Portrait of a Fuqua School Graduate
For over 25 years, Fuqua School has partnered with families to prepare students to be well-rounded, informed thinkers who will thrive wherever life takes them and wherever they choose to go. Our graduates are impressive. Our graduates leave Fuqua School with more than just skills, habits, and attitudes necessary for succeeding in a challenging world. They leave as confident independent thinkers who pursue endeavors and learn from their successes and challenges. They demonstrate integrity and character. They value diversity and strive to understand and cooperate with others. They have learned how to seek and embrace opportunities in order to lead lives of passion and purpose both personally and professionally. The diverse career paths of our alumni show the potential of a Fuqua School graduate and where a Fuqua School education can make a difference.
Julia La Roche, a 2006 graduate of Fuqua School, currently resides in New York City where she has worked as a reporter for the last seven years. A major in Journalism and Mass Communications, Julia graduated in 2010 from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She currently serves as a senior writer for Yahoo Finance. Previously, Julia established herself as a finance reporter with Business Insider. Outside of the office, Julia volunteers with the New York Junior League. She is also a member of the New York City Parks Mounted Auxiliary, a volunteer patrol of equestrians serving as the “eyes and ears” of the city parks.
In 2014, Julia was crowned Miss New York and competed in the Miss United pageant. She is also a two-time New York City Marathon finisher. Julia has made several television appearances on ABC's "Good Morning America, Fox News, "Hannity," and CNBC's, "The Closing Bell."
"My best memories were that Fuqua was very much like a family, a family environment where everyone cares about each other.”
Former Fuqua Falcon, Boris Ngundji, believes that his Fuqua experience prepared him for life in college and in the "real" world. Boris, a 2013 Fuqua School graduate, went on to play the position of power forward for the Yellow Jackets men’s basketball team and graduated from Randolph-Macon College as a French major. He now works as a Contracts and Pricing Specialist at Owens & Minor in Richmond, Virginia. Boris also continues his love of basketball by serving as a high school basketball referee in the greater Richmond community. He says, "Fuqua was very supportive. My best memories were that Fuqua was very much like a family. A family environment where everyone cares about each other.” His favorite teachers were Mr. Custis and Ms. Stubbins, although Boris thinks all the teachers and coaches know the students and help them make the best of their time at Fuqua.
While at Fuqua, Boris played defensive line on the varsity football team as well as a power forward on the varsity basketball team. He also was a Youth for Christ member. Boris offers the following advice for seniors, “Just enjoy the atmosphere. The part I miss is definitely the people. Everyone at Fuqua is so friendly. They care about your personal life. Take advantage of it because it’s very different in college.”
"There is no other place on earth like Fuqua School, and there are no better people than Falcons.”
Jacob Alan Miller, a 2014 graduate of Fuqua School, says his time at Fuqua School allowed him to move forward and excel in his strengths and passions. Jacob says, “During my time in high school, and truly thanks to my Freshman English class taught by the incomparable Mrs. Womack, I was able to work at WFLO Radio in Farmville.” Jacob continued to work at the radio station through his college career for a total of six years. His experience at WFLO led to winning a Virginia Association of Broadcasters (VAB) Award for a documentary he produced in 2013 on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. While a student at the College of William and Mary in 2017, Jacob was also nominated for another VAB Award for his coverage of the 2016 Vice Presidential Debate held at Longwood University. Jacob states, “Because of my experience at WFLO, I became a better writer, and public speaker, all thanks to Fuqua School and the connections made there.
When asked about his experience at Fuqua School, Jacob says, “It truly was the greatest experience I could have had in any academic setting. The teachers, staff and friends were wonderful. My overall time at Fuqua School was filled with a positive atmosphere that permeated everything and it was where I learned to make connections and become the person I am.” After graduating from Fuqua School, Jacob went on to attend the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he graduated in 2018 with a degree in Government and a minor in Classical Studies. Jacob currently works on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as a Press Assistant for a Member of Congress from the South. When asked what advice Jacob had for future Falcons, he quickly replied, “As cliché as it sounds, enjoy every minute of the time you have at Fuqua School as much as you can and be as involved as you can. Above all, value each second you have at Fuqua School. There is no other place on earth like Fuqua School, and there are no better people than Falcons.”
"There are so many wonderful men and women at Fuqua, and in our community, that I know will always lend a helping hand to a fellow Falcon.”
Accountability, responsibility, and always be better than the person you were yesterday, are a few of the lessons Matthew Emerson has carried with him since graduating from Fuqua School in 2013. After graduation, Matthew had the opportunity to venture into the insurance business where he currently works as an insurance agent for Raymond Insurance Agency in Farmville, Virginia. Matthew says he hopes to own his own insurance agency in the future. Matthew is also a big believer in being an active member in the community, and he is presently serving as a First Lieutenant volunteer firefighter in Rice, Virginia, a position he has held for almost two years now. Matthew’s most recent community achievement was being awarded the "Ray Poulston Jaycee of the Year" award. Matthew said, “I truly enjoy serving others in our community and to be voted among my peers for such a great honor was truly humbling.” Matthew also stated he eventually would like to pursue being an instructor for teaching firefighter classes.
In addition, he is a member and the current Vice President of the Farmville Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees), a civic group of young professionals looking to develop themselves and others in the local community. Matthew displayed this type of leadership while he was attending Fuqua School where he played Varsity Football, Middle School and JV Basketball and was an active member of the FBLA and Youth for Christ. Along with fellow classmate Jacob Epps, they formed the student section in Gilmer Gym affectionately known as the “NEST”. When asked what advice he can give to current Fuqua School students, Emerson stated, “Make the most of every opportunity you can while at Fuqua. Though I am guilty of not always following this advice as a student, I was always glad to have a student, teacher, or alumni be of assistance at any time during my high school years as well as now. There are so many wonderful men and women at Fuqua, and in our community, that I know will always lend a helping hand to a fellow Falcon.”