Monday, January 23, 2012

Saving the school that inspired my love of YA lit.

To put it simply: high school was home to me, and now that school is set to close.

I'm madly in love with YA novels because of my high school experience. By senior year, I was a ridiculously active member of about seven extracurriculars. I spent so much time at school that I joked that I should have a cot there to stay overnight. I found two lifelong best friends there, and my junior year, I sat in the English class of the best teacher I've ever had.

Earlier this month, my alma mater, St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls -- a mouthful of a name better known as "Huberts" -- was selected as one of four high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia recommended to close this June.

I knew I'd be upset. I didn't know I'd be heartbroken.

Huberts' super adorable mascot.
St. Hubert's is a one-of-a-kind school. Many of the teachers have been there for 10 years. Some have been there for 30 years. They all know your name, and they remember it, whether you graduated last year or eight years ago. The school has the largest women's athletic program in Philadelphia, over 35 extracurricular activities to join, and seven Advanced Placement courses. It keeps the local neighborhood vibrant, safe, and prosperous. It's been around for 70 years, a landmark in Northeast Philadelphia.

These are just the facts. The heart of the school is its students and alums. Generations of Bambies (yes, our school mascot is a cartoon deer) love the school and are fighting to keep it alive.

Within a couple days of the announcement of the closure, the students and alums held rallies and press conferences. Hundreds of students crowded the steps to the school multiple mornings at 6:30am to protest the decision. Seriously, when teenagers are shouting and chanting and waving posters and singing the school song at SIX THIRTY in the morning, you know the school is something special.

The school's Board of Advisors and Alumnae Association are appealing the decision this week, and they're fighting facts with facts. The closure was based on declining enrollment and a financial deficit, so the appeals committee has to prove that our school is a viable entity for the future.

We raised nearly half a million dollars in ten days. Ten days.

I've never been so proud.

The appeals committee is fighting losing odds, but they're fighting, and I can't help but fight with them. As a writer with a goal of publication, I know more than a little bit about crappy odds, but that hasn't stopped me, and it's not stopping St. Hubert's.

I'm writing about this here because high school is the center of the YA experience, and I want to honor my high school for giving me an incredible four years that have impacted my life in the best way possible.

If you want to learn more about the inspiring ways St. Hubert's is fighting to stay open, check out If you're able and willing, you can make a PayPal donation today to help the cause. If you aren't, thank you for reading this post and sharing in the St. Hubert legacy.

The best part of all this? If the appeal is denied, all funds donated will be used for scholarships to assist current students as they transfer to new schools. That's the St. Hubert spirit, and why I'm so proud to have been a part of such an amazing school.

The appeal hearing is Wednesday. I hope Huberts beats the odds.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Way to make me cry at my desk at 7 am! I've got a good feeling about this...


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