Student ambassador calls Notre Dame campus truly a welcoming place.
In a program started nearly eight years ago by the Notre Dame admissions department, a number of young men and women from the school's upper school have been tasked with helping to bring the message and mission of NDPMA to prospective students and families. Nominated as student "ambassadors" by Notre Dame teachers and administrators and ultimately chosen by the admissions department, these sophomores, juniors and seniors are responsible for projecting and fostering a warm and welcoming atmosphere for anyone interested in Notre Dame.
One of these special "ambassadors" is senior Eve Juliani and it's pretty obvious she's up to the task. She said she's very happy to welcome prospective students to Notre Dame in part because she felt so welcomed herself when first arriving on campus.
"When I came to Notre Dame, it definitely felt like the right choice," said Juliani, who attended Holy Family Regional School for grade school. "I wanted to come to a place where I felt like I could continue to grow in my faith and where I felt welcomed by students and teachers."
Juliani obviously has thrived in her now three-and-a-half years on the school's Pontiac campus. She's had a full plate of high school classes that have included NDP's International Baccalaureate Diploma Program curriculum with a number of AP courses sprinkled in as well. One of her favorite classes so far has been IB History, which is taught by longtime Notre Dame teacher David Osiecki.
"Mr. Osiecki makes the class very interactive and interesting," Juliani said. "I learned so much in my first year in IB History and the dots all connected. I can’t wait to keep learning more in the class throughout this year."
"I didn’t realize it at first, but I came to learn that Notre Dame is a community of students who want to succeed just as much I do," she said. "We all build each other up by learning from the success of the other students who surround us."
She also said Notre Dame really is different from other high schools she knows in the area.
"Notre Dame truly is a family. There's always someone you can go to with anything from schoolwork to outside issues," she said. "Notre Dame makes you feel like you're a huge part of an important community."
That community for Juliani has also included a heavy dose of rigorous academics, which for her has featured Honors Mandarin, IB English, IB Biology, IB Math Studies, IB Theory of Knowledge and IB/AP Psychology among many others. It's also included a healthy portion of extracurriculars: NDP's dance team, the Action for Africa Club, the Chinese National Honor Society, the Optimist Club and the aforementioned Student Ambassador group.
She admits that all of this hard work has allowed her to grow into a better version of herself — a true Christian person and upright citizen.
"Every day I am welcomed by students and teachers who want to see me grow and succeed," she said. "NDP challenges me as a student and as a person and it's shaped me into who I am today. I know I will only continue to grow into the best version of myself because of this school."
But it's not always about hard work and doing good for others, according to Juliani, and like most of her classmates as well as nearly every Notre Dame alum, she cites a particular annual event as a super fave.
"The most fun experience by far I’ve had at Notre Dame is Irish Week," she said. "It is so fun seeing everyone come together as a class and compete against other classes. We all have a blast, and it’s a nice break from the academics."
When all is said and done, however, and Juliani walks across the stage to get her Notre Dame diploma in May, she truly believes she'll be ready for whatever the next stage in her life will throw at her.
"I know when I graduate from Notre Dame I will leave feeling prepared for what life has in store for me. I will be prepared for both the small and big problems that we learn how to handle at NDP. Not only will I be academically prepared for college, but I also will be prepared for life as a whole, knowing how to push past any obstacles that may stand in the way of my goals."
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org