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First Year Pre-Med, Emma Looks Back and to the Journey Ahead

Emma Onate, a legacy grad class of 2020, is enjoying her first year at St. Olaf College majoring in Biology with a neuro-science concentration, a goal of attending medical school, while bonding with her fellow Posse Scholars and finding speaking up in her classes is easier due to attending an all girls, small, college prep high school.

Emma’s best memories of Tepeyac focus on the small classes, collaborative classmates, attentive teachers and faith based education. She said, “ Before I came to Tepeyac, being in larger classes made me feel uncomfortable speaking up and asking questions. Boys in the class always think they have the answers, but girls like to work together and help each other, never allowing competition to get in the way. I was so shy before coming to OLT, but my teachers reached out to me, actually caring and making sure I understood the material.” Emma shared that in an all girls environment, your confidence grows because you are encouraged and cheered on by the larger school community.

A Woman For Others

"I'm so impressed with the young women of Our Lady of Tepeyac. As students, they know who they are and what they are about-- designing their future!"

Meet Sue Olensky. Sue is serving at Our Lady of Tepeyac through the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. She is spending her time as a counselor with the College Readiness Program, assisting Seniors. Sue is retired from her career in the same field.

As an Ignatian Volunteer, Sue participates in spiritual reflection with her peers as they journey through their year of volunteer service. IVC Volunteers are people who have either retired or are working less and want to spend their time in service to others. They have a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to share. IVC gives them the opportunity to serve in under resourced schools and social service agencies throughout the country.

Because of Sue, the College Readiness Program is able to spend more time, one on one, with girls as they navigate applying to schools, choosing a college that is right for them and sifting through the financial aid process. She has enjoyed building relationships with the students she has been spending time with. "Tepeyac young women are very social and open to having fun. They care about each other and have so many interests and talents: STEM Mars labs, Physics model races next to the outdoor Shrine, World Religions, collecting for people in need, decorating their Little Sister's lockers. And they are kind to a new adult in their school!" We are so fortunate to be the beneficiaries of Sue's time and talents. She is a true joy for all of us, both students and staff, to be around.

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