Support The Academy » 2021 Spring Appeal

2021 Spring Appeal

 

Spring 2021

Dear Friend of the Academy,

When I think about my first couple days at the Academy, I can so clearly remember the glittery gold chandeliers in the study hall and the smell of the old wood expanding in the summer heat. There was a gravitational force at the Academy- warm, welcoming, and maybe slightly intimidating. Yet, when I think about what drew me to the Academy in the first place, it was just that: I knew I would be challenged. After spending my middle school days shuffling through the motions of a large public school, I craved something tighter-knit, more academically challenging, and certainly more engaging. What I found at the Academy in my four years would inspire a successful college career, strengthen my interpersonal skills, and expand my creativity. I truly grew into myself.

Among the passing memories that stick out–such as lunchtime sing-a-longs, late nights up in the gorgeous theater practicing for the spring musical and frigid walks to and from Convent Station–I constantly come back to the defining moments in my teenage years that started in the classrooms. During my sophomore year, I took a journalism elective with Dean Comer, where I fell in love with writing. I think about that class often and how he used William Zinsser’s On Writing Well as a textbook, which still sits on my desk, fully annotated by my 15-year-old hand. I remember falling in love with art classes and learning how to shade in different media with Ms. Moscato. I remember anguishing over my college essays, but with Mrs. Quick’s infamously rigorous English class I was admitted to my top schools.

All of these experiences would eventually combine to help me flourish into the woman I am today. The Academy provides the perfect stage for young women to shine and explore themselves, both in and out of the classroom. The annual Academy spring break trip that I attended my junior year ignited a huge passion for travel, and I have since travelled to eight countries and spent a semester studying in Florence, Italy. Additionally, because I felt so supported by my peers in a small classroom, I felt confident stepping into various college leadership roles in organizations, group projects and more. My involvement with the EPOCH Program and Toward Boundless Charity opened my eyes to a world in need, and an eagerness for continued volunteerism. And of course, my familiarity with New Jersey Transit even aided in feeling more comfortable commuting into New York City for internships!

Finally, and maybe the most important gift I received from my years at the Academy, are the SEA-sterships that indeed do last a lifetime. Since graduation I have been able to stay in touch with almost all of my classmates, and even went to college with a SEA-ster from another class year. My two closest friends from the Academy are still my best. These friendships, bound by the memories of laughter echoing throughout the marble stairs and matching uniform skirts, are truly the most cherished blessings of an Academy education.

As an Academy of Saint Elizabeth alumna, I wholeheartedly believe in both the value of a rigorous Catholic education and the immense growth that young women can achieve through it. In fact, my career in philanthropy for Catholic education is a testament to the value I place on my formative Saint Elizabeth’s experience. I am so proud to be an St. E’s alumna and I’m excited for the next generation of young women to step through these hallways. The traditions of the Academy, the lifeblood of the school, need to continue. Therefore, I support the Academy because I want young women to have the same outstanding education and experience that I did!

With profound gratitude,

Maggie Haley
Class of 2016