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Junior Ring Night: By Megan Cleary ’18

Every year Kennedy Catholic celebrates the junior class by having a mass and school ring ceremony. This year’s ceremony was held on Friday, January 20th from 7-8:30 pm. On this day, the students belonging to the class of 2018 put on their dress attire and celebrated being part of the Kennedy Catholic community. Juniors were encouraged to invite their families to this wonderful event with them. During this night, Father Vaillancourt celebrated mass with the entire junior class and their families. After mass, the rings were blessed by Fr. Vaillancourt and distributed to each student. This event is something Kennedy Catholic juniors will truly never forget. Many seniors have even said that the ceremony is a memory they cherish. Class rings represent a multitude of things. It represents the good times, stressful times, sad times, and some of the best times of our lives that were shared with lifelong friends and supportive teachers. This ceremony brings us a step closer to our impending future. Receiving a class ring is an achievement in itself and is something that is hard to forget. These rings are a perfect symbol for each student to remember their time at Kennedy Catholic High School.

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Kennedy Catholic Blood Drive; By Julia Feeney ’17

Kennedy Catholic 2016 Blood Drive Information

This year Kennedy Catholic’s annual blood drive was on Wednesday, December 14. Kennedy alumni, students, parents and members of the Somers community came out to show support for this most worthy cause. In the past, the event has been spearheaded by Mrs. Normile. However, this year as she continues to recovers from surgery, the student council ran the event. The drive had participants ranging from 16 to over 70 who each donated one pint of blood. There were many first time donors in attendance braving the needle to give blood to their fellow man. Kennedy junior, Caitlyn McKearney, donated blood for the first time at the drive. She was nervous about giving blood but had been inspired by her dad’s frequent donation of blood and wanted to follow in his footsteps. The event also brought out many veteran donors one of whom donates blood 6 times a year. According to one of the nurses working the drive, one pint of blood can potentially save three lives in the tristate area at one of the countless hospitals the blood center has contracts with. Each day the New York Blood Center collects on average 2,000 donations but that is still not enough. The Blood Center is actually experiencing a massive shortage at the moment. The New York Blood Center holds drives all over the area year round. Every time a person donates blood they get points towards gift cards or the option to make donations to other charities. As a previous donor myself, I can attest that giving blood is painless and makes you feel like you’ve done something wonderful for another person.

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Christmas Toy Drive: By Hannah Langley ’17

Christmas time is known as the season of giving, and in this spirit, several students at Kennedy have undertaken the job of organizing a toy drive for the children at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. For several years now, a group of students has been responsible for managing this toy drive, but the girls who usually ran it graduated last year. However, when students Aidan Dooley, Tom Young, Matt Vigna, Vin Conte, and Kyle Knox recognized the absence of the toy drive, they decided to take initiative and run it themselves.

Kennedy students pictured while dropping off their toys at the hospital. (Picture courtesy of Donna Dooley)

This toy drive is extremely important to the hospital, as it provides not only toys, but also happiness, to those being held there for the holidays. These children are there for various reasons, including cancer treatment and terrible illness. The Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is an important part of the Westchester Medical Center, as well as the Westchester community, as it provides children in any family or financial situation with health care. The hospital was founded by the parents of Maria Fareri, a young girl who died of rabies because she was not provided with quality healthcare due to her young age. After losing their child, the parents made it their mission to improve the health and well-being of children all over the world. The Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital has done amazing work to help these sick, disabled children recuperate and heal.

Christmas time is especially important to the hospital, as these unfortunate children and their families will not be able to spend the holidays at home. The toys help cheer up the children and help them forget their current situation for a time, something irreplaceable for the struggling parents and families. The boys running the drive ask that students bring in unwrapped, new toys by Friday, December 16th, and place them in the boxes throughout the school. They also suggest donating money to the hospital if students don’t have time to buy toys before Friday, as this can help in numerous ways at the hospital. There are only a few days left to bring in these toys, so act quickly. Remember, what may seem like just buying one inexpensive toy to you is a priceless Christmas gift to a deserving child.

