Cincinnati, Ohio – November 8, 2016 –The faculty and staff of Saint Ursula Academy recently changed the typical “In-service Day” to a “Service Day” by scattering across the city to volunteer their time at various social service agencies while students had a day off school.
More than 100 Saint Ursula employees visited The Assistance League, Beechwood Home, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Little Sisters of the Poor, Open Door Ministries, Stepping Stones, St. Joseph’s Home, St. Vincent de Paul, Visions Community Services, Valley Interfaith Food and Clothing Center, Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, and Urban Gardening in Walnut Hills. This was a part of the Service and Diversity Day hosted by a team of departments at SUA.
This service day was just a small part of the overall plan for “The Year of the Nurturer”, the theme for the year at Saint Ursula Academy. Through this theme, students learn to nurture themselves by focusing on their health and emotions, and then they can begin to shift that focus to nurturing others.
Rachel Kemper, SUA Community Service Learning Director, coordinated the day with the various agencies. She said “The Mission and Ministry team at Saint Ursula focuses on the non-academic programming that enriches and informs the education for students at SUA. As part of our mission to prepare students to build a better world, we want them to meet people different from themselves and be agents of change by building connections and relationships.”
Kemper went on to day it was with that in mind they thought it would also enrich the faculty and staff to connect with each other and those different from themselves, whether it be based on ability, socio-economic situation, faith and/or ethnic backgrounds.
“It was an energizing day that was spent building connections between each other and learning about individuals served by a variety of non-profits throughout our city!” said Kemper. “It gave us an opportunity to look beyond our classrooms and think about how our students can take their knowledge and growth during their years at SUA and apply it to some of the issues we face in our larger world.”
Unlike many other schools in the area, Saint Ursula does not require a predetermined number of service hours for students. Instead, the school fosters a servant attitude,which encourages students to recognize their unique gifts and abilities and use those to “build a better world”. Teachers are challenged to model and nurture this servant attitude within themselves as well.
Saint Ursula Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory, secondary school for young women known for academic excellence and rich tradition. Saint Ursula welcomes students from more than 90 grade schools in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Academy is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The campus, located at 1339 E. McMillan Street in East Walnut Hills has been the home of St. Ursula Academy and Convent since 1910. 86% of the Class of 2016 earned college scholarships totaling more than $22-million.
Photo caption: Saint Ursula Faculty and Staff volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul during a recent service day. Included in the photo are (l-r) SUA Counselor Mandy Fountaine, SUA English Teacher Samantha Jones, SUA Math Teacher Dave Stickel, SUA Social Studies Teacher Erika Lunstedt, SUA Assistant to the Director of Facilities Ashley Estep, SUA Advancement Intern Sarah Deickman, SUA Instructional Technology and Audio Visual Coordinator Margie Matthews, SUA Vice President of Advancement Molly Talbot, and SUA Assistant Athletic Director Jill Meiring