Responsibility for Ourselves, Our Communities, and the Future
The Young Alumni Award is awarded each year to an alumnus/a from the past five years who has demonstrated excellence in personal achievement or community service since leaving CRS.
An Otter to her core, Tori Eysie is a CRS “end-to-ender.” She started at Charles River School when she was in PreKindergarten and her teachers had the honor of watching her grow and learn through to her eighth-grade graduation. As a student at CRS, not only was she a dedicated MUN’er, but Tori also played on the soccer, basketball, and tennis teams. She served as Moderator in her eighth-grade year, was a member of the Robotics Team, and played Molly in the eighth-grade musical, Annie.
After graduating CRS in 2018, Tori attended Dana Hall School where she was elected Class President during her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. She continued on student council for her senior year and also founded and was president of the Anime Club.
She has been the recipient of multiple awards at Dana Hall including the Marguerite Aldridge Putnam prize, given in recognition to exceptional upper-level art students; the Fitzie Foundation Award, which allows the recipient to engage in activities that are unique and enriching; and the University of Virginia Jefferson Book Prize, awarded to the student who best represents the ideals of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship.
Her CRS Middle School Advisor, Chris Raskin, described her by saying, “I think Tori’s greatest strength is the way she embraces life and the opportunities she is given. She is multi-faceted – an athlete, an artist, a music lover, a seamstress, a baker, a great friend, and a risk-taker. She wants to try everything.”
Her college counselor at Dana Hall shared that, “There is nothing that brings Tori down – positivity and enthusiasm are in her blood, and she finds joy in being joyful.”
Our mission is to honor the pursuit of academic excellence and the joy of childhood. We nurture each child by igniting curiosity, encouraging creativity, and cultivating intellectual engagement. Our graduates know themselves, understand others, and shape the future of our diverse world with confidence and compassion.
During Final Assembly, as she presented this year’s Young Alumni Award to Tori, Head of School Gretchen Larkin said, “Tori, you quite literally embody the CRS mission. Your joy is infectious, your creativity bursts from each piece you create, and your compassion toward others makes us proud to call you an Otter. We are so excited we are to see you soar.”
Tori will attend Boston College in the fall, with plans to pursue a degree in art.
When Malik Gomes Cruz, Class of 2015, accepted the CRS Young Alumni Award during the final assembly last spring, he took the opportunity to speak directly to CRS students of color: “To all the Black and Brown students, know that your achievements are extraordinary. Always strive to do the impossible.”
During the virtual address, he also thanked his CRS teachers for cultivating a love of lifelong learning. In particular, he thanked middle school teachers Chris Raskin and Leigh Hutchinson for teaching him to be a global citizen. Malik said, “While I didn’t realize at the time, I was becoming an advocate for social change. They cultivated my passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Who I am is, in part, is because of Charles River School’s commitment and its dedication to forming socially aware students.”
After graduating from CRS, Malik attended Cambridge School of Weston, where he served as a dorm leader and a student leader for the Diversity Committee, Gay-Straight Alliance, Gender and Sexual Minorities, Queer People of Color, and Students Advocating for Life without Substance Abuse. He also participated in the NAIS People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference. During his time at CSW, Malik was closely involved in the planning and execution of numerous campus events, including Diversity Day, Social Justice Day, Culture Fest, Dance Concert, Evening of the Arts, New Student Orientation, and more.
Director of Student Programs for Equity & Inclusion at CSW, Jordan Clark, who worked closely with Malik on a number of projects, describes him as a “truly strong leader at CSW.” Jordan went on to say, “The core of Malik’s skill set is his ability to listen to those around him and always be willing to adapt. He leads with empathy that allows him to connect with people in a sincere way. I cannot wait to see how Malik continues to use his opportunities to grow and affect change in the world.”
In spring 2019, Malik was accepted to the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program at American University. As a member of this program, Malik received a full scholarship for all four years of his collegiate career. “It feels beyond surreal to win this incredible award,” Malik shares. “With the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program, I will be able to continue my passion for social justice advocacy and leadership. The FDDS program will provide me with the resources and connections I need to grow as a learner, student, and leader. I am extremely excited to be working with the other students in the program and esteemed faculty as I progress throughout my college years. I have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I plan to take advantage of it fully.”
Owen Asnis ’15, the 2019 recipient of the CRS Young Alumni Award, attended Noble and Greenough School before matriculating to Harvard College. Owen achieved at a high level academically and earned many leadership roles during his time at Nobles. He served as co-president of the student body and led with his hallmark inclusivity, positivity, and enthusiasm. Owen was also elected as captain of the varsity cross country team and was president of the Nobleonians, the male a capella group.
At Nobles, Owen also served as a Prefect to the Head of School and a lead tour guide, participated in a student-run a capella group, and was a four-year bass guitar player in both the blues and jazz bands. He was the go-to bass player at the school and frequently supported other students in morning assembly performances. For four years, Owen served as the video coordinator for the boys’ varsity hockey team, utilizing the XOS digital platform to provide the team with in-game video feedback. He enjoys service work and has formed a special connection with the Immigrant Family Services Institute in Boston, where he has volunteered.
Owen looks forward to participating in the Institute of Politics, student government, and activism at Harvard. He is a doer and someone who cares deeply for others; he is a role model, a loyal friend, and a true optimist.