Alumni Connection – February

 In Alumni News, Press Releases, Vanguard Blog

The February Alumni Connection

The Quinius Family Feature

Swirling hearts, flowers, and chocolate candy seem to fill the air during the first few months of the year at Vanguard. Between Winter Glitter and Valentine’s Day, it seems that young love is in the air.

But every once in a while, that young love matures and high school sweethearts become lifelong partners.

Such was the case for Meg Quinius and Cole Robinson. The two met at Vanguard and began dating at the end of Meg’s sophomore and Cole’s senior year in 2004. “We kept dating through my junior and senior year, while Cole was at Baylor,” said Meg. “He even came back to go to Winter Glitter with me my senior year! How nice is that?”

Meg also attended Baylor, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. She went on to work for Nieman Marcus as a stylist for several years, before leaving to pursue a freelance career. Although she has currently put that part of her life on hold to stay home with their six-month-old son, Billy, she hopes to return to sewing and design from home in the future.

Cole worked in investment banking for Bank of America in New York City before returning to Texas and attending law school at SMU. Both Meg and Cole credit not only Vanguard for their introduction, but for their continued success in life.

“Vanguard taught me how to balance my free time, school work, and extracurricular activities which prepared me for all of the added responsibility that comes with being a college student,” said Cole.

She also credits John Perdichi for helping her choose the perfect career path for her. “He helped bring out my creativity and inspired my love for art and design,” she said.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 3.23.22 PMMeg is not the only Quinius sibling to go on to success after Vanguard. Her brother Blair Quinius, who graduated in 2001, and sister Kate Quinius Jones, who graduated in 2003, have both developed strong careers with their Vanguard foundation.

Kate attended Baylor after graduation, earning a degree in communications. She is currently teaching kindergarten in Midway ISD.

“I love teaching kindergarten because it’s a very important foundational year in school,” she said. “I love teaching children how to read, and I love to see the excitement when they learn something.”

She and her husband, Russell, have two children, Mary Caroline, (3) and Hunter (1.)  Some of the teachers from Vanguard whom Kate considers teaching mentors were Keith Henry, Andrew Hall, Dena Johns and John Perdichi.

“Vanguard taught me to be a very hard worker,” Kate said. “I love my job, and I love going to work; and I think Vanguard helped me understand the importance of hard work. I would tell current students to work as hard as they can! You will not regret it!”

Their brother, Blair, is no stranger to hard work, himself.

After graduating from Vanguard, he attended Southwestern University with the intention of pursuing veterinarian school. Instead, one year out of school, he found himself thrown in a very different direction.

“After working one year as a fifth grade teacher in Honduras at a small bilingual school, I decided to stay and do something more long–term in the community,” Blair said. “I ended up starting a ministry called UrbanPromise Honduras, which supports children and youth in under-resourced neighborhoods.”

The ministry provides afterschool programs for kids, and job-skills training and leadership development for teenagers. “We started with one afterschool program serving 30 kids and now six years later, we serve around 300 children through six different programs and employ 60 teenagers as young leaders,” he said.   Blair lived in Honduras for seven years, and just moved back to the Unitimage1 (7)ed States, where he and his wife, Lauren, settled in Nashville. He is attending seminary at George Fox Seminary with a goal of receiving a Masters of Divinity.

Blair remembers Vanguard as an environment that allowed him to foster great friendships. Among his favorite teachers were Keith Henry, Brad Livingstone and Sara Richie.

His advice for current Vanguard students: “Travel somewhere unexpected,” he said. “You never know where it will take you!”

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