Summertime and There’s Plenty of Music

This summer, Rivers’ jazz students have been attending a variety of summer jazz camps to advance their musical skills. Close to home, Calvin Carswell ’21, Kevin Kamanitz ’21, Calvin Smith ’21, and Jack Willard ’24, are all enrolled in the Rivers School Conservatory’s Summer Jazz Program, along with new Conservatory Program students, Frank Kasparian Weisman ’22 and Ethan Kasparian Weisman ’24. They’ve all enjoyed the mentoring of Rivers alumnus John Nydam ’15, a rising junior at Princeton University, who is majoring in music with certificates (minors) in jazz studies and computer science.


Alumni Golf for Financial Aid

More than 120 Rivers alumni, parents, and friends turned out for the 18th Annual Rivers School Golf Tournament to Benefit Financial Aid, raising more than $75,000 to help deserving and qualified students attend Rivers. The annual tournament provided a welcome opportunity for members of the community to reconnect on the Robert Trent Jones-designed course at Charter Oak Country Club, courtesy of the Daley family and other generous sponsors.

Jermaine Samuels ’17

JERMAINE SAMUELS has helped Villanova win the national championship. Over his four-year Rivers career, Jermaine Samuels ’17 tallied 1998 points and helped lead the Red Wings to an ISL title and two NEPSAC finals. The two-time ISL MVP was recruited by Villanova coach Jay Wright who described him as “an explosive athlete who can play multiple positions and is a gritty competitor.” Although Samuels missed several weeks due to an injury, he has been a key player off the bench during the Wildcats’ dramatic run at another NCAA title.

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Jen Berkowitz ’14

JEN BERKOWITZ Yale senior forward, Rivers Class of 2014, was named first team All-Ivy League for her role in leading their women’s basketball team to its first Ivy League Tournament appearance. Berkowitz, who recently racked up 1,000 points for her college career, is second on the team in scoring (14.4 points per game, sixth in the Ivy League) and leads the team in rebounding (7.3 rebounds per game, eighth in the Ivy League). She also has the league’s best field goal percentage (.556). She is on pace for career highs in all three categories.

Shaquor Sandiford ’12

SHAQOUR SANDIFORD hosted a panel for young people in his hometown of Chelsea this summer, drawing on the expert advice of fellow alumni and athletes Taariq Allen ’11, Ben Patrick ’11, and Azar Swain ’17. As part of the Chelsea Restoration Corporation’s “Village Talk” series, Rivers’ alumni talked about setting goals and working through setbacks on the road to success.


Rachel Hunter ’08

RACHEL HUNTER was named to Forbes Magazine’s 2017 annual 30 Under 30 list for the financial sector for her work with Apollo Global Management in New York City. Hunter, who graduated Phi Betta Kappa from Brown University with a B.A. in Economics and Public Policy and began her career as an analyst at Morgan Stanley, joined Apollo as an associate in 2014. Now investing in real estate debt for Apollo, she has closed 30 deals totaling $2.3 billion. “I hope to continue to grow, learn, and be challenged in my career,” said Hunter. “Luckily, finance and real estate are always changing and evolving so I don’t think that will be much of a problem!”


Brendan King ’12

BRENDAN KING was a standout pitcher at Rivers, a member of the undefeated football team that won the 2010 ISL championship, and played sax for the jazz band. After Rivers, he helped lead Avon Old Farms to the 2013 Founders and Colonial League baseball title and then took his pitching talents to Holy Cross, where he led the Crusaders’ starting rotation with a 4.35 ERA, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Patriot League Tournament. Last spring, Holy Cross captured their first-ever Patriot League Tournament title and punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1978. In June, King was drafted in the 20th round by the Chicago Cubs.


Ope Okulurede ’13

OPE OKULUREDE, a former School Co-President and member of various clubs and musical ensembles during her time at Rivers, was the featured speaker at the annual Leadership Retreat, a half-day program that prepares student leaders for the challenges they will face over the course of the year. Ope shared her ‘toolbox” of leadership skills with the students, like prioritizing commitments and understanding why a cause or activity was important to her.


Nicky Jackson Colaco ’97

NICKY JACKSON COLACO received Rivers’ 2017 Alumni Excellence Award for her successful career in technology and social media. For the past fifteen years, Jackson Colaco has been on the forefront of policy making for the world of social media, working at three of the industry’s most powerful companies—Google, Facebook, and Instagram, where she is currently Director of Public Policy. “My work primarily focuses on data privacy, speech standards, and online safety,” said Jackson Colaco. “It’s complex because in the offline world, countries have their own boundaries and policies. In the online world, there are no borders.”