Capstone Service Projects at Mount Notre Dame
Later this month the more than160 Mount Notre Dame High School (Reading, Cincinnati) seniors will present the culmination of four years of learning to use their educations to serve others. All MND seniors create and carry out their own individual or group service projects, which they share at the school’s Senior Capstone Showcase Evening.
“Over the past four years, MND students have written goals and action steps for their high school experience, focused on making responsible, principle-based choices in life,” says Head of School Larry Mock. “They also developed leadership skills and made their commitment to serving. On Monday, March 19th, nearly 100 business, education and community leaders will serve as panelists to provide feedback to the seniors on their work.”
All projects benefit a non-profit agency of the student’s choice. Their goal is to identify a specific need at the agency, develop a plan to meet that need, and implement that plan.
Megan Grout (Mason), created a cookbook for clients of her local chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. It contains 100 recipes for simple meals made with staple ingredients and canned food items typically found at the SVDP food pantry. She compiled the recipe, designed book and had it printed (costs were covered by a grant from MND’s Youth Philanthropy Council). “Knowing that I can provide families with more meal options than what they’re used to is an awesome feeling,” she says.
Shannon O’Connor (Oakley) designed her project, “Birthday in a Box,” for Hope Emergency after discovering that many families in difficult financial situations can’t provide birthday parties for their children. She filled 36 decorated boxes with supplies for a birthday party: a cake pan, cake mix, icing, ribbon, candles, plates, disposable party plates and a tablecloth, and party favors. Shannon says buying all the supplies for 36 parities “taught me how to budget my time, save money with coupons, and shop for sales,” and is especially proud of her role in making every child’s birthday a memorable celebration.
Annemarie Koch (Sharonville), Anna Kovacs (Milford) and Shelby Shepard (Milford) organized a benefit concert for the Josh Cares Chain of Love organization, which trains Child Life Fellows to offer care and companionship to seriously ill children at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital when their families can’t be with them. They invited other tristate high school choirs and performers to the concert, held in the lobby outside of the Kenwood Barnes & Noble store in December, secured donations from LaRosa’s, and baked 200 cupcakes. During the event they sold food and links to a paper chain, each link representing one one hour of companionship and care to a sick child. Talented singers themselves, the three chimed in with Christmas carols throughout the afternoon. They sang live on the Local 12 morning show, where Bob Herzog interviewed them about the project.
“The Capstone Project is a genuine and practical integration of living, leading and serving as empowered young women in the world,” says Mock. “I am very impressed by and proud of the fine work and heartfelt service being performed by our seniors.”
Affiliated with the Sisters of Mount Notre Dame de Namur, MND was founded in 1860 as a boarding school. Since 1956, it has been a girls’ high school affiliated with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. MND’s curriculum aims to empower young women to lead and serve.
Television still courtesy Mount Notre Dame High School.