 

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Missing Sr. Barbara and Her Lovely Dolls: By Ava Gallo, Class of ’18

 

The Kennedy Catholic High School auction is always a fun event to attend, holding a silent auction and a live auction as well as having great food and live music. This year, the auction will be held on November 19th from 6pm-10pm. Every year Sister Barbara would sew beautiful clothes for a doll to auction off during the silent auction. However, after the loss of our beloved Sister Barbara in March, the Kennedy Catholic High School 2016 Auction will be the first in Kennedy history to not have Sister Barbara’s gift available.

“…she used to make 6 or more outfits for the doll as well as provide the accessories…” Mr. Schmidt 

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Sr. Barbara’s closet of doll clothes.

Sewing the clothes for the doll was something Sister enjoyed doing and had a passion for. Mr. Schmidt recalls, “I know she used to make 6 or more outfits for the doll as well as provide the accessories such as shoes, jewelry, etc. She would also get the small ‘closet’ to hang and display all the clothes. Sr. Barbara loved to sew, as you may know from the many costumes she worked on for the school plays.” Going past what Sister Barbara would do for the auction, Mr. Schmidt also stated, “She also provided all the banners that hung in commons, repaired the altar linens, etc. When we went to Goshen, if there was anything that needed repair she would mend it.” Jillian Flynn recalled what Sister Barbara used to say to her “Latin Scholars” about the dolls. She said that sister was proud of making the dolls and that it was something she loved to do and enjoyed doing as it brought her joy to make them. She would even line up the clothes that she would put on the dolls in her office. It seems like making the dolls was something Sister Barbara would look forward to every year around November.

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Our beloved Sr. Barbara Heil

Sadly, this will be the first auction without Sister Barbara and her beautiful doll’s outfits, but the auction is still a great event to attend. The live auction presents items beneficial to the school or members of the Kennedy community. At the 2015 Auction, money was raised through the live auction for new lighting for the Kennedy Catholic High School Players and the Spring Musical, a row of seats at the graduation ceremony could be purchased, and one could also bid on a seat at the President’s Circle Dinner, among other quality items. Those in charge of the event always ensure that there is a good time to be had by all. The evening begins with a lovely selection of fruit, cheese, breads and crackers, wine and a delightful array of sandwiches and other small plate items. While people are bidding on the items in the silent auction, and in the past Sister’s dolls, a group of student musicians play some jazz music. The evening ends with the live auction, but don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee and a cookie on the way out!


Come and be a part of our 2016 Auction. Visit our Auction page to sign up and to learn more about this year’s event:

****   KennedyCatholic.org/Auction   ****

 

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Club Day 2016: By Sophia Brennan ’17

This year’s Club Day was held on September 22. Club Day is when members of the student body can learn about the various clubs KCHS has to offer. Students have the opportunity to sign up for extracurricular activities that they find interesting. To make participation more accessible to all of our students, Father Vaillancourt has set aside Monday afternoons from 2:45 to 3:30 for club meetings. New clubs this year include: the Fishing club, the Science Olympiad club, the “A Capella” club, and the Yoga club. Notable clubs include: the Robotics club, the Drama club, and the Debate club. Without a doubt, this year’s Club Day was an overwhelming success!

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It’s College Admissions Time!
 – By Katie Kennon ’17


Advice from Courtney Kelly of Notre Dame - Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame

Advice from Courtney Kelly of Notre Dame – Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame



Here are some tips from Courtney Kelly, a University of Notre Dame admissions counselor.


If you’ve been walking the halls of Kennedy Catholic recently, you may have noticed most seniors looking awfully stressed. There is a simple explanation for this mass hysteria: the college admissions process!  Ever since the Common Application became available for students on August 1st, the urgency to complete college applications has continued to grow. This madness will persist through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even into early 2017. What will seem like just a few months for most people, to high school seniors will feel like the longest and most stressful time of their lives.

