“The quality of life I have today derived from my parents’ investment in my Catholic education years ago.”

By Hannah Sanchez, SJA Class of 2013

Investing in quality education today is key to receiving tomorrow’s quality of life. Each school or educational system has its own principles and philosophies that govern how they teach and develop a child. Having said that, a Catholic education system has been proven in surveys and studies to offer advantages compared to other forms of educational systems. As someone who has attended Catholic schools for 18 years (and counting!), I am uniquely aware of all the benefits one can receive from their education. The quality of life I have today derived from my parents’ investment in my Catholic education years ago.

My Catholic education began at Ascension Catholic School in Overland Park, Kansas. After Ascension, I attended St. James Academy for high school. After graduating in May of 2013, I moved halfway across the country to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. on a partial-tuition scholarship. Everything at Georgetown was new and different – the people, the city, and the school. However, SJA prepared me to excel academically, socially, and spiritually. I made academic honors every semester, joined Georgetown’s Cheerleading Team, interned on Capitol Hill at the U.S. House of Representatives, advised incoming freshman on the transition from high school, and made wonderful memories with my friends. After graduating in May of 2017, I returned to the Midwest to attend Notre Dame Law School on a full-ride scholarship. Now in my second year at Notre Dame, I serve the student body as President of Notre Dame’s Women’s Legal Forum, as a member of two Moot Court teams, and as a research assistant for a professor.

I am incredibly privileged to have parents who were able and willing to invest in my education by sending me to St. James. After 18 years in the Catholic education system, my parents and I are uniquely aware of the costs of education. However, we also understand the incredible benefits that derive from that initial investment in quality education. The tangible ways I have benefited from attending SJA are substantial, as are the intangible ways. SJA’s curriculum prepared me to meet the academic standards in higher education so that I could excel and continue on to law school on a full-ride scholarship. Furthermore, SJA’s mission placed special emphasis on developing our character – particularly in how we treat others. The most important values my Catholic education has emphasized is a sense of community and an abiding understanding of the importance of service to others.

Overall, I hope my personal experiences illustrate that Catholic education is an investment worth making. I am so fortunate to have had the experiences and opportunities that have come my way, but I owe that to my parents’ decision to support me as I received a quality education at St. James Academy.

By Hannah Sanchez, SJA Class of 2013

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