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Feature Articles

Celebrating Your Students

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Adiah Coffey, senior, DePaul Cristo Rey
I know that continuing my education is the next best step toward achieving any goal I may set for myself, and I know that I have been able to achieve the highest caliber of education at DePaul Cristo Rey High School. Every day I walk into school with a sense of family. When we come together for weekly prayer services, regardless of my faith, it gives me an empowering sense of community with my peers. My school gives me the space to explore my own spirituality freely. I know that all of my teachers are passionate and care deeply about their students. The school’s diversity and openness have given me insights that I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. I love bringing my own unique perspectives to the table.

My favorite part about Catholic schools is that they don’t just emphasize humanity or intelligence, they blend them. Some people believe that you can’t be successful if you show empathy, but in my experience, the recognition of universal human dignity is what fuels world-wide change. Catholic schools are preparing their students to better the world and to improve themselves in the process. My school’s challenges, traditions and values have been the best fit for me, and I couldn’t be any more satisfied with the high school experience that I have had.

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Michaele Townsend, senior, DePaul Cristo Rey High School
Attending a Catholic school is like having a home away from home. The teachers, administrators and other students are all loving, caring and always willing to help. Catholic schools have given me so many opportunities that I would not have had at any other school.

While attending Catholic school I am able to see my community in a global perspective. At times when I may have felt alone, I knew I wasn’t because I had not only my DePaul Cristo Rey family but my Nativity of Our Lord family.

I am able to attend a school that not only follows my religious beliefs but also has so many diverse students that have made me understand human dignity. We all have it; it is something that cannot be earned nor taken away. This lesson has taught me love, especially for those who need it most.

Those lessons brought me to service. Growing up I never knew what my purpose was. My friends and I received the opportunity to go to the Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia. This school serves orphans, refugees and many others. While at Mountain Mission, I participated in activities from gardening and helping the kids who lived there, to playing and getting to know the people of the community. While there I looked at my life and I didn’t see the impact I was leaving, so I made myself a promise, one I plan to keep for the rest of my years. I said to myself, “I’ve waited 17 years to figure out what God has in store for me. I have spent the last three days with a group of 20-25 people working at Mountain Mission School helping not only the students but also myself grow in faith. I have grown to love all 250 students at this school and I have learned that I live to serve God through others in my community and world.”

I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity if it weren’t for Catholic schools; I wouldn’t have the desire and passion for volunteering. My new passion is to serve God through his people. Catholic schools and my Catholic education have shaped me into the person I am today – a person who would rather skip a party to go to church, a person who would rather volunteer instead of hang out with friends. I am glad I was given the opportunity to attend the two Catholic schools that have cared for me the past 13 years.