Michelle Garda jumped right in with both feet her freshman year. Academically, she has never been afraid to push and challenge herself. A large majority of the classes she has taken since freshman year have been Honors and she also took two challenging AP courses.
Michelle also took on as many extracurricular activities as possible. Michelle served as Student Council (STUCO) secretary in eleventh grade and president this past year. She saw this leadership opportunity as one of the most rewarding she has experienced. “I loved laughing at the pep rallies, running around like a crazy person on Catholic School’s Week, and opening mass. I’ll miss Student Council!” She was also extremely dedicated to the yearbook, serving as a Yearbook Editor for the Faculty and Academics Section. Michelle has also been a Midnight Run group leader, a member of Christian Service Board, a peer mentor, and a member of National Honor Society. On top of this, Michelle still finds time to give to her church community and parish, as well as working at a waterpark in Long Beach Island during the summer.
Michelle’s hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. During both her junior and senior years, she received the award for Exceptional Service to the Homeless. She has also received the NHS Award for Leadership, the Exceptional Service to the IHA Community Award, and the George Eastman Young Leaders Award.
When asked what the most important thing she has gained from IHA was Michelle said, “I know I have grown from the person who first walked into the doors at IHA. I learned to handle what was thrown at me, and even grew the confidence to speak out and overcome obstacles I never thought were possible.”
Michelle’s genuine love for the school makes it a bittersweet departure. She explained how she will miss the sense of community at IHA. She saw the teachers as friends, always ready to give her their comforting advice. The school has encouraged her to meet new heights socially, academically, and mentally.
Jennifer Wilson, a good friend of Michelle’s, said, “To me, Michelle is the best friend I could have asked for these past four years. She is always determined to be her best self and support others, something that is inspiring to everyone she meets.” Jennifer knows they will stay close friends in the future.
In the end, Michelle stated, “These four years here allowed me to discover who I was, make mistakes and grow from them, and put myself out there in order to make new friends and try new things.” Michelle is excited to announce that she will be attending the University of Maryland, majoring in International Business next fall. We wish Michelle the best of luck in all her future endeavors and are sure that she will make IHA extremely proud!
By Christine Jacob ’17, Features Senior Editor
Categories: Senior Spotlights!!