Gabrielle Virgo-Carter and Ernest Carter’s history with Stone Ridge began when their oldest daughter Nicole Carter ‘04 was in fifth grade at a local Montessori school. In spring of that year, Gabrielle, Nicole and a fellow student were sent as ambassadors to a school fair representing local independent schools. During a break from their work, Nicole roamed the conference hall, visiting tables to talk to students from other schools. When she returned to her table, Nicole declared to Gabrielle, "Stone Ridge is the school I want to go to next.”
“At that time, I had little knowledge of Stone Ridge,” explains Gabrielle. “I regularly saw the physical school from a distance since I had completed a fellowship at NIH, but I knew nothing about it.” After questioning Nicole as to why she felt that way about Stone Ridge, Nicole responded that the girls she spoke with were friendly, smart, answered her questions clearly and honestly, and really loved their school. “That's the type of girl I want to be around and that’s the type of girl I want to be!” exclaimed Nicole. Gabrielle subsequently went over to the table to speak with the students and confirmed everything Nicole had described.
“To this day we believe that divine intervention put us in that place and pointed us in the right direction for our daughters,” says Gabrielle. Fast forward two decades and Gabrielle and Ernest are the proud parents of two Stone Ridge alumnae (their younger daughter Laila graduated from Stone Ridge in 2013). “Our daughters’ and our experience throughout our years at Stone Ridge confirmed Nicole's original impression of the school as one which develops young women of character, intelligence, quality and compassion.”
Gabrielle has been a member of Stone Ridge’s Board of Trustees since 2013. In making their Cor Unum • One Heart Campaign donation decision, Gabrielle and Ernest reflected upon areas that needed fine tuning within the school. Their younger daughter Laila Carter ‘13 loved the arts and enjoyed being an active member of the theatrical community at Stone Ridge, performing in several productions on stage and behind the scenes. “The vision the leadership team at Stone Ridge has for the new Student Life Center will now provide students who are artists, dancers, musicians, or who just enjoy the arts, with the state-of-the-art facility that they need,” said Gabrielle. “We are more than happy to do our share to bring this project to fruition.”