As we close out the first semester of the 2017-18 school year,  here’s a look back at all of our impressive Belles that earned a Belle of the Week nomination.  We can’t wait to see who earns nominations next semester.  There are so many Belles doing impressive things!

Our first #belleoftheweek for 2017-18 is our Student Leadership Council President, Gold Tie ’18, Ahlyssa Toscano. She gave great advice to fellow classmates at our welcome back assembly.:

“Seniors: This year is all about decision making. What colleges you will be applying to, what school you will be attending, and what prom dress you will choose to wear on our special night. I know that all of you have the power to succeed this year so stay positive and strive to be your best self. I love you guys and I can’t wait to see you triumph in your final year of high school.

Juniors: Congratulations, you are officially upper class women. Although your junior year will definitely be your toughest year, remember to never give up and to always try your best. Be prepared, work hard don’t spread yourself too thin, and always remember to put yourself and your needs first. Good luck and I hope you all finish the year strongly.

Sophomores: Congratulations on finishing your freshman year. Now although your sophomore year is considered the “awkward year” of your high school career, I know you will all do amazing. Don’t slack off in any of your classes and always aspire to be the best you can be. Good luck and I look forward to seeing what you guys have in store for us for your sophomore showcase!

Freshmen: Welcome to St. Mary’s Academy! I hope you all are getting familiar with the school since this will be your second home for the next 4 years. Work hard not only your freshman year but throughout all your four years of high school and work harder than you currently are because I know you have it in you — that is why you’re here! Get involved with the school, join clubs, sports teams etc… I wish you the best of luck and I look forward to seeing you girls flourish into young ladies of distinction… wearing Green Ties, of course! ”

Gold tie ’18, Dominique Montelongo, was selected by the CIF-SS Softball Coaches Committee for the All CIF Southern Section Team Division 7 Softball Award. We are so proud of Dominique for receiving this award. Great job!

Kristin Tatum, Gold Tie ’17, attended the Economics for Leaders camp in New Haven Connecticut at Yale University. The program was focused on economics and leadership skills. Each day she attended morning classes and learned different aspects of economics, such as the stock market, and participated in different activities pertaining to economics. In the afternoon, she participated in various activities in smaller groups to help develop leadership skills.

Jessica Laar, Gold Tie ’18, worked a six week paid internship at Kaiser Permanente in West Los Angeles, CA. The program is called Kaiser Permanente L.A.U.N.C.H. High School Summer Youth Employment Program. L.A.U.N.C.H. is short for for Learn About Unlimited New Careers in Healthcare.

Jailen Hewitt, Gold Tie ’18, volunteers with Kaiser West LA every Saturday working in the Family Child Center. She also does volunteer work at the Junior Blind Center doing data entry. AND over the summer she volunteered at the St. Joseph Center in Venice as a social work intern helping feed the needy. She is such of good example of carrying out the charism of The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Danielle Adeniji, Blue Tie ‘20 and Kayla Anderson, Red Tie ‘19, serve as Freshman Mentors on our Student Leadership Council. Over the past few weeks Danielle and Kayla have been assisting the freshman class with their preparations to earn their coveted Green Ties! They have provided valuable advice and guidance helping our 9th graders write their class song, select a class mascot, and write their first fall rally chant. Our freshman are lucky to have such wonderful mentors in Kayla and Danielle!

Two Green Ties ’21, Aliss Contreras and Monica, not only worked during the Pink Tie sewing sessions, but also worked extra hours after school on their own. Thanks for all your hard work girls! Please help support the #fightforacure. Money raised will be donated to Breast Imaging Center at Providence Health & Services, California Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance.

Green Tie ’21, Dana Herrera, is in the Health Careers Path Program and is currently taking three honors classes! She’s always ready to learn and is very dedicated to her education which earned her a merit scholarship here at SMA. What sets her apart is that she’s always ready to go above and beyond expectations. Keep it up Dana!

Kattya Sanchez, Green Tie ’21, recently received 100% on her ‘Parts of Speech’ test in English class. This is a 47 point improvement from where she started at the beginning of the year taking the same test as a diagnostic. Way to go Kattya! Keep up the hard work.

Congrats to our #belleoftheweek, Angelica Taylor, Blue Tie ’20. Angelica is part of the SAMbassadors for the LA84 Foundation. The Student Athletes in Motion (SAMbassadors) is a group of active, civically engaged young athletes that serve as an advisory board for the foundation, offering guidance about grants, programs and activities. The focus of this group is to bring sports to the inner city and expose children to many sports and make it affordable to them. Angelica’s portrait was used for an ad in the LA Times for their summit on Friday, Oct. 27. She was chosen to represent a topic that the LA84 foundation deeply cares about, physical education in the inner cities.

We’re very excited to announce that this week’s #belleoftheweek, Giselle Melendez, Gold Tie ‘18, is a QuestBridge finalist! QuestBridge is a non-profit program that links high-achieving, deserving students with educational and scholarship opportunities at leading U.S. colleges and universities. Congratulations, Giselle!

Leslie Gomez, Red Tie ‘19, made the most dramatic improvement of all Mr. Crockett’s U.S. History students on the most recent test by earning a solid B. How did she accomplish this fete? On multiple occasions, she came to tutoring to clarify issues that she did not understand, and the results were impressive!

Gold Tie ’18, Bethlehem Seifu, was chosen to serve as 2018 Center Theatre Group Student Ambassador on the Arts Advocacy Team. The Student Ambassador Program is the ultimate experience for high school students who love the arts: an entirely free seven-month program designed to transform passionate students into arts leaders, team players, advocates, and engagement experts. Congratulations!

Briaunna Picart, Blue Tie ‘20, is being celebrated for her dedication and consistency as a school ambassador, giving generously of her time to introduce SMA to prospective students. She has also been proactive as a peer tutor, reaching out to students in her classes to offer academic support. All that with a cheery disposition and a weighted GPA of over 4.0 while representing SMA as a student-athlete! Keep up the great work!

This week in AP English Language and Composition, Red Tie ‘19, Udoka Abada has gone from analyzing Malcom Gladwell’s popular podcast, “Revisionist History” to performing her original spoken word as Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby. Udoka is an impressive student, keep up the good work!

Oceanna Lenon, Red Tie ‘19, received top marks on an essay for Ms. Angel’s Ecclesiology class that had to do with vocation, hierarchy, and the Disney character, Moana. Last week she also created a beautiful altar dedicated to Mary Queen of Heaven.  Fantastic work!

Winter Ramirez, Gold Tie ’18, is the president of the campus ministry student team. She serves as an altar server at liturgies and has helped facilitate retreats as a small group leader. She also has a passion for service which led her to start Carondelet Circle – a club dedicated to inspiring other students to serve the dear neighbor without distinction influenced by our founders, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.