Class of 2023

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JACQUELINE, Class of 2023
Elementary/Middle School: Saint Joseph Catholic School
Activities/Interests: Cross Country, Dance Club

Why did you choose to attend St. Teresa's Academy?
I chose to attend St. Teresa's Academy for an assortment of reasons. Firstly, perhaps the most obvious, is because my older sister attended. Most days, she would come home looking stressed as always, but challenged. There was never a dull moment. That brings me to my second reason: there is always a new adventure to seek at STA. From Conspiracy Club to the Color Throw, there is always something to occupy yourself. And lastly, I chose St. Teresa's because I knew that, somehow, my shy eighth-grade self would flourish here.

What has been your favorite class at STA?
My freshman year, I took Introduction to Scripture with Mr. Harkness. When I first walked into his classroom, I was expecting a boring religion class that would annoy me because I don't have the same beliefs as many others. But, I was soon corrected. This class was a safe space to let your opinions be heard, respectfully, by your peers and teacher. We learned more than we ever thought we would in that class - not about Jesus or Joseph, but about ourselves.

What is your favorite part of the STA community?
My favorite part of the STA community is that everyone is working together toward goals. There is never a competition or tension between students because we are all in it together. It feels good to be noticed, especially when you are struggling.

What has been your most memorable experience at STA?
My most memorable experience with STA actually happened the summer before my freshman year. I was at Running Club for cross country, and all of a sudden, a squirrel came tumbling down from a tree, clearly aiming for me. Two friends with me both screamed and started running in different directions, leaving me victim to the squirrel. I was in shock, as was the squirrel, for a few seconds before my brain registered the situation and I started to run again. I tripped over the squirrel, and it limped away. To this day, many people on the team still recall the day that I, Jacqueline, was attacked by a falling squirrel.

Looking back at your year(s) at STA, what would you tell yourself on the first day of school?
If I could go back and say one thing to myself on the first day of freshman year, I would say, "Do not worry, girl, this is where you are supposed to be."

What advice would you give to prospective students who are considering STA?
When I was shadowing different schools my eighth grade year, I expected there to be fireworks at the school that I would choose. I expected there to be some big sign telling me that this is where I'm supposed to go. Newsflash, that doesn't happen. But, just because there are no fireworks or a blow-up water slide, doesn't mean that there isn't a sign. You just have to look for it. For me, it was the excitement in the air all around me at STA. It took me a few weeks to find the right home, but, just know, you will find yours.

What is the one thing you have learned most about yourself? How has STA helped you discover that?
The main thing I have learned about myself at STA is that I do have a voice. In middle school, especially, I did not know I could speak up, nor did I know that I didn't have to be okay with some things. At STA, I learned that it is okay to have a different opinion. It is okay to be different. I just had to embrace it because everyone has a voice, I just had to learn to use it. I figured out that I have more influence than I would have ever thought.