Luckily, there are many opportunities for students to learn about and become more comfortable with the college admissions process, during and even before their senior year to ease some of the stress. There are school guidance counselors, college seminars, Naviance, numerous websites filled with advice, and friends and family that can share their experiences and tips. One of the best opportunities for students is when college admissions counselors visit their High Schools.

Aerial View of ND, Fighting Irish

Image courtesy of The University of Notre Dame

This Thursday, September 22nd Courtney Kelly, an admissions counselor for the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, is coming to Kennedy Catholic. I reached out to her last week to see if she would share her experiences and give the seniors some pointers on this daunting admissions process. In the true “Spirit of the Irish” she agreed to help and so began our “Cyber-Interview.”  These are Miss Kelly’s much valued responses to my inquiries:
The first question I had for her was about what had attracted her to her job as an Admissio
ns Counselor and how long she had been doing this type of work.

My college experience meant the world to me.  I gained knowledge, independence, and became a better person in four years.  I decided to work in admissions in order to help students achieve a similar experience.  I am  passionate about aiding students in finding the right ‘fit’ for them during their college search process.  It is important to find the college or university that fits the type of experience you want and that will help you match the person you want to become. It took me two years to complete my master’s degree in higher education administration with a concentration in enrollment management.  During this time, I was able to work in that institution’s admissions office.  I have only been working at Notre Dame for about six months but I am often able to utilize the experiences I’ve gained at a previous institution.  As soon as I started at Notre Dame, I felt engulfed by and immediately welcomed into this community, so it feels like I have been here much longer!“

Many students help out with our own Kennedy Open Houses so my next question was if Miss Kelly also was involved in open houses before she decided to make this her career.

“I wasn’t!  I originally wanted to work in marketing so after receiving a business degree, I moved to Manhattan and worked in corporate marketing for Conde Nast, a major magazine publisher.  After about three months in this job, I realized the corporate world wasn’t for me.  My passion lied in higher education, being on a college campus, and working with students about to embark on four years of discovery.  If I had realized this earlier I would have tried to get involved.  But hey!  That just goes to show that what you major in doesn’t have to define your career for the rest of your life.  The University of Notre Dame’s most successful finance major is the romance novelist, Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, anyone?!)” 

Since Miss Kelly is responsible for a large geographic area that spans not just Westchester but also NYC, Connecticut, and Long Island, I inquired about her favorite moments in what must be a very hectic career.

“Easy question.  Answer – the students.  I absolutely adore the opportunities to present to, meet with, and advocate for prospective students.  They are all amazing and simply looking for guidance about the leap they are about to take.  I love to hear their stories, offer advice, and talk about whether or not the University of Notre Dame might be the best fit for their college experience.

By hearing her response, it was evident that she loves her job so I then asked her main reason for coming and visiting the schools. I also inquired about the options for a student isn’t able to meet with her.

Two reasons.  To learn and to share.  I want to learn about the region I represent, the high schools in the area, and the students interested in Notre Dame.  I also want to share about the college experience at Notre Dame, the mission, the application process, and answer any questions that students might have.  Applying to college can be stressful and confusing so I want to ease the pressure and help students in any way I can.
 If someone can’t attend my visit and still wants to learn about the University of Notre Dame, they can see when I will be hosting ND on the Road Information Nights near their area (https://enrollment.nd.edu/ndontheroad/).  If those dates don’t fit in their schedule, they are welcome to learn about Notre Dame through the website, or email me directly if they have any questions.  It is not a big deal if students can’t make the visit, so don’t stress!”

I then asked if she felt that these visits were mostly for students to learn about her school or if she wanted to learn about the students.

“Both!  I want to meet the students and guidance staff, and learn about the school.  I also want the students to ask any questions they have about the University of Notre Dame, the application process, or applying to college in general.

