06 October 2012

I'd like to thank the Academy...

This week I attended a fundraiser for my high school.  It was a winetasting event and it was a lot of fun.  I probably spent a little more than I initially intended, but it was for a good cause and one that I support every year.  I get requests from my undergraduate school (Fairfield U) and from my graduate school (Ohio State) for money fairly frequently.  I occasionally give them a few dollars.  Both of those schools have huge endowments though and the money I give to my high school goes further than it would elsewhere.

I had the incredible good fortune through scholarships and financial aid to attend BayView Academy in Riverside, RI for junior high and high school.  BayView is a private, Catholic, all-girls school.  And they do amazing things there.  I was an incredibly shy child.  Around family I was fine and around friends I had known since kindergarten I was fine.  But if I were to go out somewhere to a store or library and needed to ask a question or ask for help, I became petrified.  To this day I still have moments of anxiety if I need to make a phone call.  I'm better in person.  I would have been fine at the public high school in my town, but I don't know if I would have done as well as I did in the environment at BayView. 

BayView was founded by the Sisters of Mercy.   The Sisters of Mercy were founded by Catherine McAuley in Ireland in 1831.  They help those in poverty and those who lack education, particularly women and children.  The faculty and staff there taught me to be me and to be proud of who I was as a Catholic and as a woman.  Yes, we had to take religion classes, but those weren't just Catholic doctrine classes.  There were also courses on World Religions, Ethics, and Social Issues.  We were also encouraged to take sciences.  They now host a Women in Science and Engineering conference.  I haven't even begun to talk about the artistic legacy of the school.  

Back in sixth grade, when I took the entrance exam and crossed my fingers I had no idea that I would be part of such a legacy.  That my years at BayView would have such a profound impact on how I looked at the world and my place in it.  So when I can, I give back - with my time and with my wallet.  I know that my contributions will help the school continue in it's mission.


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