Bellarmine Application Essay

30

960 W Hedding St
San Jose, CA95126
(408) 294-9224

Bellarmine College Preparatory is one of those schools that you prepare your son for years in advance. The school's motto of "Men for Others" goes to the core of the school's mission and Jesuit Catholic identity. Principal Meyercord runs what is one of the best high schools in California. Located in San Jose's College Park the school took over University of the Pacific's old campus in 1925 after they split from nearby Santa Clara University. Tuition is $18k a year, but they give $4 million in financial aid a year. The school works hard to have a student body that reflects Silicon Valley's diversity, which includes students who's families wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford it. They accept around 400 students a year, with 300 coming from the 30+ Catholic schools in the area and the other 100 non-catholic students coming from Challenger, Harker, Stratford and public/charter schools in the area. It is the only school with it's own Cal-Train College Park train station (Jack London's Call of the Wild fame) bringing students to school as far away as San Francisco and Gilroy. The 2 leading candidates for the upcoming mayor of San Jose race are both Bellarmine graduates, and even agreed to host a debate on the campus of their alma matter run by the students. SF's Riordan, Concord's De La Salle and San Mateo's Junipero Serra are the only other all boys academic institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area that I'm aware of.

This campus has been hosting students from the mid 1800s to today. Is is one of the few all male Jesuit high schools left in California. It is a unique institution that prides itself on community service, the arts, science, and sports to name just a few. I found the faculty and staff to be dedicated above and beyond what is required to give their students the best education they can. It is impressive. A very nice campus hugging the train tracks that take you to San Francisco and all places in between.

Bellarmine is the best school in the Bay Area for boys, no competition. From sports, esp, football, soccer, water polo, track, lacrosse, and more to world class debate and robotics, Bells are without argument hard to beat. The teachers are the best, and Jesuit Fathers are mentors to the boys. The motto "a man for others" means something. My older son went through the "esteemed" Palo Alto High School which focuses much more on how to get ahead. And cliques? Found in all schools, at least Bell has true school spirit and many of these boys will not only be lifelong friends but will immediately upon graduation be part of a special group of men who do give back and care about the community (such as recent San Jose mayoral election-both candidates were Bells ). So thankful my son got in! Go Bells!!!

Bellarmine College Preparatory is an experience that, if you let it, will dramatically impact who you become as a man. The experiences & education you receive as a young adult have a significant impact on how you view & interact with the world as you mature. Investing your formidable years wisely is imperative. My appreciation for Bellarmine is well deserved. This high school assisted me in living the life I desired. Particularly, the value of learning through history & research, appreciating and utilizing creative thinking, ethics, the concept of constantly questioning what is considered normal, and that no matter what you focus on (business, arts, math or science) that all skill-sets are equally important & can be mastered following a simple method of questioning, research, hypothesis & discovery. No matter the man you want to be, BCP will support you. Tip - It's true, no matter what high school you attend, your social experiences will depend on how YOU interact with people.

Academics: Anything involving reading or writing (like English, History, etc.) was top-notch. Nearly all teachers in those areas were very passionate and very knowledgeable about their subjects. I wrote term papers in high school there that I later used again at university, so I have to give Bellarmine high marks here. Anything involving calculation (like Math, Science, etc.) on the other hand, was not so hot. Honorable exemption to Mr. Mike Janda, whose Chemistry class was top notch. However, most math and science classes were arguably inferior to the better schools on the west end of Greater San Jose (an arc from Los Gatos to Palo Alto). I used to ask fellow students from those areas why they were stuck in "The Bell" and not out in "The World". However those of us who would have otherwise gone to San Jose Unified and East Side Union high schools, which were often crime and gang infested, knew very well why we were Bells. Academics in those public schools were clearly crap. Disclaimer: I did my time in "The Bell" a while back; and Bellarmine math and science teachers and classes may have dramatically improved in the last decade or two. Heck, maybe even San Jose Unified and East Side Union high schools have improved since then, although the odds of that are much less favorable. Social: To put it bluntly, the social situation at Bellarmine sucked. The big suck. Most of my peers were like characters out of the novels "Lord Of The Flies" and "The Chocolate War". Every high school has its cliques and its bullying, of course. But in "Bell Hell", thuggish behavior in the name of "school spirit" was at least condoned if not encouraged. Call it "School Sponsored Terrorism". I gladly lost contact with most of my peers from those days, although in fairness the few I do stay in contact with are and will remain lifelong friends. Although again, in fairness, this might have been better than one of the San Jose Unified or East Side Union high schools, with their gang problems and whatnot. Political: This one is touch and go. As another reviewer noted with respect to Bernie Ward, certain Jesuit "teachers" have pretty warped political agendas, although in fairness most do not. But watch out for creeps pushing warped political agendas. You will get enough of that in universities later. So for current and prospective students: (1) Just focus on the academics. (2) Don't do extracurricular activities (unless you really *want* to do a particular one) and resist any social pressure to join; for college transcripts they are really overrated. (3) If you still find yourself with spare time, get a job--no matter how menial, you will learn a lot for a teenager, relatively speaking. (4) Meet girls on the internet--I wish I had it back in the day. School sponsored events in this realm are pathetic. (5) Avoid the "teachers" pushing warped agendas as much as possible. You will recognize them easily.