I know many Kennedy students were raised University of Notre Dame fans. Maybe it comes from memories of watching “Rudy” and “Knute Rockne, All American” or, perhaps, hearing our parents and grandparents talk about Lou Holtz, Touchdown Jesus. Or maybe it was seeing pictures and hearing about The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Golden Dome. Some may even know that one of the writers of the “Victory March” (Without a doubt the most recognizable collegiate fight song in the nation) Father Michael Shea, was a pastor from St. Augustine’s in Ossining, where many Kennedy students are parishioners. But I wanted to hear from Miss Kelly what she felt was unique about Notre Dame. She did NOT disappoint.

I could spend hours talking about what I think is unique about Notre Dame.  To keep it short, the community and mission of Notre Dame are particularly unique.  The community here is awe inspiring.  At the home football game against Nevada, I sat behind six alum in their 70’s who returned to campus together to watch the game.  They were decked out head to toe in gear and cheered, high fived with every point scored, and at the end of the game stood up along with the entire student section, linked arms, and sang their Alma Mater.  I teared up sitting behind them because there is such an undeniable passion for this university – whether you are/were a student, a staff/faculty member, or simply a Fighting Irish fan.  You feel it with every alum you speak with, every step you take on campus, and every current student who tells you their story.  Notre Dame is a community of support, exploration, and faith.  The mission of the university is what inspires this community.  The broadly stated mission gives students the opportunity to develop students as whole human beings and have them graduate as a force of good for the world.  We are looking for students who are willing to be this force for their local community, the nation, and the world.  We want our students to be successful, of course, but to use that success in a way that enhances their surroundings.

As we wound down the interview, I asked what the most important “take-away” is that Miss Kelly could share with students.

 Find your fit.  There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States.  Each one offers a unique college experience.  I know that the Notre Dame experience isn’t the fit that each prospective student is looking for so I try my best to help students figure out exactly what they want from their college experience.  Think about academics, location, community, mission, clubs, activities, sports, size, research opportunities, study abroad opportunities etc. and try your best to picture yourself on each campus.  Where will you excel?  What experience will guide you to be the person you want to become?  Where will you have fun?

Lastly, I asked Miss Kelly if she recommends that people visit the schools to which they are applying. As someone who is considering schools that are far away, I have had difficulty organizing college visits.


“Personally, I think visiting colleges or universities is very beneficial when decided where to attend college.  Prospective students can see the campus, speak with current students, and really get the feel, or vibe, of the place.  The University of Notre Dame, however, doesn’t take demonstrated interest into account so if you are too busy to visit before you apply, that is not a problem!  It might be a great option to visit after you’re admitted so you can really lay out your options and see what college experience, community, and campus if the best fit for you.  College is an adventure and you want to be sure to pick the adventure that is best suited for who you are and who you want to become.”

I would like to thank Miss Kelly for participating in the interview and for coming to Kennedy this Thursday! The story about the group of 70-year-old alumni especially brought a tear to my eye and without a doubt, made me want to experience the “Fighting Irish” spirit for myself! In the meantime, I will review Miss Kelly’s helpful pointers and follow her advice throughout the college admissions process and hope that all my fellow seniors will do the same.

 

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“GOOD MORNING, SUNRISE!” – By Kelsey Baron, ’17


“GOOD MORNING, SUNRISE!”…

…shouted approximately 800 rising high school seniors at 5:30 in the morning. A normal high schooler wouldn’t want to be awake at 5:30am, but this group was different. These 800 candidates were not only awake, but motivated and excited for the hour-and-a-half of sunrise PT (physical training) that was about to begin. I and one other of my Kennedy classmates, Nick Goebelbecker, had the privilege to be among those 800 high schoolers, who were invited to attend The United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar, NASS. It is a week long immersive experience into life as a Naval Academy Midshipman. The program’s acceptance is even more competitive than getting accepted into the Naval Academy itself. During my week spent at the Academy, PT was part of our morning routine just about everyday. We would then move onto tours and intramural sports, classes, or sea trials, depending on the day.

