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A Summer of Excellence

Let’s start with stories from students involved in Holy Trinity’s unique summer programs.

NXTGEN
As part of Holy Trinity's B-STEM Honors Program, students who demonstrate an interest in application development, cyber security and software development are chosen to attend summer classes at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

“We learned a lot of useful tips about staying safe online as well as taking electronics apart to better understand how they work, all of this being useful information that I will bring back to the Robotics Club and will exercise in my daily life.” — Gabriel Sheikh ‘20

Holy Cross Conference for Student Leaders
Offered each summer on the campus of Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, students and faculty meet counterparts from sister high schools and share what it means to be a Holy Cross school.

This year, Campus Minister Oswald Avile and Teacher Dianne Kenny took four rising seniors — Anastasia Adjei, Ashley Walton, Samuel Barrera and Yosiel Montes — on this five-day event which included a pilgrimage, community service projects and even a visit to “Touchdown Jesus” at the University of Notre Dame stadium.

“My experience at the Holy Cross Conference was amazing. I had the opportunity to meet new people and share with them our different traditions at school as well as hear their own traditions. My idea of what a Holy Cross School should be hasn't changed. This encouraged me to become more active in school and hopefully join SGA, as well as peer ministry.” — Samuel Barrera '21

“I saw that everyone had different traditions, events and mottos at their school, but we all were under the same faith. I want everyone to be able to connect with Christ and let God minister through them so they can minister to others. I also want to do as much as I can to show the whole Holy Trinity community that we are a family.” — Ashley Walton '19

STEP-UP and Coach
This unique program is designed to teach young men the qualities of responsibility, work ethic, dedication and public speaking through coaching. This year, four current sophomores and two juniors began their experience with a weekend of training at Holy Trinity, led by five program graduates who served as counselors and teachers. The group then joined teens from other regional schools for a week-long program at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. There, participants received hands-on training in the art of coaching, working with the local Boys and Girls’ Club, and learned about college readiness through Wabash College.

“This program taught me how to develop a voice when talking to a crowd, self-confidence, how to become responsible and how to have fun but still be serious as a student. I’m growing as a person through this program, and I’m grateful because I know not everyone has this opportunity.” — Eric Sanders ‘20

Friends for a Future: Summer Internship
Since 1995, Holy Trinity’s unique Friends for a Future internship program has been placing students in corporate internships. Students are also matched with a professional mentor from the business community.

"I had to interview in front of two people, which was intimidating at first, but we practiced in our NFTE class on how to interview—things to do, tips and tricks—so I answered their questions the best that I could." — Saniyah Jordan '19, intern at The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

"Insurance is really fun, at least this sector of insurance which is commercial general liability for pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutraceuticals. I think I’ve come to actually enjoy this work, also. I’m putting it on my list of interests for majors." — De'Jah Donahue '19, intern at Ryan Specialty Group

“I didn’t really know about Institute of Food Technologists or what food technology is. They have a science division, they research the food you eat, so it’s giving me a lot of ideas about what paths could be open to me.” — Abiola Salimon ‘18, intern at Institute of Food Technologists

“I was overwhelmed with excitement when I was provided the opportunity to work at Assurance Agency. I feel like the values I’ve learned at Holy Trinity have really prepared me for the workplace.” — Anastasia Adjei ‘19, intern at Assurance Agency

Beyond programs offered directly through Holy Trinity, many of our students made the most of their summers through unique opportunities offered by some of our partner organizations.

Chick Evans Scholarship
Each year, a number of Holy Trinity students head to area golf courses to try their hand at caddying. For many, it’s a new and very different experience from their home life. While the days can be long and the work can be hard, they’re eager for these opportunities, which can help them earn a coveted Chick Evans Scholarship for college.

"For the past 8 weeks, I’ve been staying at Elmhurst College, waking up at 5 a.m. and at work by 6 a.m. It was my first year with help from the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, and I'm working towards the Chick Evans Scholarship! It has been a really fun and amazing experience." — Diamond Russell ‘21, caddy at Ruth Lake Country Club

"This is my third year caddying through the WGA Caddie Academy, a seven-week residential program. Encourage all freshmen to apply and to contact me with any questions!" — Star Brooks ‘19, caddy at Skokie Country Club

College Partnerships
Across the country, Holy Trinity students could be found on college campuses, exploring new topics, deepening their passions for favored subjects and experiencing first-hand what college will be like.

This year, Emely Martinez ‘20 spent a week at Saint Mary’s College High Potentials Leadership Program. “It was a fun thing to do! We went on a rope course plus met the mayor and other empowered women.”

Yosiel Montes ‘19 and Ashley Walton ‘19 spent a month at Wheaton College through the school’s BRIDGE program. This is the second year they’ve participated in the program, which qualifies them for a four-year college scholarship. Mid-way through, Yosi sent this update: "The second years have been working really hard on our sociology paper. We have amazing TA’s and RA’s who have been helping us throughout the process."

On the East Coast, Jessica Roman ‘20 spent time at Smith College. “I have gone on multiple trips around Massachusetts along with being able to take very interesting classes. It is a month-long program in which you take the classes and meet new people. The experience has impacted me so positively. I got to meet very intelligent, caring people and be part of an amazing school. I also got to learn so much about the human body and how it works, gain hands-on experiences doing labs and went on field trips. I will miss being here!”

Studying Abroad
Other students traveled even farther afield for their programs. Through LINK Unlimited Scholars, De’Janae Phillips ‘19 studied abroad in Costa Rica, living with a host family for a month, attending school and living the “pura vida” life. She shared: "I am at Finca La Flor, a farm where twelve people live and work. It is beautiful and colorful. My group and I are vegetarians for the week. I got to use a machete today (pretty exciting since I watch the Walking Dead and my favorite character uses one) for cutting branches and bamboo to get leaves for the horses. It's very peaceful and calming."

Also through LINK, Armani Pace '19 spent a month in Italy, taking art classes, living with a host family and exploring the culture. “I’ve learned more Italian than I thought I would because my host mom can’t speak English and my host sister’s friends can only speak broken English. In my art class, I got to make a sculpture out of marble from a mountain that we visited. Italy is such a beautiful place to be because it’s not every day that you get to look out of your window and drive on the road and have a view of a mountain. This has truly been a summer I will never forget.”