Notre Dame by way of Cincinnati and Shanghai

Upper-division junior who transferred after spending time at schools in Cincinnati and Shanghai says the Chinese and IB programs were huge factors in choosing ND Prep. Also, she says, the "cookies are very good!"

When current Notre Dame junior Malorie Wilson and her family were looking for a high school after coming to the Detroit area from Ohio, a well-integrated Chinese language program was a key factor. Having an established IB program also was important. At ND Prep, they found both — and much more. In a recent interview with this busy NDP student, we found out about where Wilson's been, what the future may hold for her, and how much she loves being at a school like Notre Dame.

Question: When and from where did you first come to NDPMA? We heard you transferred in from another school out of state.

Malorie Wilson: I am a new student at NDPMA this year and a transfer student from Cincinnati, Ohio. While in Cincinnati, I attended a Catholic middle school for three years and a Christian high school for two. However, before that, I lived in Shanghai, China, for eight of my most formative years and attended a British international school over there.

Q: Why did you transfer to Notre Dame Prep?

Wilson: Having lived in Shanghai, I was really searching for a school with a Chinese language curriculum. Although it is one of the fastest increasing languages in popularity, few schools integrate it into their class schedules. NDP also is unique in that they offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, which was something I was interested in following my time overseas. 

Q: It's a bit early, perhaps, but do you have any college plans yet? If so, where would you like to attend and what is your interest for a major and possible career in the future?

Wilson: I am a huge planner for everything in my life. However, things don’t always go the exact way we plan them. As of right now, my dream school is New York University, with Indiana University and Miami University of Ohio following close behind. All three have magnificent business programs as well as study-abroad programs in China. I am hoping to major in international business with a minor in Chinese, and possibly a double major in political science. As for careers, I am looking for anything that lets me see the world and work with people. I have always enjoyed working collaboratively with those around me to solve issues big and small. Learning about foreign cultures and how they compare to mine greatly interests me. The world is a melting pot of people who are the same, but also unique, creating very interesting international dynamics.

Q: Acknowledging that you've only been on campus here for a few months, what has been the most fulfilling part of your time at Notre Dame so far? The most fun?

Wilson: I think the most fulfilling part is the school work itself. I have discovered that at NDP, you get out of your education what you put into it. It is very fulfilling to see my essays and test scores improve with the increased studying and applied time. I think the most fun aspect would have to be the atmosphere. I had no trouble finding a great group of friends from day one. I think NDP has a unique environment that is very inclusive. Although there are a lot of people in the school, I see people I have never met before say hello to me in the hallways — simply out of kindness.

Q: Can you describe what the school mission means personally to you, especially the Christian and upright components?

Wilson: At NDP, we are called to “Work with God to form Christian people, upright citizens, and academic scholars.” I think these all go hand-in-hand very well. However, I think the more important two aspects of the mission are Christian people and upright citizens. As Christians, we are called to continue Jesus’ mission on Earth – to seek and foster the good of others in their concrete situation. Living abroad, I've experienced many people in impoverished countries who struggle to support themselves due to a lack of resources or an oppressive government. It was those experiences that provide me with the Christian compassion of wanting to help those people to become their best selves — and not who we want them to be.

Q: What specifically have you been involved with in terms of extracurriculars at Notre Dame? Any sports, school clubs and organizations? 

Wilson: So far, I've played for the varsity girls golf team and I am currently on the varsity girls basketball team. I am also involved in the National Honor Society and the Chinese Honor Society.

Q: If you had to convince a prospective student to come to Notre Dame, what would you tell him or her? 

Wilson: I would tell them that Notre Dame offers an environment that promotes learning, collaboration and service. Teachers are always available to help because they want you to see you succeed as much as anyone else. The IB Diploma Program is also a unique experience that promotes discussion-based learning and further collaboration with classmates. I've also found the people here are all very compassionate and welcoming. Incidentally, the cookies at Notre Dame are also very good!

Comments or questions?

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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