 Echo company, 2nd platoon, 1st Squad

We call ourselves “Echo Elite”

Each candidate was placed in a Company, Platoon, and Squad. This was how most of our daily activities were organized. I was a proud member of Echo company, 2nd platoon, 1st squad.(Easy day Echo!) During the week I came to have great pride in Echo-2-1, and grew very close with the new friends I made, especially those in my squad. We called ourselves Echo Elite, and supported each other throughout the seminar. We came from all over the U.S.; from New Jersey to Texas to California. I’m still close with members of my squad, we share application experiences and advice with each other. At meal times we ate with our squad. Although it was challenging with about 900 people talking at once, we managed to get to know each other during meal times and enjoyed some USNA traditions. One such tradition was opening a new jar of peanut butter by standing on your chair, yelling “Beat Army!!” and smashing the jar on your head so that the seal popped off, followed by a round of applause from the rest of the dining hall. During the latter half of the week, we attended Naval Academy classes taught by Academy professors. From discussing military scenarios and what the right decision would be when placed in them, to getting soaked learning how to patch a leaking pipe, all learning was hands on.

Wet, dirty push-ups during NASS

NASS Students participate in “Wet and Sandy”

One of my favorite parts of NASS was our day of Sea Trials. Sea Trials is a 13 hour experience that plebes (freshman) at the academy complete towards the end of their first year. We had a mini version of sea trials that was about 8 hours long, and consisted of four phases. My favorite part was “wet and sandy”, during which we jumped in the Severn River, fully clothed, then rolled around in the muddy sand and proceeded to do push ups and team building exercises. It was challenging, cold, and slightly disgusting; but also, exhilarating, fun, and an experience I will never have anywhere else.

End of Junior Year Experience at USNA

End of Junior Year Experience at USNA

During NASS we attended many briefs about everything from academics at the Academy, to ethics, to job opportunities that would be available after graduation. My favorite brief was presented by a woman named Ryan Manion. She spoke of her brother, Travis Manion, a Navy seal who made the ultimate sacrifice when hit by enemy sniper fire while aiding and drawing fire away from his wounded comrades. Travis’ actions that day allowed every other member of his patrol to survive the ambush. His sister, Ryan, and their mother created the Travis Manion Foundation in his honor. Its purpose is to serve veterans, remember the fallen, and inspire the next generation to live in a way that honors those who fought for their freedom. When asked why he was willing to go out on another deployment, Travis Manion answered, “If not me, then who?” Ms. Manion challenged all of us attending NASS to live out this idea and now, I want to pass this challenge on to you as well.

The United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar was one of the best weeks of my life. I highly urge high school juniors to consider applying for NASS and the Naval Academy itself. NASS is a fantastic opportunity, and an experience like no other. It will challenge you, push you farther than you ever thought you would go, and reward you in ways you can’t even imagine. You will form friendships that will last across the country and learn lessons about character and morals that will stay with you throughout your life. I could not be more grateful for my week spent at the Academy. It is my dream to attend the Naval Academy, graduate as a part of the class of 2021, and to serve in our nation’s Navy. After all, “If not me, then who?”.

 

To learn more about NASS at the United States Naval Academy, click here!

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Ribbon Cutting for the New Track: By Chiara Calov ’18

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Father Vaillancourt Cuts the Ribbon on the New Track

The Kennedy Catholic community came together at the first K-Fest celebration on the weekend of April 23rd, to celebrate two days of social events and sports games. To kick off the jamboree, Father Vaillancourt, along with various students, parents, and family members of Kennedy, cut the ribbon to open the newly-renovated, state-of-the-art, 400-meter track. At 7 am, crowds joined to walk a mile around the track, in honor of Sister Barbara. During the week prior to K-fest, Kennedy students received monetary pledges to raise donations that will go towards a restoration of the prayer Grotto in the front of the Kennedy property. The Grotto will also be in recognition and commemoration of Sister Barbara.

