It wasn’t until the summer before my freshman year of high school that I heard about St. Dom’s, when I found out my family might be moving to Maine from Illinois.

I came to visit the school in June, and I was in awe of the campus. The school buildings and beautiful grounds were impressive, and I was amazed that two students came to give my sister and me a tour even though they were on summer vacation. Little did I know that I would become friends with these girls through Student Senate, tennis, and Key Club. I hoped that my father would take the job here because I was sure I would love being at St. Dom’s. Looking at other options for high schools in the area never even crossed my mind. I had gone to a Catholic grade school through eighth grade, but there was no Catholic high school for me to go to in my old town. Once we realized Catholic education was an option here, saw the campus, and met the students, administrators, and faculty, we never considered any alternatives.

As you have probably guessed, my dad did take the job and I began my freshman year here at St. Dom’s. In Illinois, I had planned on playing only tennis in high school, but here, tennis season was not until the spring and I wanted to get involved and meet other students right away. So, when Mr. Gleason, the admissions director at the time, recommended cross-country, I joined the team. As I discovered the various clubs at the school, I decided to join the Key Club, to run for Student Senate, to become a student ambassador, and to join the math team. The more I did, the more friends I made and the more comfortable I felt in this place.

Academically, I was overwhelmed. The curriculum here is challenging and rigorous. I especially struggled with French and found I was behind most of my classmates because I had never studied the language before. But I soon discovered how willing teachers were to help me and that I was capable of doing well in my classes while balancing my school work with my other activities. I love how my teachers challenge me, and I have even learned to appreciate my bright, but competitive classmates. St. Dom’s students are able to challenge each other to work to the best of our abilities in the classroom, to work together on service projects like Mission Mississippi, and to cheer for each other at sporting events. And, we laugh together, like when I was completely soaked by the slushy spray of a passing truck on my way to basketball practice, earning me the nickname, “Slush Puppy” for the next month. Luckily, the name didn’t stick.

I have no doubt that St. Dom’s has prepared me well for succeeding in college and entering the professional world. I attribute my success in high school to the attention and opportunities given to me here at St. Dom’s.

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