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Alumni
Alumni Stories

Zoe Cousineau ’20

U.S. Coast Guard Academy student Zoe Cousineau ’20 missed her Derryfield graduation in August of 2020 due to her early departure for bootcamp. For eight weeks, Cousineau and her classmates endured heat and physical strain during the height of a global pandemic. She fondly recalls her time as an Academy freshman, but was eager to get out of the first-year rank. Cousineau is a cybersystems major with a packed schedule. She plays on the women’s soccer team and directed the drama program’s show. Cousineau also works in external affairs at the Coast Guard Academy doing outreach and giving tours to prospective students. She remembers not knowing what she wanted her path to be after college until the end of her junior year at Derryfield. Two of her grandfathers served in the military, and she felt inspired to follow them and serve her country. A lover of the water and service initiatives, Cousineau found her perfect fit at the Coast Guard Academy: a school that challenges her mind, body, and spirit. When she joined the drama club, she thought she might land an acting role. Once she shared her experience in the field, they asked her to be their director. An Admiral presented Cousineau with a Challenge Coin, a representative token of special achievement, for her show’s success. She also won second place in a first-year essay writing competition using an essay that she began while at Derryfield. Cousineau says that Derryfield taught her how to effectively manage her time and to balance many responsibilities with great success. During the summer of 2021, she spent six weeks sailing on the United States Coast Guard cutter Eagle, a tall ship that serves as a training base for cadets. Cousineau has since been certified in engineering and damage control, as well as the correct protocols to correct crises on board. During her time aboard, she sailed from Iceland to Canada to Bermuda, and back to New London, CT. Cousineau says that even when a 4:00 a.m. duty shift calls, the gorgeous sunrise, endless sky of stars, and people she has met make the grueling program worth every minute. She is grateful to the Derryfield Community for encouraging her to follow this dream and to her teachers for preparing her to take on new challenges. She knows her values of grit and determination come from her seven years as a Cougar.
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