to be and surrounding themselves with people who support them.
Heavily involved in the drama club and Operetta at ACHS, Schintzius, who graduated in 2002, said when he was young he thought everything would become clear when he was an adult.
"No one really has a plan and no one really knows what to do in every situation, and that's OK," he said.
He donated the orange t-shirts for the freshman Trailblazers and the junior and senior Pathfinders. All these years later, he still has the original black Pathfinder t-shirt he wore as a senior and wore it during his presentation.
He thanked the students for their service and for keeping the mission of Pathfinders alive.
The Pathfinder organization is a group of juniors and seniors who are leaders in the high school building. Selected through an application and interview process, they assist underclassmen with the transition to Amherst Central High School through homeroom visits, Adventure, and other activities throughout the school year. They play a crucial role in helping to run the Pathfinder's Task Force. They assist with selection of the teacher and student of the month, as well as visit board of education meetings.
As part of the orientation session, Mike Masters of Cross Training Athletics presented his "Training the Heart of a Champion from the Inside Out" program. He told students that whatever they give out, they will get back. "If you are genuinely authentic, you'll get it back."