Our Success Stories
Mbahgwie Mudoh, class of 2011
Looking back at my time at Holy Family brings back wonderful memories. I attended Holy Family during my Middle School years, a particularly hard time in my life. This is a very crucial, impressionable time where many ideals and mannerisms become ingrained in us.
Participating in Wednesday afternoon chapel led by Chaplain Hunter made all the difference to me. No matter how my day was going or however I felt, when chapel started it felt almost like magic. Bringing the words of Christ to young ears and teaching messages that inspire us is so important to help children and young people.
Thanks to a donor from Holy Family, one of my most memorable trips was when I was fortunate enough to attend a special five-week program at Phillips Exeter Academy High School in New Hampshire, one of the top boarding schools in the country. This was my first time living with people from all over the world, and the first time away from my family. It was great practice for college! Being with people from different walks of life and hearing how others view the space we all share gave me great perspective for my life to come.
The teachers at Holy Family were astounding. I adored my math teacher and she helped me realize my passion and skill for mathematics, which was something I never knew I had. I loved the subject so much that I took it with me through my high school years at Providence St. Mel where I excelled in math and statistics. I then majored in finance for my degree at DePaul University. I have begun my first job as a pricing administrator for a corporation in Chicago!
Education is so important for children, but especially for the children living in the neighborhoods served by Holy Family. I am so grateful that this school made it their mission to provide quality educational programs. I want to thank all the donors for all your support in seeing me through Holy Family and helping me succeed after my time there.
My niece, Chloe is currently in the kindergarten class and I see the same spark of joy in her eyes that shined in mine while at Holy Family. My mother always told me “education is the most important thing” and I am proof that that is true, one hundred per cent.
Jaylen McBride, class of 2014
I transferred to Holy Family when I was in fourth grade and I remember at first not being able keep up in class. My parents had decided to transfer my brother and me from the school we were attending because they felt we weren’t getting the education we should have been receiving. Five years later, I became the valedictorian of my 8th grade class at Holy Family!
In 8th grade, I applied for and was accepted into Fenwick High School, considered one of the best private schools in the Chicagoland area. During my freshman and sophomore years at Fenwick, I was ahead of my class. Whether it was math or theology, I had already been introduced to the material while attending Holy Family. At Holy Family I learned what it meant to be a great student and also a great person. My teachers and the faculty became family because they cared about our education and our wellbeing. Holy Family prepared me for high school and the world.
While at Holy Family, I was offered many opportunities that I am beyond grateful for, including test preparation, college visits and help with homework. I joined the Holy Family leadership program, called The Peace Exchange, an initiative that promotes peace and nonviolence is Chicago. The program works in three phases including training, travel and outreach. The Peace Exchange has given me an opportunity to travel outside of the country, meet new people and learn more about what it takes to promote peace in my neighborhood.
I am attending Wartburg College, and I am prepared for success because of the foundation that was laid for me at Holy Family School. I have a sister attending Holy Family and a brother attending Little Learners Academy. Since they are starting so young, I can only imagine what opportunities await them as they continue through every grade at Holy Family.
On behalf of my parents, siblings, and the students of Holy Family, I thank you, the donors from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for us. You are changing lives and saving lives too. God Bless you all.
Jaylen traveled to India with The Peace Exchange, a program of Holy Family Ministries.
Miracle Pitts, class of 2005
I started at Holy Family when the school was located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. I loved the school, even though I was getting in trouble because I was very talkative. Rather than complaining about my “bad” behavior, my teacher met with my parents and told them that my talking was because I was “gifted.” By the end of the meeting, they came up with a plan that kept me working and stopped me from distracting the other students, and resulted in my learning at a faster pace.
This brings me to my first major point. Holy Family sees children as what they can become not what they are demonstrating in that moment, and helps to bring out the best in them. During middle school the students of Holy Family had the opportunity to go to museums, ski trips, Cubs games, circuses, basketball games, and Washington D.C. as part of our learning experience. We even had a car wash to raise money so we could to go to camp at Lake Geneva where we learned about God, how to treat other people, how to work in groups, and how to push ourselves in situations that sometimes seem hard to overcome.
This brings me to my second point. These experiences caused me to view challenges as a form of learning. Because of all of these experiences, I am not afraid to try new things. I am willing to travel far distances, and to push myself when times get difficult. I know great rewards come after hard work—this was instilled in me at Holy Family.
After graduating from Holy Family, I went to Walter Payton College Prep, which is now ranked the third best high school in America by US News. They piled on homework, projects, quizzes, and assignments, all the way to graduation day. Holy Family taught me the skills I needed to juggle everything, and prepared me for success at a very competitive level.
After graduating high school, I attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, on a full academic scholarship. I majored in Biology, and was active in many activities both on and off campus. While playing basketball, I was inspired by a team doctor to go to chiropractic school to further my education after graduation. So I enrolled at Life University in Marietta, Georgia. I once again relied on the fundamental lessons that I learned back at Holy Family, and with the support of my family and fiancé, I made it through.
This brings me to my third point. Throughout that tough period, there were times when I couldn’t do anything but pray, talk to God and follow his direction. In those times, I was able to envision myself back in those pews, listening to chapel stories, and I pulled out life lessons to sustain me. I had to learn to trust God fully.
The students of Holy Family have big dreams. In my 8th grade year, we started reciting a student mission statement every morning. This statement has remained with me because it embodies everything that Holy Family is, and everything I still try to incorporate into everyday living. The final line says that we are …”to do God’s work and accomplish miracles, and be the best we can be, each and every day.”
Because of donors, many opportunities open up for every child at Holy Family and they accomplish great things. They create success stories just like mine, for themselves, their families, and their communities.