The OLMA Overview -- March 16, 2018
This week has been a whirlwind! It began with our Annual Blood Drive on Monday morning. Many thanks to all of the students, family members, faculty, and staff who donated. I hope you will take comfort in knowing that you saved up to three lives. Congratulations to our team of student organizers for making this year's drive possible -- despite the curve ball from Mother Nature last week.

If you've been watching our social media sites, you know that our juniors have been out and about shadowing many types of career professionals. Students shadowed athletic trainers, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, veterinarians, attorneys, police officers, teachers, marketers, TV news producers, and more. Great job by Mrs. Szawlewicz for putting this program together.

On Wednesday, Maria Eaise, Alex Bisignaro and Samantha McBurrows led us in a special prayer service in honor of the 17 students who lost their lives in the recent Florida shooting. We began in the Chapel and then processed outside where the names of the 17 victims were read aloud. It was a very touching ceremony and a meaningful way of reminding us of fragility -- and wonder -- of life. Maria, Alex and Samantha were inspired to plan this ceremony after being part of the meeting recently held with Camden Diocese Bishop Dennis Sullivan.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend and look forward to seeing you on campus soon. -- Mrs. Coyle
Student Spotlight
Morgan Kenny, Class of 2021
Imagine waking up one morning unable to see, with no idea why. That's exactly what happened to OLMA freshmen, Morgan Kenny, when she was 13 years old.

"For an entire year, my mom and I traveled across the country visiting doctor after doctor getting a different diagnosis from each one," said Morgan. "None of them were correct and my condition got worse as I started to have very serious panic attacks. Before this happened, I was involved in sports, theater, voice, and dabbled in pageants. I even performed on Broadway, and had to stop everything. I also lost a year of school."

At last, the Kennys found a doctor who saw something the others had not. It turned out that Morgan had a fall during a gymnastics practice six or so weeks before she lost her sight. "I fell and hit my head, but was fine," she said. "In gymnastics, you fall all the time. I felt fine and perfectly normal, until I woke up unable to see. No one, not even my mom and I, connected the fall with my condition until we saw Dr. Vincent Vicci. What we thought was a simple fall, turned out to be a type of Traumatic Brain Injury that doesn't show any symptoms right away."

While her recovery involved surgery, special eye wear and many visits to doctors and physical therapists, Morgan is working her way back -- and shining every step of the way. While her injury hasn't allowed her to return to some of her former activities, Morgan found her niche in the world of pageantry. She recently retired her title of USA National Miss Garden State Jr. Teen 2017, and was just crowned Miss Delaware High School America 2018. In June, she will advance to the National Competition to be held in Little Rock, Arkansas. These pageants are part of the Miss High School America Pageant Organization. In Morgan's case, she qualified to compete in Delaware even though she resides outside the state and attends OLMA.

In her new role, Morgan will spend the next year promoting her platform -- Navigating the Neurotic Tunnel. She will be doing everything possible to increase the awareness of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and the need to more easily diagnose them. "My ultimate goal is to educate people about TBI and raise enough funds to begin improving the diagnostic equipment currently available in doctor's offices and hospitals. After being misdiagnosed so many times, I want to help make sure that others don't have to go through what I did."

Morgan joined OLMA in September after relocating to South Jersey. She is thriving in every way and is a regular contributor to the life of our school. We are proud of you, Morgan, and look forward to supporting you -- and your platform -- in the years ahead. Congratulations!
OLMA Juniors On the Job (Shadow)
As is the case when buying a new dress, the only way to know for sure if it's right for you is to try it on for size first. Much the same is true when it comes to careers, which is why Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) juniors spent the week shadowing professionals in fields that interest them the most. Students shadowed doctors, surgeons, veterinarians, physical therapists, police officers, attorneys, elementary school teachers, and more.

"The feedback we've received is exactly what we hoped for," said Melissa Szawlewicz, Director of Guidance. "The experiences either cemented or dramatically changed the girls' ideas about what they want to do. We are so glad to be able to provide our students with this opportunity for the second consecutive year. It's a program that we plan to continue to build, as it benefits our students so much."

Mrs. Szawlewicz explained that the school's smaller size enabled the program to be completely student driven. "Often times, schools are forced to find willing professionals first and then ask students to choose. We started with the girls and then found professionals that matched," she said. 

Many thanks to the professionals who hosted our students this week. The following are some photo highlights.
Samantha McBurrows and Annalise Barrett at Inspira Medical Center
Alessandra Daniel and Elena Anglani at Cross Keys Animal Hospital
Alaina Balestriere at Main Road School
Tiana Berkley and Courtney Mosley at Spectrum Physical Therapy
Alina Colon at the Cumberland County Prosecutors Office
Be Part of the Crew on Sunday
OLMA Crew will be demonstrating their skills at their first Annual Row-A-Thon on Sunday morning at 10 AM. It all happens in Carew Hall and admission and breakfast are free! Come cheer on our team as they get set for their first race of the season.
Help Us Help Others
Have dinner plans on Monday night? How about joining the OLMA Interact Club at Panera Bread in Deptford? Eat in or take out from 6 PM to 9 PM on Monday and Panera Bread will donate back a chunk of all proceeds. Help us help others -- and enjoy!
Easter Cheer Needed!
Designer Handbag BINGO Tickets
Get set to play BINGO and WIN DESIGNER BAGS! It all happens on Friday, April 27 in Carew Hall. Doors open at 6 PM and tickets are just $30 each. To reserve your ticket or table (eight paid tickets required), contact Kathy Ryan at or Georgina Morrell at All proceeds will benefit the students of OLMA!

Copy and paste this link to share event with your friends on Facebook:
OLMA Spring Fest -- April 28
New Scholarships Just Added!
It's not too late to secure scholarships to help offset the cost of college. It takes a little research, but many opportunities exist out there. Here's a link to a list that we maintain for you under the Guidance section of our website. Deadlines are looming, so if you are interested, please apply ASAP. Good luck!
Upcoming Events

CREW Row-a-Thon -- March 18, 10 AM

Panera Bread Fundraiser for Interact -- Please help us helf others by dining in or taking out at the Panera Bread in Deptford on Monday night.

Happy St. Patrick's Day -- March 17

Easter Break Begins -- March 28

Green & Gold Club Meeting -- April 11; 6:30 PM

SAVE THE DATE -- OLMA Art Auction -- April 19

Accepted Students Saturday -- April 21

Designer Bag BINGO -- April 27

OLMA Spring Fest -- April 28
We hope you enjoy the OLMA Overview. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Mrs. Kinkade at 856.697.2008, ext. 140, or email her at: