Sacred Heart Academy Graduation Essays 2024

Valkyries face world with determination and kindness 

Venezia McHenry

SHA’s core values of community, reverence, service and leadership are not just empty words.

When a freshman walks into Sacred Heart for the first time, she asks herself, “What does it really mean to be a Valkyrie?”

She sees the core values of community, reverence, service, and leadership hanging in each classroom. Soon, she will realize that they are not just empty words, but the descriptions of each student that attends Sacred Heart. When a Sacred Heart student graduates after four years, she embodies each core value because of the experiences and relationships she has gained as she matures and learns what it means to be a Valkyrie.

As a freshman, the core value she learns is community. Entering high school with new friends, teachers, and classes, she learns how to lean on the people within her community.

She learns community by joining new sports teams, like cross country or soccer, by befriending her teammates and attending team dinners. She participates in club meetings like Breakfast club or Art club where she meets up with new friends and learns what she loves to do.

As a sophomore, she learns to respect others and broadens her view of the world through the core value of reverence. She participates in the Personal Project where she explores food from different cultures, starts service projects, and finds something she is passionate about.

In junior year, she takes harder classes and takes on more leadership roles within the community. She embodies the core value of service through her kindness towards others and herself.

She takes time away from her own homework to help a classmate with a math problem. She helps take supplies to a classroom for her teacher. She studies hard in order to be better prepared for a big test. She learns when to take time for herself and go watch a Sacred Heart sports game or have lunch with friends.

As a senior, she realizes what the core value of leadership means to her. She looks back on how she was just a participant in the Art Club but is now the president and helps new freshmen find their place. She is now captain of the cross country team and leads stretches during practice just like the seniors did when she was a freshman.

As she gets closer to graduation, she realizes how much she has grown. She is a compassionate, hardworking, and involved student at Sacred Heart Academy. She understands the importance of community and having people who support her throughout her four years. She is respectful to everyone around her and is open to different ideas and opinions. She completes acts of service and kindness no matter how big or small they are. She has become a leader who stands up for what she believes in and is a role model for the underclassmen.

She is a Valkyrie who embodies every single Sacred Heart core value and faces the world with determination and kindness. Even after she leaves and becomes a young adult, it is easy to tell she is a Sacred Heart Valkyrie.

Sacred Heart creates strong women of great faith

Riley Jarrell 

SHA provides world-class education along with an environment to grow in faith 

As you walk into Sacred Heart Academy, you are immediately greeted by the values that guide Sacred Heart students on their path to becoming a Valkyrie – a strong woman of great faith. Community. Reverence. Service. Leadership. Each simple characteristic guides the personal and spiritual development of every young woman at Sacred Heart Academy. 

As they begin freshman year, Sacred Heart students are inspired to be guided by all four core values, but first, with a focus on community. Students participate in community-building activities through a support system of upperclassmen who strengthen the bonds between their younger peers. At the center of the community is the foundation of faith that is instilled into each student. 

Community is revealed through the support each Sacred Heart student has for her peers. Through attending retreats, mass, and sporting events, each student displays the value of community. In focusing on this value freshman year, a genuine bond is created between each student in the class. Every Valkyrie feels supported in her education and extracurricular activities. 

Entering sophomore year, students are challenged to build on their community with an outlook of reverence for themselves, others, and God. This reverence represents the cornerstone of growing in faith and love for creation, which helps the growing Valkyries to model respect and love for their community and the world around them. 

As a Sacred Heart student proceeds into her penultimate year of high school, she is tasked with implementing the third value of service into her life. At the center of Saint Angela Merici’s teaching, service is the key to showing God’s love to all of creation. Students are called to give back to their community by reverently serving those in need. This reverent service builds a Valkyrie’s character to demonstrate the Ursuline Charism — a contemplative love of God, resulting in an openness and eagerness to serve the needs of others. Alongside the core values, this charism guides Valkyries to become servant leaders who better their community. 

In her final year of high school, a Sacred Heart Academy student becomes a leader. Leadership, the fourth and final core value, is given to seniors as a final building block of their Sacred Heart education. As strong young women, they are called to not only be leaders but to implement each core value into how they lead. 

By leading with the intent to build community, each student serves, with reverence, every other young girl around her. Finally, every Sacred Heart Academy student learns the skills of servant leadership, a form of leadership that focuses on the good of each working towards a common goal. 

Sacred Heart Academy is a community of intelligent young women who embody community, reverence, service, and leadership. Not only do students receive a world-class education, but also have an environment to grow in faith as young women with the unwavering strength of a Valkyrie.

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