Open Connections

I believe that it is critical that alternatives to traditional education exist and OC is a consummate leader in this field.

-Michael Fedorak
, OC Alum

Michael Fedorak

OC Alum

Michael Fedorak

Reprinted from the OC Magazine, Fall, 2015


What have you been up to since graduating from OC?

Since graduating from Open Connections, I attended The Shipley School and Drew University. After graduating from Drew in 2004 with an art history degree, I worked at The Museum of Modern Art until July of 2014. At MoMA, I held positions of Visitor Assistant, Assistant Lobby Manager, Lobby Manager and Office Manager. I left MoMA to join Applegate in July of 2014 as their Consumer Relations Supervisor. Along the way, I got married in 2009 to my beautiful wife Kristen. We had our first child (Amelia Maria) in August of 2011 and had our second daughter (Annabelle) on Valentine’s Day of this year. We live in Berkeley Heights, NJ, and Kristen is an English and language arts teacher in a nearby town.


What age did you start at OC? What programs were you involved in?

I started at the age of 2 and participated in all of the programs that were offered at that time [through age 12]. I do want to share a specific memory that has always stayed with me: Susan [Shilcock, Co-founder] always had a great gift for facilitating and I have a distinct memory of her helping me learn how to spell geography. She broke it down in GEO GR A PHY and it clicked. To this day, I always think of her when I write that word and I imagine that I always will!


How did OC impact you?

It opened my mind to the fact that learning is a lifelong process that stems far beyond any classroom.


What passions, or interests, have you pursued since your OC days that you may not have pursued had you not had this view of life-long learning?

My passion for the arts comes from very early exposure to a variety of museums and cultural institutions. Going to OC gave us the chance to explore and learn about the world outside of the classroom setting. Having the ability to travel and have experiential and natural learning experiences from a young age was the gift that attending OC gave my family and me.


What did you find useful?

I apply many of the principles that I learned at OC to the rest of my life. Conceptual Development, learning through experience and having the freedom to explore the world outside of a traditional classroom setting come to mind. The idea that we are all natural learners and the value that comes from doing Real Work are things that positively impacted me.


What would you have changed about OC?

I can't say that I would have changed anything.


Why do you feel that it is important to donate to the OC Annual Giving Fund?

Because I believe that it is critical that alternatives to traditional education exist and OC is a consummate leader in this field.