Tyler McLaughlin – Class of 2007

“ I love Bridgton Academy. It was the greatest experience of my life.”

Tyler Mclaughlin, star of National Geographic’s hit show “Wicked Tuna.” Bridgton Academy Class of 2007

How was Bridgton Academy The Year That Made The Difference in your life?
I messed up in my senior year of high school by getting bad grades. I wanted a second chance to improve myself and an needed to grow up a little. Bridgton gave me a year to get better at everything. To mature as a person, to improve my academics and my habits for studying, and to become a better athlete.

There is such a mix of people from different backgrounds that come together at Bridgton with the same goal. Get to college, get your grades up and improve yourself. And we were all there to help each other out. It’s a Brotherhood.

I left Bridgton really prepared for college. When I finally went to college, I was ahead of the ball. I was in a way better situation than other freshman in my classes.

My time at Bridgton also inspired me to want to give back and participate in many of the charitable organizations I work with including Wounded Warriors, Make a Wish Foundation, Red Cross of America and local Rotaries.

Tyler's Bridgton Commencement, May 2007
Tyler (center) – Bridgton Commencement, May 2007

Favorite Classes/Teachers
The professor’s attitudes towards us were so critical in helping us learn how to get ready for our future. They expect a lot of you and help teach you how to grow up. When you’re 18 years old, you don’t know what you want to do, you may be disappointed in your grades and feel insecure. My teachers really related to me, supported me and helped me learn about life.

Mr. Burgess was my dorm head. He was my favorite, a real stand-up guy. He always encouraged me and helped me get through difficult times.

One of my greatest memories at Bridgton is when I won a tennis tournament at the end of the year. I had a couple of tough matches against kids from different schools, and when I won that final tournament I felt so confident. Bridgton helped me learn how to be confident in myself.

Greatest Challenge
When I first went to Bridgton, it killed me that I couldn’t go fishing! It was really tough at first, I was a fishing geek and lived for it. Missing out on fishing was the worst thing imaginable and sometimes I felt like I was locked away. But Bridgton insisted that if I bought into their system and worked hard, I was going to come out of the experience a better person. And that was completely true!

Take guidance from the people who have been at Bridgton for years and learn from their experience. If you do, you are going to end up exactly where you want to be in life. You’re the one who has the power, but never be scared to look around to your fellow Wolverines and ask for help if you need it. I asked my brothers for help, and I helped others out all the time – we were always there for each other.

How would you summarize your feelings about BA in one Sentence:
It was the greatest experience of my life.