Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Scottsdale, Graduated 1999
Xavier College Preparatory, Graduated 2003
I am the third of four children. My parents sent my sisters, brother and me to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Scottsdale for grade school and to Xavier and Brophy for high school. My siblings and I are very close in age, so we share many special grade and high school memories – and friends, too! During these years, I was always studying, playing sports, volunteering, and helping out at home. In our house, the expectation was you gave 100% to everything you did. Nothing was impossible with hard work and determination. Fortunately, OLPH and Xavier had that same expectation and outlook.
My parents laid the groundwork for our faith early on by setting a powerful example of true Christian living. My mother, a homemaker, and my father, an attorney, were caring and thoughtful neighbors, loyal and honest friends, active in our church and school communities, and generous to the less fortunate without ever seeking recognition. They didn’t just profess their faith, they lived it.
Catholic education is a tradition in our family thanks to the opportunities that America has afforded us. My paternal grandfather emigrated from Scotland as a young adult. My grandmother emigrated from Italy as a young child. Although they had only modest educations, together they built a successful family business in Cincinnati that allowed them to send my father and his sisters to Catholic grade and high schools. My maternal grandfather and grandmother both came from large German families who have been in America for several generations. Each of their families had started successful businesses in Wisconsin, including a bakery, brewery, and a stained-glass restoration company which still exists today. My grandfather and grandmother both attended Marquette University, and my grandmother pursued her master’s degree in social work from the Catholic University of America at a time when few women attended college. They sent my mom and her three siblings to Catholic elementary and high schools in Cincinnati. Both of my parents graduated from Catholic colleges as well. I grew up knowing that my grandparents’ and in turn my parents’ love of and gratitude toward America was second only to their love of and gratitude toward God. Their faith was truly an inspiration for my siblings and me.
After graduating from Xavier, I attended Arizona State University. Staying close to home allowed me to pursue valuable internship and employment opportunities. I interned for Senator Jon Kyl and worked in the marketing department of Northern Trust Bank. The intern director at Senator Kyl’s office encouraged me to apply for a White House Internship. I was one of 100 interns selected for the program. After graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C. to intern and then was hired as a staff assistant in the Office of Presidential Personnel, the office responsible for the recruitment, vetting and recommendation of candidates to serve in President George W. Bush’s administration. In addition, during the last several months of the Administration, I had the unique opportunity to serve on the consequential transition team charged with establishing the post-President’s office in Dallas, TX. On some days, I found myself in the Oval Office, reporting directly to President Bush. It was an exhilarating experience and I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to have served with so many talented, hardworking, and dedicated individuals from across our country.
After a few years in D.C., I moved back to Arizona and served as the office manager for Senator John McCain’s Phoenix office. Today, I am the Director of Premier Engagement for the Greater Phoenix Chamber. The position brings me into constant contact with Xavier, Brophy, and OLPH alumni in the business community. I remain an active and enthusiastic supporter of Xavier, previously serving as Alumnae Board President.
Throughout my young adult life, I have maintained the faith and values I learned from my Catholic upbringing and education. I can honestly say that the privilege of attending Catholic grade school and high school during those very formative years is something I appreciate even more as the years go by! The structured discipline, the formation of the whole person, and the faith-driven approach to community and serving others, are unique attributes of Catholic education.
I lost all my grandparents by the time I was a freshman in college. I often think of them and how much has changed in America since they were young. I know they would be proud of my siblings and me. We support each other in all our endeavors, we love our country, and above all, we love our Catholic faith. Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience and hopefully inspire others to support current and future students through Catholic Education Arizona!