Emma Meyers
Emma Meyers

In the Summer of 2009, my mother unexpectedly revealed to me that I would be transferring from my local public elementary school to a private Catholic school known as Academy of the Holy Names. I knew little to nothing about the academy other than that it was an all-girl, Catholic institution that prepares students for a college education through rigorous study. Additionally, Holy Names was located 45 minutes away from where I lived, and I was terrified at the prospect of leaving my hometown friends to go to a school that I had not even visited. However, at my parent’s insistence, I acquiesced and began attending Academy of the Holy Names the following September.

Fast-forward 10 years, and I could not be happier with my life at Holy Names. Although I was initially plagued with worry over fitting in with my peers, I was easily able to adjust to the school’s friendly environment and was immediately welcomed by my new classmates, many of whom would remain my closest friends well into my senior year. The halls of Holy Names became like a second home to me, and I came to see my teachers and peers as extended family whom I could always turn to in times of turmoil or in search of guidance.

Furthermore, I found my academics substantially improved throughout the years. While the workload was indeed rigorous at times, with the help of my teachers, I learned to prioritize my assignments and manage my time — two skills that I believe to be immensely useful in life. More importantly, the school’s required theology courses, numerous service opportunities, and liturgical services — the cornerstone of its faith-oriented education — help students build the foundation to explore their spirituality and recognize Christ’s presence in their day-to-day lives. Holy Names not only strengthened my character but my faith as well.

Although much has changed at Holy Names over the past decade, the core values of the school, active leadership, service, and achievement through hard work, have remained the same. As my final months in high school draw to a close, I realize now how fortunate I am to attend this Catholic school, such an academically stimulating school surrounded by a supportive student body and faculty. 

Emma Meyers is a senior at Academy of the Holy Names in Albany.