Class of 2014 reporting in. This is a bit early but I have a bit of spare time, here it goes. When I stepped onto campus 3 years ago, I felt so awkward. Everyone was bigger than me, a tiny, fat kid who had no clue what he was doing. My big brothers (essentially upperclassmen who advised us) told me to cherish Bell cause it would go unimaginably quickly. I did not believe them. And I was wrong. When I was in middle school, I didn't like going to school. I don't think that's rare. Most kids don't look forward to attending school. When I wake up in the morning, I want to go to Bell. It is my home away from home. It has been my community, my retreat, and the people who make up this community - this home - are truly my brothers. As a member of the speech and debate team, I have seen firsthand what it means to support one another. How to be caring. How to help a friend cope with a loss after he spent his whole year seemingly for nothing. But I have also seen incredible joy at the excellence of our team. But it's not just the team. In fact, to call the speech and debate kids a team is interesting, because Bell itself seems to be a unified team. I have never felt more comfortable anywhere in my entire life. These guys, the Jesuit attitude, it changes you. I went from a kid who hated his life, hated himself, and was scared of the world to an outgoing person who has learned to cherish every moment because...well...3 years have already gone by. The fastest time of my life. But beyond the community...the teachers blow my mind. They are so, so, so very dedicated. I can honestly say, every class at Bellarmine is either incredibly fun or extremely educational - and more often than not, it's both. For example, math isn't really the most interactive and fun subject in the world - yet it's taught so excellently that I look forward to going to math everyday because I know I will emerge as a smarter student. The staff. Phenomenal. Thanks so far Bell, and here's to a sick senior year.

As I sit in the quad waiting for the graduates to march down the path, I had a chance to reflect. We are shaded by huge trees, neatly manicured grass, and roses in bloom. The new Sobrato center is going up, way too late for this class of 2009 to enjoy it. I look over and see my son, sitting with 360 of the brotherhood now know as the Class of 2009. These are the future civic, business, spiritual, and athletic leaders of Santa Clara Valley; they just don't know it yet. Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, you name it...the roll call is a list of impressive schools that these men will be populating next fall. The outgoing Principal, Mr. Pierotti, said it best in his graduation address..."Schools such as Bellarmine are designed to be difficult...to make things intentionally hard...because you will be tested..." I felt proud being a father of a Bellarmine College Preparatory grad. Why pay $14k a year for an education you could have received for free? It's the quality of education, the spirituality, the brotherhood, and the commitment to community service. That's where people are wrong...you can't get this experience for free. It's an investment I'll gladly make over and over again. Go Bells.

Went here for a year, LOVED IT only thing that sucks was the bible class...boring shit

Imagine high school with no girls- the boys of Bellarmine don't have to, they live it each day. In their prayers, I reckon they ask the Good Lord for strength to weather the challenges of an all boys school. Bellarmine Prep's boys club education is an ancient relic of time when elite schools (like Harvard, Yale) were all male. 19th century Ivory Tower chancellors, like Charles Eliot and Ted Woolsey, believed that men learn better together with men, than with women. Today The Bells can back up that proposition with so many grads matriculating to Stanford, Berkeley, Cal Tech and other top colleges. San Jose parents agree to $14k a year, to secure a spot at top schools but also to empower their boys with weapons against the secular world. The Jesuit elders, from St. Ignatius of Loyola (c.1540) on down, believe Bell boys should develop into "Men for Others." Daily prayers and Bible studies inject conviction to their Catholic beliefs. Extensive service to the community allows the young men to practice the school credo of sacrifice. And aside from academics and service, the men of Bell are among the premier athletes of Santa Clara County. Though it will cost you dollars and dates, a graduate of Bellarmine is a man prepared for life; a man for all seasons.

I took summer school here for SAT prep courses and Pre Calculus. Everyday students started off with a reading from the bible. The teachers are really cool (Mr. Bliss and Ms. Zabinski) and really know what they're teaching. The SAT writing prep didn't really help for me, but I did get some tips on how to write an essay under 25 minutes. I really enjoyed Pre-Calculus as oddly as that sounds (probably because of the awesome students I met there). there is a 15 minute break in between the two classes where students can hang out (the campus is really nice) and buy food from the cafeteria. i don't think the summer classes helped me that much, but i enjoyed my experience here meeting students from all over San Jose. :)

I lack the vocabulary without using profanity to sharing my disdain for Bellarmine. A huge regret that I did not protest much more against my parents for sending me here. Yes, I did graduate. Yes, I am fairly successful but that is despite of Bellarmine, not because of them. I cannot help how much further along I would be in life if I had gone to a more traditional school. A school where there is a sense of community and have social life that is along the same social strata as my own family. I am not Catholic and I feel that they were prejudiced against me for it. Also, Bernie Ward, the disgraced talk show radio host due to his predilection for child porn, taught there at one point. He as crazy a leftist as they come, on par with Stalin or Mao Zedong. There were also many leftist policies being forced upon the students. In the end, brainwashing a captive audience to a teachers line of thinking is something I would call "mental molestation." It may not be illegal, but should be along with physical molestation.

