St. Francis de Sales, the co-founder of the Sisters of the Visitation, highlighted the power of “Little Virtues” such as humility, simplicity, gentleness, and thoughtful concern for others as keys to growth in the spiritual life. For Senam Adedze, a member of the class of 2019 at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., those virtues have been influential in her academic and spiritual life. 

“Joyful optimism has been one [Little Virtue] that I have tried to focus on recently because senior year is pretty difficult,” she said of the values taught at the school, which is sponsored by the Visitation order. “In this last part of my time at Visitation, (I’ve focused on) just being really intentional about being optimistic, really being present in the moment.” 

Adedze, who has attended Catholic schools since the age of six, noted the role of faith in her education, saying, “The fact that it is ever present...mirrors how God is ever present in our life.” 

“I like that it has always been a part of my life,” she said.

She is the daughter of Agbenyega and Pascasie Adedze and has a brother Dela, and they are parishioners at St. Ann Catholic Church in Arlington, Virginia.

Adedze plans to attend University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall, where she will pursue her interests in environmental engineering, international relations, and public health. 

Among the classes she has taken at Visitation that have fueled interests in the above subjects, Adedze said she has grown to appreciate math, especially her honors pre-calculus class, in which she learned how practical applications of math and engineering can better lives through helping combat social injustices. 

“My math teacher junior was pretty influential in my interest in engineering,” she said. “Previously I’ve been kind of scared of math.” 

“I like that it not only taught me math, but taught me the application in terms of social inequities,” she said. 

During her years at Visitation, Adedze was an admissions ambassador, co-captain of the varsity basketball team, poetry editor of the school’s literary magazine, member of the rugby club, senior class president, and member of the Kaleidoscope Multicultural Club. 

“It really emphasizes how communication is integral to finding a common ground between people who have varying opinions,” Adedze said of Kaleidoscope. “Most of all, I like that Kaleidoscope is grounded in ‘Little Virtues’ as well and Salesian spirituality… Every one of our actions in trying to understand other people should come from a place of love.” 

Adedze said she is grateful for the longtime opportunity to attend Catholic schools and the blessings brought into her life because of it. 

“I’ve been really fortunate to always be surrounded by people who intentionally try to bring God to me every day in religious class or my other teachers through prayer in most of my classes before they begin,” she said. 

Attending Georgetown Visitation, Adedze said, has cultivated virtues in her that can draw others to the faith. 

“Being here,” she said, “has helped me want to be that person.”