It’s because of students like Bralie Runge, CCES Class of 2017
— whose principles of kindness and gratitude validated in the ways that they give it back and pay it forward— that we have a more caring and cohesive school community. Gratitude has been on the mind of many of us at CCES here lately, in large part because of this student.
“I’m incredibly sad to think about Christ Church Episcopal School without Bralie Runge,” said her College Counselor Bartley Sides. “However, I’m excited to see exactly what she will do at the University of South Carolina, and I can guarantee that their campus will never be the same. Always beaming and always working to brighten the lives of others, Bralie exudes a positive attitude and concern for those around her. She lives and breathes the idea that others’ problems matter more than her own.” Bralie chose USC not only because of the amazing variety of opportunities it has to offer, but because she cared deeply about finding a school with a good community, a beautiful campus, and plenty of school spirit. She also applied to Texas Christian University, Auburn University, and Rollins College and received acceptance from all three. Bralie intends to major in Psychology and although she hasn’t decided where she wants to go within that area of study, it will provide her with the foundation for many careers.
Bralie has been a CCES student since the Lower School and in her words, “came into third grade to the open arms of so many students and teachers.” Bralie advanced through each grade and division demonstrating her high potential through her involvement, performance, and values in an exemplary manner. A member of the Track, Field Hockey and Basketball teams, Prom Chair and Hellenian Yearbook Editor as a Junior, Co-Hellenian Yearbook Editor and Student Council Representative as a Senior, a cast or ensemble member in several school musicals, and a member of Youth in Government and Spanish Club, Bralie credits CCES for giving her so many opportunities to explore and excel in areas she never thought she would. She took part in the CCES Ecuador Summer Mission Trip and co-planned the 2016 Race 4 Ecuador to raise money for the program Education Equals Hope. Her service to the community includes numerous volunteer and leadership roles with Young Life, and a Bible Study Leader as a junior and senior in which she volunteered to teach younger girls about the Lord. Her awards and achievements do not take a back seat to her other involvements and include the designations of both Honor and High Honor Roll, the Daniela Dacco Award, the Wellesley College Book Award, and Homecoming Queen in 2016.
It is perhaps her senior thesis and its bequest that will be her legacy at CCES. Her original idea was to write a paper on happiness and optimism, but it slowly evolved into a documentary on how to show gratitude and its great impact. “I have been raised to always say thank you and I love writing letters or thank you notes to people who have greatly influenced my life,” said Bralie. “I never really thought about how great it makes me feel to tell someone else thank you. Throughout my whole project process it has been so great to work with all three (school) divisions and see the impact gratitude can really make. It was truly such a fun project, which made me so grateful to have the opportunity to work with the whole CCES community and hopefully make a difference in people’s lives.”
JUST FOR FUN!
Favorite CCES memory? I started to think of our third grade play or the Disney Trip, Niagara Falls, Homecoming and Spirit Week, Prom, editing the yearbook, and so much more— CCES is the place that gives you the opportunity to make the most amazing memories with friends that I know will last a lifetime! Prom was my most favorite though. All the hard work planning the prom finally paid off with a great night full of dancing, friends, and lots of fun.
What makes you unique? I absolutely love supporting all my friends in whatever they do whether it be talking in church, playing on the field, planning a race, or acting in a play. I love how CCES gives me the opportunity to support so many people in all different areas. You will see me at any sporting event cheering my heart out or giving everyone on the team a hug after the game.
Tell us one of the things on your bucket list? I am obsessed with the Olympics and USA so it would have to be to go to the Olympics and meet an Olympian!
Name something this world could use a lot more of? Gratitude. We so easily go about our days taking things for granted and forgetting to let others know how much they mean to you. I hope everyone someday can be grateful for all they have no matter what situation they may be in.
If you knew you could not fail, what would you do? I would climb Mount Everest!