When Lauren Martin, a senior at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland, realized there were many around the world suffering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, she knew she had to help. Working with her mother, Martin got word out for a food drive and collected bags of food donations from her Olney neighbors for Gaithersburg Help, a nearby food pantry. 

“My heart was just full, there were so many bags,” she said. “All these people were willing to help even though this is a time of uncertainty… I was just beyond myself that I could help provide.” 

And as Martin prepares to graduate from Our Lady of Good Counsel, a spirit of service is just one lesson that she is taking with her to college.

“I’ve had a lot of great opportunities at Good Counsel,” she said. “So many doors have opened for me through the teachers, staff and even students. I’ve been told that I inspire many people and that means a lot to me.” 

As a student athlete, Martin spent much of her time on the lacrosse field and in the swimming pool as a successful player and a team leader. She will go on to play Division One women’s lacrosse at Virginia Tech this fall, where she hopes to major in property management or be on a pre-veterinarian track. 

“The coaches were fantastic,” Martin said. “I was really prepared by my high school coaches… I’m ready to take that next step, and I’m excited.” 

When Martin was not practicing on the field or in the pool, she was painting a mural in the school’s campus ministry classroom or tutoring some of her fellow students as part of the National Honor Society. 

Martin’s entire experience at Good Counsel, she said, was “more than I could have ever imagined.” 

“I took the resources and ran with it,” Martin said. “Their academics are off the charts, and I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to have gone there.”

Beyond the classroom and the sports events, Martin said her time at Good Counsel also impacted her faith. 

“These religion classes really helped me understand my faith further,” she said. “Going to Mass, hearing homilies from Father Tom Lavin, helped me grow as a person and in all other aspects.”

Her favorite memory from Good Counsel, however, was not on its campus – but on a mission trip to El Salvador with her classmates. 

“I got to go this past January, and it’s just one week of pure love and eye-opening experiences,” Martin said. “You get to be with people you never thought you’d be with… It’s definitely one of the best experiences that I’ve had at Good Counsel.” 

As she reflects upon the Xaverian values on which the school was established – simplicity, humility, compassion, zeal and trust – Martin said she is thankful for their impact and looks forward to carrying those virtues with her for life. 

“All of them are so important to incorporate in to your daily life,” she said. “One that I would really want to take to college is simplicity, because I love to be busy and love to do things, but sometimes it’s okay to be simple and take a break… Taking that value of simplicity and remembering it through college will definitely benefit me.”