Alum of the Month- Cyndi Gardipee • Class of 2000

St. Martin of Tours Academy has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My cousins Melanie, Eddie, and Stevie Quinn graduated from SMA. I graduated in 2000, my sister Alyssa in 2004, my brother, Buzz in 2016, and my mom is still the director of the preschool! The life long friendships and support I have gained from my SMA family have helped me become the person I am today.

At SMA I was active in sports as well as student council. My favorite student council memory was volunteering at the preschool in Tijuana. Learning to be a leader in student council helped shape me into the business owner I am today.

I have been in the hair industry for over 12 years. My career has spanned from fashions shows, photo shoots, educating, wedding hair, TV pilots, fundraising, and behind the chair work. I recently opened my own studio in Mission Valley. As being a business owner, you wear many hats, and while my first priority is my clients, my love for our planet is a very close second. I have paired with a brand that offsets their carbon footprint and have started working to use all recycled plastic for their packaging bottles. I also recently became a Wild Keeper where “we stand for what we stand on” and have collectively removed 135,000 lbs of trash.

Outside of work, I’m constantly working on my ever growing bucket list. I work to live, I don’t live to work. Today is a gift and we are never guaranteed tomorrow. A few highlights of my life adventures are: hiking the Napoli coast, river rafting the Pacuare river, zip lining on top of the rainforest canopy, singing in the Vatican, walking on a glacier, road tripping across the country, and going to the Eiffel Tower. Next year, Thailand is on the horizon!

St Martin of Tours Academy has helped shape me into the person I am today. It taught me to be an independent woman but also taught me the strength of the community that is always there for you. It has taught me to love and accept no matter your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or even the way you look. SMA has also taught me to always help and be the change you want to see in the world.

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