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Senior Rebecca O’Callaghan passes the baton to Sister Janet

The opening of this new track symbolizes an era of progress within Kennedy Catholic. From the first track team to the current one, led by senior captains Kenny Brown and Rebecca O’Callaghan, the spirit and passion for running has been kept alive. Not only will the track team have the opportunity to feel at home with their gorgeous facility, but other sports team athletes will have the ability to make use of the area. The track is simply another great addition to the beautiful Kennedy campus, and a visual depicting the unity and contributions of the Kennedy Catholic population.

Thank you to all those who assisted in the coming-to of this track, and to those who came out to the honorary opening and walk-a-thon.

To see more pictures, visit our Online Gallery. Pictures are also available for download for a period of time on our PIXIESET account.

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Serving the Community: by Rebecca O’Callaghan ’16 & Layne Smith ’16

serving others

Student Government stands with a member a of United for the Troops. SG collected food and other gifts for the troops serving overseas.

Courage and compassion. These two attributes are deeply woven into all that  Kennedy Catholic does, especially when it comes to serving the community. Kennedy’s giving spirit is felt by many different organizations and people, both locally and overseas.

This past Christmas season, the Student Council ran two collection drives for local charities. The first was for United for the Troops, a community organization based out of Shrub Oak, NY  that sends care packages to troops stationed overseas with the goal of “bringing a little comfort to our troops.” It is a Kennedy Catholic tradition to assist this organization each winter and this year the drive collected over 750 clothing, toiletry and food items to support the soldiers. The second drive ran by the Student Council was a food drive for Our Lady of the Assumption in Peekskill, NY. Our Lady of the Assumption then donated our food to nearby food pantries. As a community, our school collected over 1,000 food items. By working in conjunction with the Peekskill parish, Kennedy was able to bring a little more joy to the Christmas season.

Hoops winners

The winning team at this year’s (and final) Maureen’s Hoop for Hope.

The Play Ball club at Kennedy Catholic also hosted a drive this past December. The club was created by seniors Alexander Morgante and Esteban Ramirez with the goal of collecting slightly used sports equipment to donate to unprivileged children in Connecticut. The two seniors spearheaded the club because of the large role that athletics has played in their own childhoods. They wanted to give the same opportunities which they had, to less fortunate children. With the help of the Kennedy Catholic student body, they were able to complete their first equipment drive and look forward to future collections. 

The second annual children’s hospital toy drive was also ran this past winter. Seniors Jennifer Goldfarb, Rebecca O’Callaghan and Christina Rowland started the first toy drive last year and with the Kennedy Catholic community’s overwhelming support, they were able to successfully complete another drive. What started off as a 300 toy goal for one hospital turned into over 700 toys which were able to be shared between both Maria Ferari and Blythedale Children’s Hospitals as well as the Mustard Seed Migrant Ministry in Goshen, NY. The representatives at the hospitals were pleasantly surprised and very appreciative of the generous donations. The hospitals could not fit the numerous amount of toys into their collection bins which allowed the remaining toys to be donated to Mustard Seed, with Sister Barbara’s assistance. Kennedy Catholic’s overwhelming response to the toy drive makes the three senior girls confident that the toy drive will continue for many years.

Giving to others

Seniors Jennifer Goldfarb, Rebecca O’Callaghan and Christina Rowland stand next to the mountain of toys they collected for the children’s hospital.

For the ninth year in a row, Kennedy Catholic hosted the annual Hoops for Hope basketball tournament, held in honor of Maureen McAvoy, a member of the class of 2006 who passed away in 2007 after a brave battle with brain cancer. Championed by her sister and class of 2007 graduate Siobhan McAvoy, a myriad of participators, including two teams of current Kennedy seniors, as well as many alumni, faculty, family, and friends, took part in a 5-on-5 tournament to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer. All of the proceeds from the afternoon went to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Brain Cancer Research Center. While 2015 was a culmination of a nine year run for Maureen’s Hoops for Hope, it was a tremendous celebration of Maureen’s life and the legacy she has left with her friends, family, and the Kennedy Catholic community. 

