What did the faith look like in your home growing up?
Every Sunday, we’d wake up, get dressed up, have breakfast all together and go to Mass as a family. We went during the week sometimes, too, and always said the rosary together in the car. There are five of us; so it works out perfectly. One person gets a decade and we complete the whole rosary.
When did you make the faith your own?
The faith has been a big part of my life. It’s always been part of my daily life but going to DSHA was a big part of solidifying it. I was allowed to really make it my own. There are so many opportunities to explore your faith: going to adoration, rosary after school, and even just participating in the Mass individually at school has been really nice.
How did you get involved in the Best Buddies program at DSHA?
I was interested in helping others with special needs. I hadn’t had the experience before high school, and I knew that it was something I was interested in and hoped I’d be good at. Best Buddies led me to get involved in the school’s Marian Scholars program; so it means a lot to me.
What’s your role in the Marian Scholars program?
I’m a peer mentor, which means I go to class with Mia, a special needs student, and guide her through the lessons and anything she needs help with.
What do you wish more people knew about the program?
Honestly just how amazing the students are. Mia is so great and goes along to class with all the other students and feels totally welcome in the school community not only as a student but as a friend. I remember the first day in class, when everyone had to sing a piece of music in front of the class. I was worried about Mia but then she just did such a great job and was so confident. Everyone is cheering for her to do well and it’s really a beautiful thing.
What have you learned about yourself through the process of helping Mia?
I think mostly I’ve learned how to listen and have patience, and consider where she’s coming from and how best to explain things in a way that she understands best.
You’re studying for confirmation this year; what has that been like?
I’ve grown as a Catholic on my journey toward my Confirmation through participating in faith-based opportunities, such as leading Campus Ministry small groups, leading retreats and freshman service day, as well as cantoring for all-school Masses.
What does it mean to you to choose the Catholic faith?
I just always knew that this is the faith I want to be a part of. I enjoy going to morning Mass, adoration, and cantoring for Mass. It gives me great joy to use my ability to sing to praise the Lord at Mass. I thoroughly enjoy my theology classes and learning something new about the faith every class. If my parents are praying the rosary in the other room, I will immediately go and join them, I just always feel called to action in my faith and I enjoy being involved in every faith opportunity I am given.
What are your plans for after graduation?
As a junior, I’m still searching for colleges, but I’m thinking about nursing and maybe pediatric nursing. I think that working with Mia has confirmed that I am a people person, and I want to work at a job where I can help and interact with others rather than being at a desk job.
Is there a saint that you look up to?
St. Cecelia, for music and her guardian angel, because I try to be very close with my guardian angel just like she was. If I am ever having a rough day, or I know I am taking a big test that day, I will wear my guardian angel necklace; so that I am reminded that my angel is always watching over me and is close by.