A Welcoming Academic Community to Call Home

Olivia Encarnacion '23
The four years spent in high school are said to be some of the most impactful, life changing, and fundamental years. When it came to picking a high school that suited me, I evaluated what environment would help me reach my ultimate potential before embarking on the rest of my life journey. While at the time this seemingly overwhelmed me, I can firmly say that the young eighth grader who was once nervous about high school made the right decision.

Prior to the Mount, I attended public school for eight years. As I neared the final years of my middle school experience, I began considering what high school, what the next four years would encompass, and ultimately where I would end up. I looked and attended the open houses for several different schools, but no school matched the connection I felt with the Mount. Everyone had told me that as I evaluated different schools I would just know when I was in the one that felt most like home. I never believed them.

That changed when I walked into the Mount Open House. The welcome I received from the students and faculty only emphasized the community within the school and strengthened my desire to attend the Mount. After receiving my acceptance letter, I anxiously awaited the beginning of my high school journey. With each passing day the nerves from the first day of school slowly disappeared. I began feeling more comfortable as I settled into my “new home.” While I had prepared myself for a bumpy transition between public school to an all-girls private catholic high school, the road was anything but bumpy. The community at the Mount was there to ensure a smooth transition quickly eliminating the fear I had.

The idea of attending a college preparatory high school worried me. Was high school going to be hard? Was I going to be able to keep up? The answer: yes, it was going to be hard, but the Mount community would equip me with the proper tools to prosper. Each class is designed to challenge me and feed my curiosity. I am instructed to think outside the box and challenge what I already know. Every day I walk into the Mount I look forward to the new obstacles I will overcome that allow me to learn more and more. I feel the education and knowledge I have received at Mount have provided me with the fundamentals for beginning the next chapter of my life. College. I now know what it feels like to be in a welcoming academic community that I can call home.

With the help of the Mount, I know I will find the right place to continue my learning journey. As I continue along my journey the connections, friendships, and relationships established with the students, faculty, and staff will stay with me forever. At the Mount, every teacher values each student. I have created connections with many teachers that go beyond the normal student-teacher relationship. Whether it is seeking advice, extra help, or even having a fun talk about sports, I can always count on the Mount faculty to make any day brighter. Each year not only are the bonds established with teachers strengthened, but so are the bonds created with my peers.
Entering the Mount, I knew very few students but now being a junior, I have created relationships with girls across all grade levels that will continue beyond high school. Although my high school experience has been anything but normal given the pandemic, the Mount has created an environment in which I can continue to thrive. I am fortunate enough to say that my education and experience has not suffered.

During this time, I have recognized how lucky I am to be in the position I’m in. As the Mount has taught, it goes beyond just me. I have been motivated to help those struggling around me through my service that the Mount continues to promote given the importance of helping your neighbor.
© Mount Saint Mary Academy