Also during the month of December was our annual blood drive, one of Kennedy’s most successful charitable events to date. Organized by the Student Council, Mrs. Normile, and the New York Blood Center, there was a fantastic turnout of 70 participants, comprised of not only Kennedy Catholic students, but all aspects of the community from faculty to parents. While one of the concerns for any potential donor, especially students, is the risk associated with giving blood, Kennedy Catholic senior and first time donor, Valerie Sedano, said “The thought that my donation could truly help someone allowed me to move past the initial anxiety of giving blood. In my opinion, donating blood made a difference in my life. I overcame a fear, and now I’m currently waiting to be place on a bone marrow donor list”. One of the proponents of the drive, Mrs. Normile talked of how beneficial it is “to get the Kennedy juniors and seniors comfortable and happy to donate at such a young age, allowing them to become lifelong blood donors well into their later years of life”. So many people need blood, whether it be cancer patients, new mothers, victims of car accidents, just to name a few. Giving blood is one of the most unique and wondrous types of service and charity, in that it can be the gift of life.

If there is one thing that is prided above all else at Kennedy Catholic, especially during this paramount Golden Jubilee year, it is a commitment to service. The many drives, events, and widespread passion and participation for this service is something that sets Kennedy apart and is most certainly a legacy to be proud of. Such service spans not only within Kennedy, but how we, as students and a collective school, can affect the greater community and the world. 

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How to Prepare for the College Fair and Find the Right Fit: By Maggie Kennon ’17

What do Berkeley College, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Cobleskill, University of Tampa, and Villanova University have in common? They will all be at the Kennedy Catholic college fair this Thursday! This is an amazing opportunity for sophomores and juniors to get a first impression of many schools. In total, forty-six schools will be in attendance to answer all of the students’ questions. Some of the attending  schools are even located as far away as California and Florida! With the right tips and guidance, students will be able to make the most out of this great opportunity.

We, as a school, really appreciate all that our guidance team does for us as we work our way through the steps of our college search. I personally found Mrs. Gerrity’s email, “College Fair Tips for Students” very helpful and suggest that my fellow classmates also read it. In addition to Mrs. Black and Mrs. Gerrity’s pointers, here are some other things to consider:
  • Students should try to research some of the colleges before going to the college fair. This can be done easily by looking at their website. It may also help you form questions to ask yourself, such as:
  • Which schools offer the majors you are interested in?
  • Do you know if you want a large or small school?  City campus or something in the country?  -Does the school have the sports you are interested? How about clubs?
  • Do you want to stay close to New York, a train ride away or are you thinking of going farther away from home? California perhaps?
  • Is it important to you that the school is Catholic? Did you check out their Newman society or club? There are close to 200 Catholic colleges and universities in the USA. Some are Franciscan, others are Jesuit, Dominican, Augustinian, Congregation of Holy Cross or Diocese run.
In addition to asking yourself many questions, be sure to ask the college representatives questions. One great topic  to ask the reps about is the retention rate, which is the percentage of freshmen that return for their sophomore year. This can help indicate if the students are happy at that school. Always take the materials offered by the colleges, being as there may not be enough time to speak to each college rep individually. It also gives you something to review after the fair.
 
Things to consider after the Fair:
  • 
Which colleges were memorable for you? Jot down some notes as to why.
  • Organize the colleges that were interesting and prepare to learn more information about them. You should sign up for their mailing list. Perhaps you may even want to plan a visit to the school.
  • 
If you have not done so already, make a file for all your college information. It does not have to be fancy, an old copy paper box will do, but keep things in one place so you can refer back to them. Don’t forget, you will be involved in this college search next year too.
Applying for college is an intimidating task. However, it is not impossible, the current seniors have already started to wear sweatshirts of the school they will be attending, proving that this task is well worth the effort. In addition to these fairs, we have a great Guidance Department that will be with us every step of the way. So don’t despair! The right college for each of us is out there somewhere, and the spring college fair is a great way to start finding that school. Before you know it, you will be one of those senior students proudly wearing your college sweatshirt.
 
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
- Saint Augustine