When it came time to choose a high school, OLMA freshman, Madeline Brown was ready to take a chance. “My brother went to St. Augustine Prep, so OLMA was a natural choice, but I was hesitant at first to check it out,” said Madeline. “I was worried about leaving my friends from Clearview Middle School and that I wouldn’t fit in. My brother and other people I knew from OLMA told me that I wouldn’t ‘get it’ until I went and spent the day, so I did. The idea of trying something brand new was scary at first, but I took a chance, and I can honestly say that it was the best decision ever.”
Madeline agrees that the best way to understand the sisterhood and experience the atmosphere at OLMA is to spend the day. “The friends I’ve made here, and what I’ve been able to do in just the last few months, is awesome,” she said. “I love telling shadows my story because I know many of them come for the first time with some of the same fears I had. All I can say is that everything about this school, the academics, friendships, service, is indescribable.”
As a freshman, Madeline dove right into life at OLMA. In fact, she got involved during the summer as part of the Cheer team. “I hadn’t cheered in years, but decided to give it a try,” said Madeline. “I loved it, and it helped me make new friends before school started.” Madeline describes herself as a lacrosse player and cannot wait to take to the field under Ms. Valore’s leadership this spring. In addition to sports, Madeline is President of her class and service-oriented by nature.
While many teens spend Saturday mornings sleeping in, Madeline is up early and on her way to Top Sports. “Top Sports is all about teaching kids with disabilities how to play,” she said. “Over the last two years, I’ve taught six different kids ranging in age from 5 to 18 how to play basketball. I love it. They get so excited to see me and can’t wait to show me their tricks. It’s the best. While I’ve only done basketball so far, I’m hoping to help teach baseball and swimming soon.”
Academically, Madeline is top-notch. “The classes here are challenging and push me,” she said. “I spend a lot more time studying that I used to. The teachers are also willing to help in any way, especially Ms. Coppinger. She genuinely wants to see me succeed.”
There is no doubt about that, nor is there any doubt that you will succeed at whatever you set your mind to doing. We are proud of and so glad that you took that chance. We can’t wait to see what you do next.
If you know Maria Pia DiFranco, it will come as no surprise to learn that she was selected to receive the Widener University and NBC10 High School Leadership Award. As a recipient, if Maria Pia enrolls at Widener University as an undergraduate, she will take part in the school’s prestigious Apogee Leadership Scholars program and receive a $20,000 scholarship over four years. Apogee Scholars receive four years of leadership programming, an Oskin Leadership Certificate, and a full year of individual leadership coaching.
This award program recognizes high school students in the region, like Maria Pia, who embody the university’s commitment to develop and inspire leaders to affect positive change. With this award, the Widener University High School Leadership Awards Committee recognizes Maria Pia’s ability to demonstrate leadership by standing up for what is right, finding a way to address a wrong, or making a difference in a significant way.
Congratulations, Maria Pia. We could not be more proud!
One look at OLMA junior, Jaiden Harris on the basketball court and you know she feels right at home. The same is true when off the court now that she is part of the OLMA Sisterhood.
Jaiden transferred in last fall after finding out more about OLMA from fellow basketball players and friends, Sydney Prescott and Ava Casale. “We’ve played on the same AAU team. I immediately liked what I heard about the atmosphere here and how the teachers really care about helping us succeed.” She decided to shadow and that sealed the deal.
Jaiden admits that she was very nervous at first but that the Big-Little Sleepover in late August calmed her down and got her excited. “The sleepover was mostly for new freshmen, but it didn’t matter,” said Jaiden. “The seniors made everyone feel welcome.” Five months later, Jaiden says she loves it here. “I have so many new friends, the kind that I know I’ll have forever.”
On the basketball court, Jaiden is, quite literally, having a ball! She and her teammates are on their way to a historic season of success with a current record of 10-1. Academically, her record is also a winning one. “The teachers here are hands-on and really supportive,” she said. “I didn’t have that where I was before,” Jaiden says she is also enjoying clubs. She’s active in the OLMA Interact and Art clubs and participated in Forensics last fall. “I want to be an FBI agent and work in forensics, so that club was a great fit for me,” she said. “My uncle is in law enforcement and has inspired me to do the same.”
Jaiden will have the chance to delve a little deeper into that career field in June as part of the Forensics Chemistry Mini-Mester course being offered at OLMA. In addition to participating in a lot of hands-on study, Jaiden will visit FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. She will also learn about the many notable women who have contributed to this exciting field. We have a feeling that her name could one day be on that list.
Have fun, Jaiden. We are so glad you’re here.
OLMA students make us proud in so many ways — both on and off-campus. Junior, Morgan Kenny is no exception to this and was crowned MISS GARDEN STATE TEEN 2020, this past weekend. Morgan will be representing New Jersey (and OLMA!) at Nationals in Texas this Summer at International Junior Miss! Congratulations, Morgan!
Click on the photo below to watch the 6 ABC Newscast!
As part of the Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) Compassion Quest Mini-Mester course, 38 students hit the road yesterday morning spreading a bit of sunshine wherever they went. Their day began at the Church of the Incarnation where they gathered for Mass and surprised some unsuspecting parishioners with Smile Boxes on the way out. They also made stops at Cardinal Village assisted living facility, Goodwill Store, and ShopRite where they filled the aisles with smiles.
“Eight OLMA freshmen came together to plan this service project,” said Brooke Coyle, OLMA Head of school. “The idea behind it is to help students embrace and understand the importance of service, as well as to learn how to manage a project of this scope from start to finish. This was a major success on both fronts. This group of 38 girls have big hearts and are passionate about helping others without expecting anything in return.”
Compassion Quest is an example of one of the Mini-Mester Courses offered at OLMA. These courses represent experiential learning at its best and give students the opportunity to delve deeper into subject areas that intrigue and interest them. Along the way, students learn a variety of life lessons including managing their money, navigating tours and hikes, thinking on their feet, handling cultural and language differences, solving problems, following directions, being on time, as well as how to push themselves further than they ever thought they could. While most Mini-Mesters occur in June, there are a few, like Compassion Quest that span the regular school year.
Our Lady of Mercy Academy is a Catholic, accredited, college preparatory school for young women located in Newfield, NJ. OLMA empowers young women to lead a world of change, realize their dreams and reach their full potential. OLMA provides challenging academics and diverse extracurricular programs in an environment that promotes faith, sisterhood, achievement, leadership, and service. In 1962, the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy established OLMA as South Jersey’s all-girls Catholic high school. For more information, visit OLMANJ.ORG or call (856) 697-2008.