Once my husband, Eli, and I began dating seriously, about 12 years ago, we started asking ourselves who we wanted "TO BE". It didn't' take us a long time to figure out how we felt about this question; we knew that we wanted to be a family, a united and joyful family that is both part of and respectful to its community.
Equipped with our new life mission, we got married, moved to New York City and started removing obstacles that stood in our way. With hard work, commitment and determination, we, a young gay couple, were able to build our family -- a family that is fortunate, forever thankful and strives to inspire others. The values of giving back, being involved in the community and being kind and respectful to others are very important to us and ones that we strive to instill in our daughters day in and day out.
Naturally, when it was time to look for a school for Milo, our 5-year-old daughter, we wanted to find a place that shared similar values to ours -- a place where Milo would develop and thrive. Fortunately, as you can see on 'Connected' episode 12, we were able to not only find that one special school, but also have Milo accepted.
It is well known that New York City is blessed with many of the country's top schools. On the one hand, these schools have years and years of legacy and tradition. But on the other hand, they also have the courage to make long-term changes that gets them ahead of the curve. As expected, those schools are highly selective, making it as tough as getting into an Ivy League college! In my opinion, the formula to get in has to do a lot with finding a match -- finding the right school for the family, as well as finding the right family for the school.
Although most New York City's top schools may seem at a first glance similar in nature, they are actually very different from one another. Each one has its own unique flavor, each one cares for different values, each one has a different outlook and each one has a different curriculum emphasis. Therefore, finding the right school for your child and family is not an easy mission. It requires a lot of research, many schools visits, a real understanding of each school's mission statement, and... a lot of your time!
So, it may be clearer now why families look for the right school for them, but why are these highly selective schools spending so much time finding the 'right' family too? Well, the answer lies within the fact that these schools are really searching for the right team, the right mixture of families who will be willing to actively contribute to the school's community in the next years to come.
Although demanding and time consuming, the school selection process has been a remarkably enjoyable and inspiring experience for our family. We became familiar with truly wonderful schools. We were impressed by their admirable programs and by their inspiring educators and leaders. Nonetheless, with every school visit, it became clearer and clearer which school is our first choice school -- our perfect match.
Ido Bendet-Taicher, the gay one in the family ☺