Colleen Blasko, a graduating senior at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Maryland, is ready to face the world – literally.

Noting that she has an interest in world religions, fostered by the religion and ethics classes she took at Pallotti, Blasko said she plans to major in international/global studies when she begins classes in the fall at Hood College in Frederick.

“I am very interested in how countries interact on a business, government, social and cultural level,” she said. “I would eventually like to work in the Foreign Service.”

Earlier this school year, she traveled to Belize, where she and fellow classmates painted an elementary school and fed the elderly of that small fishing town on the Caribbean coast in the southern part of that Central American country.

“That was an experience that I will never forget,” she said.

Blasko will attend Hood College, a small liberal arts school, on a “Founder’s Scholarship” where she will play softball. As a Division III school, Hood does not offer sports scholarships, but offers academic scholarships to qualified athletes.

She graduates with a 3.9 grade point average, and is a member of the National Honor Society.

One of three co-captains of her softball team, Blasko has played catcher, outfielder and utility player. She helped lead her Pallotti team to a second place finish out of 10 teams in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland’s 2019 Softball B-Conference Softball Championships.

In addition to softball, she earned varsity letters in two other sports: volleyball, and swimming.

Blasko has attended Pallotti with her twin brother, Michael. Ironically, this final year of their high school education is the first time they have been in the same class together. In addition to her brother, Blasko’s family includes her parents, Mo and Paul Blasko, and an older sister, Kathleen.

A lifelong student of Catholic education – she attended St. Pius X School in Bowie prior to enrolling in Pallotti – Blasko is a member of St. Edward the Confessor Parish, also in Bowie.

“Twelve years of Catholic education means I have grown up in Catholic schools,” she said. “And that has had such an impact on my faith. I am able to attend school Masses and participate in service projects.”

She added, “a Catholic school has rules to follow and that offers a sense of security that allows you to form close relationships with other students.”

Attending Pallotti, which was founded by the Pallottine Sisters in 1921, Blasko said, “We have a structure here that is rooted in the faith, and that helps me in my faith journey.”

Blasko was part of the school’s Union Leaders, a campus ministry group that helps prepare and organize class retreats.

“Those retreats are cool, and I’ve seen students get real close on retreat,” Blasko said. “When you have that religious aspect and that sense of community, then you can be open and talk about ethics and God and religion and your faith.”

Pointing to Pallotti’s tight-knit community, Blasko said “it is nice to be some place where you can be with your friends and still learn.”