Abigail Cohen '98

Where do you live and what do you do?

I live in Boston, MA, in the South End. I am currently the Assistant Dean for Accessibility and Assistive Technology at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. This is my first year in this position. Prior to that I was a School Psychologist.
 
Why do you choose to support Shore and The Shore Fund each year?

I was at Shore for 10 years and gained a great deal from my experiences there. Mr. Bowden lent me books he thought I would like and helped me move beyond the curriculum. Mr. Wright fostered my love of math. I still say “to get her” in my head when spelling “together” because of Ms. Deschamps. Mrs. Barbato made everyone feel special, whether it was through tea in her office, or smiles in the hallway. Shore was not a perfect experience, but it helped make me who I am today and I am thankful for all of the tools it gave me.
 
What inspired you to make your first gift as a Shore graduate?

Honestly, my family always taught me two things: “Tzedakah,” always give to those in need and to worthy causes; and to value your education. In my religion, Judaism, you are supposed to give 10% of your earnings to tzedakah/charity each year. When it comes to picking worthy causes, Shore is an easy choice. Shore strives to bring out the best in each of its students, suum quisque optimum; of course I want to continue to support that valuable education goal.
 
What schools did you attend after Shore? How did Shore prepare you for future learning and your career?

  • High School- Concord Academy ‘01
  • College- George Washington University ’05 (B.A. - Political Science)
  • Grad School- Fordham University ’10 (M.S.Ed., C.A.G.S. - School Psychology)
  • Harvard University ’16 (Ed.M. – Education Policy and Management)
Shore helped me with the basics – organizational skills, how to structure an essay, Latin roots – however it wasn’t until I started working in education that I realized how lucky I was to be given the opportunity to gain these skills while at Shore. Students often arrive in high school, and college, having never written a real persuasive essay. Shore prepared me well. Having staff/teachers who were interested in our success meant that we had to learn how to talk to adults at a young age. I had serious meetings with advisors, teachers, etc. because Shore gave me the access to do that.

Attending Shore is part of the reason I went into education. When I realized that most children receive such a different education than I did, I felt that I needed to do something to help make a more level playing field. 

Do you have a favorite memory as a Shore student?

That’s a hard one. Here are a few short answers: The trips (Chewonki, Yarmouth, Mountain School) that helped us bond with our classmates and teachers in a whole new way; in 6th grade, when we slept in the old library (Winslow Building) and woke up at 4am to drive to Concord, MA, to watch the Patriot’s Day Reenactments; the sludge project in Biology….
 
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    • In my religion, Judaism, you are supposed to give 10% of your earnings to tzedakah/charity each year. When it comes to picking worthy causes, Shore is an easy choice.

      Abigail Cohen pictured at her 2016 Harvard graduation with her sister Julia Cohen '94 on the left and father Steve Cohen on the right