I am a parent of an existing Bells Junior. Yes, the school is tough, and it really prepares the boys for college and life. Recently I bumped into a Bells grad, and he told me that the subject he took at Bells, the professor at UCLA had exactly the same lecture materials, so he got an easy A. I also bumped into an alumni from Bells few years ago when I have not decided to put my son there. He is a dad now, and he told me the Bells experience was one of his best time in life. I also bumped into an Intern at Stanford doctor's office last year, he was a Bells grad and went to Stanford with his 4.6 GPA + Water Polo, he was applying to Harvard Medical School, very nice gentleman with a bright future. I also like the fact that Bells prepares young men to help others, and going to the world. It is not easy, but better to prepare than sorry. Too many good things about Bells that I cannot put them all here! Yes, no school is perfect, but at least Bells is closer to perfect! Go Bells!

Bellarmine is like a great parent: the good things are so numerous and hard to describe that it would take too long to explain and even then it probably wouldn't do the school justice. Still, no one is perfect but Bellarmine is as close as you can get. Responses to other Yelp!ers: Charissa I. re:The Bellarmine Freak... PRICELESS! This is a great example of some of the detractions of the single sex environment. The fact that you still see this in 21+ clubs probably has less to do with running into aged Bellarmine graduates and more to do with the demographics of Man-Jose! Sebastian M. - I was Scott Petersen's year! Congrats to him. He deserves it after the unfortunate incident in Modesto that tarnished his good name!

I graduated in 1994, and 15 years later now I can still say that I wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere else. Bellarmine education got me into UC Berkeley, and the skills and knowledge I gained in high school still serve me well today as a successful small business owner. The English department in particular at Bellarmine is especially top-notch. Socially, I had friends both male and female outside of school, and I don't think I ended up becoming socially inept. Afterall, I did end up getting married despite whatever "weirdness" i developed in an all-boy environment. Anyway, my son is 4 years old, and I'll look forward to bringing him there in 10 years. I hope he'll be smart enough!

I'll admit I'm very biased here but in my opinion, Bellarmine is the best high school in San Jose, maybe only Harker comes close (Harker is really a great school too, especially with their new sports facilities). The South Bay practically runs on Bell grads. It's like a mini-Stanford with the best facilities imaginable for their kids. They have an awesome gym, science building, theatre, library and college-level pool. No parking however and because of that I took the bus home until I was a senior and was able to get spots to park. I could tell you some amazing bus stories my friends and I took. Looking back, I think I learned almost as much about life from the bus as in school. For example, no matter who sits near you just smile, don't say a word and above all make yourself as invisible as possible. You'll stay safer and avoid a lot of unnecessary hassles. That also applies to a lot of other things too. It is not cheap and the chances for getting your kid in here are really low but if you are one of the lucky ones, you will go to a top college. 99.5% of the Bellarmine graduates go on to college according to their statistics. I transferred around and graduated from UC Berkeley, then have taken several courses at Stanford. None were as hard as any of my Bellarmine classes, because actually Bellarmine is a college, not just a college prep. I took actual college courses my senior year and got a great head start. So the competition and class requirements are high and the athletic program is maybe the best in all of California, especially in football, volleyball, swimming and soccer, but they also have a great scholarship program for low income students because the alumni are so generous with their time and money. Everyone says their school is the best but Bellarmine Prep, Harker, Castilleja and Harvard-Westlake are probably the best high schools in the state, no bragging, just fact.

The best education money can buy. Didn't appreciate the thousands of dollars my parents wasted on my education every year until I got halfway through college and realized why I didn't have to try as hard as my peers. Thanks mom and dad, but at this point in life I would have taken the down payment on a house instead... Would get five stars if it was co-ed. Unfortunately, Charissa is right about the bellarmine freak. sigh...

I admit that I only went here for summer school (kinda female) but it was a great experience! Loved it, well taught and helpful!

the positives far outweight the endless taunting and gay jokes. drove by the old alma mater the other day. reflected on the idyllic halcyon days of high school...when we were young ''men for others'' with our whole lives ahead of us... wait, f that. high school sucked. but how many people's high school experiences were that great? and most of them didn't have to go to an all-boys school. however i am realizing now more and more the value of this school and others like it. as i run around in the Valley (and across the country) i run into fellow alums and there is an instant connection and credibility built on that shared experience. bellarmine prepares kids for life in the real world - provides endlessly applicable and transferable skill sets.

I went here. Got me into USC. Can't really argue with that. Best teachers I've ever had. If you get a chance to send your son(s) here, do it.

It is what you make of it and you have to give to the community to get something out of it. No doubt there will be some negative reviews and a few jokes. However, the opportunities are there for you if you take advantage of them. I don't think anyone can argue with that.

Да, Клаус женат. Но он очень толстый. Жена отказывает ему… ну, вы понимаете.

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