Paying it forward at New London High School.
While growing up, Justin Beaudin’s family lived for periods of time in France, Italy, and Egypt. But, says Beaudin, New London High School was where he felt most at home.
There, he teamed with classmates for robotics competitions, played in the band, and acted in school plays. And with the enthusiastic support of his teachers, Beaudin and his friends launched the New London Night Show, which aired on public access TV. With a bedsheet as a backdrop on which they painted the New London skyline, Beaudin bantered with guests and his friends struck up some tunes with drums and trumpets. They even offered cooking tips.
Aided by scholarships, including one from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Beaudin studied engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has since enjoyed successes in jobs blending engineering, technology, and media. Now based in Colorado, he works with the industry’s largest media companies to ensure hits like Star Wars and Wonder Woman make it to the big screen.
“The reality is, in the business world and especially if you are an entrepreneur who wants to do your own thing, a mix of creativity and science drives success. The two overlap all the time.”
“That was the inspiration for me to form the scholarship fund at the Community Foundation. If students can find that mix of science and creativity, I wanted to reward that.”
Beaudin credits New London High School with fostering those very skills in him. That’s why he was all in when his mother suggested the Foundation as a way to make college more affordable for young people at his alma mater.
In less than a week, he created the Justin P. Beaudin ‘01 Science and Creativity Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide a four-year award for a New London High School student this year, with more scholarships to come as his fund grows.
“The Foundation had a sense of the need, and I trust the counselors and administration at the high school to select students who will benefit,” Beaudin says.
Asked about the kind of student he aims to help, Beaudin reflected, “They’re trying hard in math and science but they’re also into drama, or they’re a great artist, or maybe they launched their own website. There’s a creative spark in them that pushed them to do something after hours.”
“I’d love to be one of those people that’s out there saying, ‘Good job. Good for you. Keep that up. Keep taking those positive risks in life.’”