Carrying Forth Holy Child Values
It’s a Thursday morning, the eve of Graduation day, and the Class of 2017 is flipping through the pages of their new yearbooks. Students laugh with their mothers as they recall the memories of the last year and re-live them through the photos spread across the pages in front of them. Maureen Grant is sharing this moment with her daughter, Caitlin, who was just one day shy of becoming a Connelly School of the Holy Child alumna.
This particular moment and feeling is not entirely new to Maureen. She felt it herself just 30 years ago, when she experienced the days leading up to her graduation, the days that would officially begin a new chapter in her life as an official alumna of Holy Child. You will often see Maureen in our hallways today being a part of the parent community and volunteering her time to the school. As chairs of the Annual Fund this past year, Maureen and her husband, Rick, led the charge in asking parents to give back in any way they can whether it be through donation or their time. Maureen and Rick’s dedication to giving back to the school has emulated throughout each year they have been a part of the parent community. To name a few, their volunteer efforts include support for the Swim and Dive Team, Faculty/Staff Appreciation Lunches with Maureen as the co-chair, Mother’s Morning in May, providing snacks for the Kairos retreat, helping run booths during Mayfield Market, wrapping toys for children in need during the Christmas season, and so much more.
With the amount of days spent on campus, the most pivotal day for Maureen and Rick this year was June 2nd, when their eldest daughter, Caitlin, accepted her diploma. “I was so emotional. It was a hard day, but a wonderful and beautiful day. It was a great celebration of all the girls. I was very proud of Caitlin. We went home and made grilled cheese to take a moment to soak it all in,” said Maureen in a recent interview on campus.
The week of graduation is stacked with nostalgia and celebration, much of which matched Maureen’s experience in her high school days. Maureen graduated from Holy Child in 1987 and only hoped that one day both her daughters would become Holy Child girls and be a part of a community deep-rooted in tradition and support while following the mission of our foundress, Cornelia Connelly. “I was nervous. It was important to me for my daughters to make their own decisions, not just based off my experience. I knew that had the potential to backfire so I did not pressure them. However, Caitlin knew. She came on campus and she knew right away that it was the right place for her. My youngest daughter, Molly, didn’t want to apply anywhere else after her shadow visit.” Little did Maureen know that eventually both of her daughters would follow her footsteps as a Holy Child girl student and join her as members of the National Honor Society in the Cornelian chapter of the NHS, which focuses on character, service, leadership, and scholarship.
Maureen often finds a common thread between her experience and her daughters’ experiences at Holy Child, and that is community. Both Molly and Caitlin, when asked, mention community as one of the pillars of Holy Child and that has echoed even in their home life. “It’s very important for us to all have dinner together and more times than not, we always wind up talking about Holy Child and I love seeing the girls sharing their experiences. Caitlin’s friends are great to Molly, Molly’s friends are great to Caitlin.. it’s truly a gift being able to see them both grow in such a supportive community. And to experience it together.”
With her first semester in college complete, Caitlin is excited for what her future brings at the College of the Holy Cross. Caitlin reflects on her experiences at Holy Child and why the school has prepared her for the next chapter in her life. “I am incredibly excited to start college in the fall. I feel very prepared and have preemptively placed into advanced courses. I chose Holy Cross because of its academic rigor, sense of community, and traditional liberal arts education. It is a great fit as I continue to push myself in learning about a variety of subjects and worldly issues while I continue to serve others.”
Caitlin has been an active part of the Holy Child community since the second she stepped on our campus as a new freshman 4 years ago and has never shied away from grasping all Holy Child has to offer. “The sense of community was so unique and no other school had anything to compare. What really stood out to me was the balance that the students were able to maintain by working hard academically and participating in extracurriculars.”
Balance is often a theme for our students, especially since the community pushes each individual girl to be the best she can be in all aspects. Caitlin was involved in athletics, service, student government, the photo team, and even the play, which may have been the most out of Caitlin’s comfort zone, but she is extremely grateful for all of her experiences. “Something that I think will resonate with me the longest is the power of believing in yourself. I went out of my comfort zone countless of times while at Holy Child and it provided me with fantastic experiences., I don't think I would have been able to experience so many of these things if Holy Child hadn't encouraged and instilled a belief in myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. This is something I will take with me as I continue my education and I believe it is a vital quality in order to achieve success in life. It also taught me to believe in others and encourage their successes.”
Maureen’s second daughter and current senior, Molly, has contributed her fair share of time and dedication to Holy Child whether playing volleyball, spending her weekends serving others, or helping behind the scenes. More recently, Molly has expanded her role in Holy Child’s community through our newly formed Alumnae Council. Molly explains, “The Alumnae Council is an organization that is trying to expand the alumnae network of Holy Child. They have different representatives from each Holy Child graduating class that help provide counsel on how to each and engage alums.” As one of the two current student members participating in the Alumnae Council, Molly helps relay information about campus happenings among other items. She believes the council will help develop a more successful way of organization and communication with all of our alumnae around the world. She’s also looking ahead to college and credits Holy Child for always pushing her to try her best, something that she believes isn’t emphasized as much anywhere else and is truly special to our community.
As Molly begins her senior year and takes one-step closer to becoming a Holy Child alumna, she’s excited for what the future holds and knows Holy Child has ultimately prepared her as a well-rounded woman of faith and action, rightfully following the steps of her Mom, sister, and of course, Cornelia Connelly