INSPIRED BY THE FRONT LINE

June 19, 2020

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Graduate says Notre Dame Prep gave her "the very best education, tools, guidance and a faith in God" to prepare her for the future. Now she's headed toward college and a career devoted to helping people.

Kaitlyn Jansen graduated from Notre Dame Prep a few weeks back under circumstances beyond what her or her classmates could have predicted six month ago. But she's now looking forward to college at Grand Valley State University and a future career in nursing — a career path inspired partly by those who have been working on the front lines of the pandemic.

"Observing nurses and doctors who are working during the COVID-19 pandemic and are putting themselves at risk is scary," she said. "But the reality is that they are saving lives and helping other people, and that is what I want to do."

Jansen, who played lacrosse, basketball and volleyball for the Irish, also helped her fellow student-athletes as a leader on her teams, according to Betty Wroubel, Notre Dame's athletic director and volleyball coach.

"Kaitlyn is an extremely hard-working, dedicated, team-oriented player, and her leadership skills made any team she played on better," Wroubel said. "She has a fun personality, which really helped her teammates during stressful game situations. Plus, she's just a terrific young lady."

Now, as that "terrific young lady" awaits college this fall and hopes for a return to a relative normal life, she agreed to spend a few minutes to answer a few questions about her future and about her Notre Dame experience, including these most unusual past several months.


Notre Dame: What was your reaction when you found out the school campus was to be shut down and secondly how did online learning go for you?
 
Jansen: When I first found out the school’s campus was going to be shut down I was devastated. I also did not believe it would have gone to the extent that it has. With the school being closed, I knew that it was going to be much different from what I was used to; distance learning became the new norm. I actually thought that the distance learning was going to be very challenging and difficult for me as I am a better learner in the classroom vs. looking at my computer all of the time. But I owe it to the NDP teachers, faculty and staff, who did a great job of making the transition very easy and seamless for me and my classmates. I kept busy and maintained a normal schedule while learning in this new environment. 
 
Notre Dame: How do you feel about the fact that many of the usual events and activities surrounding graduation and the end of your senior year were altered or possibly not held at all?
 
Jansen: In addition to facing the school being closed and distance learning, I was sad about everything else that could possibly not happen at all. It has been challenging, frustrating and at times depressing, but as I reflect on everything, my parents and family have been very supportive of me. They've helped me realize what's truly important and that one day I will look back on all this as a learning experience. I decided, therefore, that I could not stay mad, upset or depressed with what has happened and that are beyond my control. Instead, I found all the positive things to help move myself forward. 

Jansen said NDP teachers, faculty and staff did a great job of making the transition to online learning easy and seamless.


Notre Dame: Why did you decide on GVSU and nursing as your major?
 
Jansen: It was completely obvious to me after I completed the GVSU tour last winter with my parents that I immediately felt that GVSU was the university for me. The GVSU campus was clean, the campus was the perfect size for me; it wasn’t too big and it also wasn’t too small. I decided to major in nursing because I enjoy helping and caring for other people. Observing nurses and doctors who are working during the COVID-19 pandemic and are putting themselves at risk is scary, but the reality is that they are saving lives and helping other people, and that is what I want to pursue. I have a passion for helping other people, so majoring in nursing would allow me to pursue my dreams and passion.
 
Notre Dame: Are you looking forward to getting to college in the fall? Any thoughts of a specific area of nursing yet?
 
Jansen: I am very excited to attend college in the fall of 2020 and I'm hoping to be able to move in on-time and start my college experience normally. I have not decided on the specific nursing path and/or program; I am keeping my options open at this time.
 
Notre Dame: Can you try to summarize what your high school has meant to you? 
 
Jansen: Notre Dame Prep has been an incredible experience for me and I consider myself very fortunate to attend the school. I would like to thank the NDP faculty, staff, teachers and administration for providing me with the very best education, tools, guidance and a faith in God to prepare me for my future no matter where it takes me. The school mission also has been important to me throughout high school. It has instilled in me the qualities that I will carry with me through college and through the rest of my life. I am so very fortunate to have had such an awesome experience at NDP. 
 

For more information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Comments or questions on this story? mkelly@ndpma.org

Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.

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. Notre Dame Preparatory School 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 schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three school 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.

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