Class of 2020, stories of hope
Holy Child senior says school ‘helped me realize my fullest potential’
Jun 5, 2020
As Angela Torrejon, a senior at the Connelly School of the Holy Child, graduates and steps into the next chapter in her life, she said she will keep close everything she learned at the Potomac, Maryland school.
“I have definitely flourished into an independent, hardworking person now, than when I first entered, and I owe it to them,” Torrejon said.
And from competing on the school’s varsity swim team to participating in its math club to serving on the diversity committee there, Torrejon certainly made her impact on Holy Child.
Through her work on the diversity committee, Torrejon said she was able to “celebrate the culture of differences and backgrounds that make up the student body of Holy Child.”
“It was both very important and very interesting,” she said.
The group celebrated national Hispanic Heritage Month, African American History Month, the Lunar New Year, and would also participate in conferences where they were able to engage with students from other schools who were also passionate about recognizing other cultures.
Torrejon also shared that she was able to get involved in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs at Holy Child, even participating in a summer internship at Johns Hopkins University on a chemical engineering lab work project.
“It was a very interesting thing to do during the summer,” she said. “It was entirely something I would have never done.”
The experience working in a lab, she said, gave her a glimpse into an “idea of what I want my career to surround and in general, just how I feel working by myself and working with others.”
Without her college counselors, Torrejon said she doesn’t think she would have had the opportunity to participate in such an internship before her senior year.
During her junior year, Torrejon applied to the College Prep Scholar program through Questbridge and was one of 3,123 high school juniors selected to the program, which allowed her to participate in a competitive college prep scholars program. She then was named a National College Match finalist at the beginning of her senior year. Through that program, Torrejon was one of 1,000 applicants who received a full scholarship to attend a Questbridge partner school. She will attend Duke University in the fall.
“I think that Holy Child has really helped me realize my fullest potential,” Torrejon said. “I think Holy Child did a great job in getting me to where I am because without the help and support of my teachers... I probably wouldn’t have tried for those opportunities.”
One lesson she said is most memorable from her time at Holy Child is, “actions, not words.”
“I would hope other people live that out as well,” she said. “The way you act can be so different from what comes out of your mouth. Actions speak to what goes on beyond your mind.”
Attending a Catholic school has provided Torrejon a strong foundation as well as a support in difficult times.
“(It has) really helped me have a different outlook, with some sort of rock to fall back on in a way,” she said. “Especially in this time when literally everything can change in a day and there’s no certainty. It’s nice to know that attending a Catholic school helped my faith grow stronger. Not only is God there, but also my friends and family, and the whole school community.”
And while some senior traditions had to be modified at the end of the school year, Torrejon said she and her classmates are hoping eventually to gather in a socially-distant way to mark their graduation.
“We were all looking forward to spending it (the day) together,” she said. “But we’re all still clinging to hope.”