OLMA Seniors Pay it Forward on Annual Retreat

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While many people hear “retreat” and think of hours spent in quiet reflection, the seniors at Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) decided to take action instead.   

During their two-day senior retreat, a long-time OLMA tradition, students rolled up their sleeves and got to work serving the needs of people at seven different sites located in Camden, Philadelphia and Pennsauken.  

“Over my four years at OLMA, service has become almost automatic because it's something I’ve come to love doing,” said senior Alyssa D’Alessandro. “Service benefits everyone involved as it puts smiles on the faces of the people we help, as well as makes us feel good because we know we’ve made a difference in some way.”  

Alyssa and her 48 classmates spent time stocking shelves, sorting clothes, moving furniture, cleaning, gardening, visiting with nursing home residents, tutoring school children, prepping Halloween treats, and more over the last two days. 

The service sites included: Urban Promise (Pennsauken Campus), Urban Promise Thrift Store, Abigail House, Hopeworks 'N Camden, Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, STARS Adult Medical Day Care Center, and Generations Plus.

“At OLMA, college prep means more than just mastering academics,” said Atira Smith, OLMA Student Council President.  “It also means developing good character and becoming the best people that we can possibly be. Service experiences like this one bring us closer as a class and make us stronger individuals. To me, that’s an important part of college prep.”


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