Two educational stories to inspire others

Published 10:12 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2015

By Chris A. Quilpa

There are stories to be told and shared especially if they inspire and educate others, notably our young who deserve a good education.

One story that I’d like to share to our community is one that pertains to my two young adult children.

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Andrew and Tintin both attended Catholic elementary and high schools in Hampton Roads. Both graduated from The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Class of 2010 and 2012, respectively. Both love writing, drama and music.

Imbued with the love of God and spirit of community service, both have served in the Americorps program, after college. Both excelled academically. They have performed in school plays and also competed in various forensics competitions while in elementary and high school. Both received Presidential Excellence Award in Education.

Andrew, the older of the two, earned the National Honor Society medal while in high school. After college, he did one-year substitute teaching in Hampton Roads before deciding to work in Washington, D.C. He currently teaches IT classes to the underserved population there, while continuing to entertain theater audiences.

He has appeared in a variety of theater productions in Hampton Roads and Washington, D.C.

Years ago, Andrew performed in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. He also appeared at the Smithfield Little Theater.

Tintin, who has been to Germany, China and the Philippines, is back at UVA, pursuing a graduate degree in school counseling at the Curry School of Education, after working as a college adviser for two years at George Washington High School in Danville.

Last week, Tintin was notified that she has just won the grand prize in an essay competition by the American Counseling Association.

I was ecstatic when she told me the good news. I thanked God, congratulated her and then shared the news with our Facebook friends. She will be recognized at the ACA Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla., in March.

Back in November, I featured Andrew and Tintin, in two separate video interviews, on my YouTube channel. I asked Andrew about his acting pursuit. For Tintin, I asked why she chose school counseling as opposed to other graduate school programs. She said she loves working with students, and helping them pursue their educational goals.

Every other Sunday, Tintin drives home to Hampton Roads to share her musical talent and skills. She plays piano during church worship service at one of the United Christian Churches in Norfolk.

As a parent, I couldn’t be happier and prouder for my two children. I feel successful when I see them succeeding in life.

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at