"I Am St. Francis"
The Senior Student Perspective: Five Questions for Joey S. ‘21 and Andrew C. ’21
1. What grade school did you attend? What activities have you been involved in at SFHS?
Andrew: School: St. Michael Activities: Golf, Basketball, Baseball, Student Ambassador Leadership Team (SALT), Student Ministry Team (SMT), National Honor Society, Men’s Spirituality
Joey: I attended St. James the Apostle in Glen Ellyn and graduated in 2017. I am involved in a bunch of activities at SFHS. They are Arts and Crafts, Student Ambassador Leadership Team, National Honors Society, Math Team, Women’s Spirituality (Co-Founder), Crew Member for Theater Productions, Student Ministry Team and Student Government.
2. How do you balance curricular and co-curricular life at SFHS?
Andrew: I have been able to balance my curricular and co-curricular life at SFHS very well through my four years here. I do so by paying attention to the schedules that my teachers give me and make sure not to fall behind as well as still having time to focus on my sports and clubs that I am involved in. Also, if I ever feel too overwhelmed with something I will reach out to my teachers for help. Our teaching staff at SFHS is here to help us succeed and prepare for college. They do not want us to fall behind and fail. They will spend time before school, after school and even during study halls to make sure I know everything that is going on so that I can succeed.
Joey: While participating in advanced courses and many activities is challenging, in the end it is worthwhile. I have to remember and acknowledge what is going on in my classes before I commit myself. Staying up to date and on top of it is how I balance my curriculars and co-curriculars.
3. You are in the midst of the college application process. What SFHS resources have you taken advantage of?
Andrew: There is no way around the fact that the college application process is a tough and stressful time for all us seniors, but one great thing we have at SFHS is the resources to make sure this process runs smoothly. The biggest factor in making the process better is our counselors. They want us to get in wherever we apply and that means they are going to help us and make sure all our questions are answered. I had an issue with a college that I applied to since they did not receive something they needed, but my counselor emailed the school and got it figured out. Another resource we have is a website called Naviance. This website helps incredibly with the application process. It allows us to send out letters of recommendation, and we can have our transcripts sent from Naviance which is a huge weight off our backs knowing where everything is located. Our resources here at SFHS allows us to really put our best foot forward to every college and allows us not to miss something that could be a deciding factor when applying to college.
Joey: I have used many resources at SFHS to apply to colleges. I had two of my favorite teachers write my letters of recommendation. I have used Naviance, an online college tracker, to help track which colleges I am interested in and get a general sense of the college. SFHS holds a number of college-based workshops/programs for parents and students, and my mom attended a couple and was able to use that information to help me when I was applying. Finally, the counselors at SFHS were super helpful. I was able to email them and set an appointment and discuss college application stuff and have them answer my questions.
4. What Franciscan virtue do you most connect with your high school experience? Why?
Andrew: The Franciscan virtue that I connect with the most throughout my high school experience is joy. Every day that I enter through our school halls I feel the sense of joy that surrounds me. I can’t take all the credit for my joyfulness in the halls because the people who surround me are also so joyful that it rubs off on me. I have noticed that during and in between classes I want to make people happy and somedays it is tougher than others but overall, as long as I am able, I try to bring my positive attitude into every class.
Joey: One Franciscan virtue I connect with my high school experience the most is sisterhood. I connect with this virtue for two reasons. First friends. Friends in high school are important. My female friends and peers helped me discover who I am and who I want to be. Another reason I connect with this virtue is because I co-founded the Women’s Spirituality group. This gives females in the building a chance to meet and discuss our lives and faith.
5. Describe why you chose SFHS for your high school experience.
Andrew: When I was in 8th grade I already had a brother who was a sophomore, so I already had some familiar faces at SFHS. Still though I was unsure where I wanted to go to high school until I had my shadow day. The energy that I noticed in the school was incredible and it seemed like everyone was having their best day and was so happy to be at school- which is something as an 8th grader you aren’t used to. Another factor that made me choose to go to SFHS were how nice and helpful the teachers all were. While I was the small 8th grader visiting high school for the first time, they asked questions and kept me involved and made me feel comfortable during my visit. These along with so many other great things at SFHS made my decision so easy to spend my next four years here.
Joey: I chose SFHS as my high school because it was medium sized, had a great art program, and had an emphasis on faith. As I stated before, I attended St. James from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Therefore, I had gone to a small, catholic school for most of my life and wanted to continue that in high school. Another reason why I picked SFHS is because of their amazing Arts program. While academics are important and something that SFHS excels at, you also want your high school to have a program or activity that interests you. For me, the activity that I was interested in was the Arts and SFHS has an astonishing Arts program.
6. What advice would you give to parents of middle school students that are considering SFHS for their child’s high school experience?
Andrew: One piece of advice that I would give to middle school parents is to not worry if their children have a tough time making friends or fitting in. The best thing that I have noticed through my four years here is that there is a place for everyone. Whether your child has 10 friends coming to SFHS or knows no one - just let it take time, and they will find a friend group perfect for them. SFHS caters to everyone’s interests and has so many different clubs and sports so another piece of advice would be to tell your child to get involved in things they enjoy, and therefore they can surround people who are interested in the same things as them. As long as they become involved in the sports and clubs they enjoy then they will find the best people to surround themselves with and have an amazing experience here at SFHS. The final piece of advice I would give is do not worry if it takes time for your child to find great people to surround themselves with. It may take time but eventually they will find friends that they will stay in touch with for many years to come.
Joey: One of the big reasons I choose SFHS was because I felt comfortable. I was really worried about how big some other school were and how I might distance myself from my faith, but SFHS has a perfect size and an amazing pastoral ministry team that felt comfortable to me. Therefore, make sure you child is comfortable in the school setting of their high school.
7. What is one word that encapsulates your experience at St. Francis?
Joey: One word that encapsulated my SFHS experience is BLESSED.