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School News: Girls Schools Unite

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by Bonny Van

When it comes to school competition, students put in their best efforts to help their team win. But, during the first week of May, former students from five all-girls Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati do the same in a competition off the field, called Girls’ Schools Unite Campaign. The goal of the event is “to raise awareness and financial support for all-girls Catholic education in Cincinnati,” according to Patty Thelen, marketing director of Mercy McAuley High School.

The week-long campaign, held May 3 – 7, requests alumnae from Mercy McAuley, Mount Notre Dame, Seton, St. Ursula Academy and Ursuline Academy make a financial gift to their respective schools. This year, seniors from the schools were also invited to participate.

“We were inspired by a similar competition happening amongst the all-girls Catholic schools in Louisville (Kentucky),” Thelen explained. “The campaign includes an element of healthy competition to help incentivize participation. The five schools are coming together in this creative campaign to remind our communities about the benefits of receiving an all-girls Catholic education while providing essential financial support for our current and future students.”

This is the second year for the competitive fund-raiser. Last year, even with students learning from home because of the pandemic, Girls’ Schools Unite raised an impressive $343,682. This year, nearly 6,000 alumnae from the five schools donated a total of more than $456,000 to their alma maters. For the second year in a row, Seton High School had the highest participation of alumnae participation.

Thelen said Girls’ Schools Unite goes beyond “school colors and mascots.” It’s a way to provide support for the 2,991 students enrolled in the five high schools. Thelen added the event highlighted the importance and value of all-girls Catholic education.

“The past year has been challenging for everyone – including our students,” said Thelen. “Last spring, the pandemic took away their in-person classroom instruction, their spring sports seasons, and many beloved traditions such as prom, award ceremonies and special events. But through it all, our students persevered and returned to in-person instruction this past fall, wearing masks and social distancing. Today, they are excited about the light at the end of the tunnel and the return to a more traditional high school experience! This campaign also celebrates the accomplishments and perseverance of these five schools during such challenging times in our world.”

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