There Are Many Reasons to Choose the Mount
My husband Brian and I are both the products of Catholic school education (12 and 19 years, respectively). I attended an all-girls Catholic high school and want the same wonderful experience for my daughters. Bridget attended eight years in public school in Westfield and had amazing teachers and a positive experience. Her transition to a smaller, all-girls, religious school was seamless.
The freshmen are welcomed by the entire school with a "clap in" on their first day. How can you be made to feel more welcome? Each day, she seemed less and less concerned with her appearance. She was liberated by her uniform and the aura of self-assurance and acceptance that looms throughout the hallways. Because Bridget was not distracted by any superficiality, she could focus on things that really matter to her. She played field hockey for the first time and swam for the Mount. She also participated in a number of clubs. The variety of clubs and activities is astounding. Her small class sizes enabled her to build a great rapport with her teachers and fellow classmates. It encouraged great dialogue.
There are many reasons why people choose the Mount: small class sizes, athletic programs, college acceptances, faith-based or all-girls environment. Bridget has gotten all of that, but so much more. She is experiencing the development of the whole person. I'm sure that she would have had a successful high school experience in our town, but I don't think she would have flourished the way she has at the Mount. She has fully embraced the sisterhood and taken part in activities that she may have been disinclined to try in a larger environment. For me, the most fulfilling part is her spiritual growth.
When Bridget was studying for her mid-terms, I shared wisdom that I received from my father: "Study hard and pray to God." (It rhymes if you have a NY accent!) She was stressed and did not appear to take in what I was saying. That day, in between exams, Bridget went to the Chapel where students are able to pray and/or meditate with faculty. I was so happy to hear that the Mount offered this service and that Bridget took advantage of it. She is learning that, in times of trouble, she can always turn to God. She is also learning that she needs to take care of herself, especially during stressful times. She is honing good coping skills.
I am writing this as New York City (and the world) celebrate the U.S. Women's Soccer Team. The struggle for equality continues. I see slogans stating, "The Future is Female." When your daughter goes to the Mount, "Now is Female!" The bleachers are filled with fans that are there to watch the girls play, the school president is a girl, the winners of the Model UN and Euro Challenge are girls, If you want your daughter to love mercifully and magnificently and stand up to injustice, send her to the Mount. If you want her to go confidently into the world without second-guessing her qualifications because of her gender, send her to the Mount.
The Mount cultivates a strong sense of self and an understanding that you deserve a seat at the table. For these reasons and so many more, we sent our daughter to Mount Saint Mary Academy and it has made all the difference.