Profiles

Trinity

Trinity High School is blessed with countless students who are talented, engaging, and involved. Below are features of just a few noteworthy students.

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Maya Arora ’20 (Immaculata House)

Maya began a community service initiative in 2018–Community Voices Together. This program aims to build relationships between Trinity High School students and special needs students at Cumberland Valley High School. Maya shared her perspective regarding Community Voices Together.

What is Community Voices Together?
Community Voices Together is a volunteer program between Trinity students and special-needs students at Cumberland Valley High School.  It pairs one CV student with one Trinity student.  In those pairs, students perform one community service activity and one social activity each meeting.  Meetings occur each month after school at CV High School.  This past meeting, we made cards for nursing homes and watched Incredibles 2 while playing card games.

What inspired you to start the program?
I was inspired to start the program for two reasons. The first was because of my interest in pediatric neurology, which involves work with special-needs kids. Since I’ve gone to parochial school for the majority of my life, I haven’t worked with kids in special education before. I wanted the opportunity to do this, so I created it for myself.  The second reason was that I wanted to integrate community service into the lives of special-needs students who usually don’t have as many opportunities as other high school kids.

With a few visits under your belt, what effects have you seen? Both in THS and CV students?
We have only had two meetings so far, but personally, all the Trinity students have raved about how much they love working with the CV students. I think the Trinity students gain an experience not available to them otherwise. The CV students are able to make out-of-school friends and participate in a club that is fun and gives back.

What have been some challenges in getting this program off the ground?
When I first got the idea for the program in late July, I started emailing the administration at Cumberland Valley, and I didn’t receive a response for almost two months. I finally got an email back and the director of special education, Mr. Justin Flickinger, set up a conference call with me. After that, it was meetings and emails for another three months before our first meeting. Student participation has probably been the most difficult because there are only about 10 Trinity students participating. I would like to expand the program but students have trouble committing to the monthly meetings. Funds were also an issue until I received a donation from a connection through Trinity. That donation opened up a lot of doors and lifted a weight off my shoulders.

What is your hope for the future of this program?
I hope that this program takes off in the coming years and the participation grows so everyone in the school is participating or knows someone who participates. It’s an amazing program and it would be a great chance for most Trinity students to try something new.

Students interested in volunteering should contact Maya here.

Matthew
Makenna

Interview with Matthew Hickey ’20 (Loyola House)

By Makenna May ’19 (Immaculata House)

Matthew Hickey ’20 (Loyola) had the opportunity to study abroad in Russia over the summer vacation.The experience began June 23 and ended on August 6. Matthew attended school in Kirov, a warm, central Russian city.

During the first three weeks of the trip, Matthew began his day at 7:00 a.m.. with morning exercise and breakfast, followed by five hours of Russian learning in a formal classroom setting with a lunch break. Matthew then participated in cultural activities such as visiting historical places and learning customs with the Russian teenagers for about three hours.

He ended the day with a massive workload that kept him up well past the expected bedtime of 11:00 p.m. The last three weeks of the trip, Matthew stayed at a host family’s house. Although he still had five hours of classes, he had more free time to explore the country.

“We were expected to work a lot harder, be more independent, and be more respectful to our teachers than in America,” Matthew said about the school’s expectations. “[They wanted us] to learn a lot, work hard, [and] have fun.” Matthew said.

“There is much less diversity there. People generally leave Russia rather than immigrate to it,” said Matthew. “It was difficult for them to grasp how diverse America was.” Even former Soviet soldiers were friendly,  Matthew said.

Differences he noticed between how the Russians acted and how Americans act were that many Russians smoke and drink from a young age and are stoic towards strangers.

His perception of the Russian citizens changed drastically as they were far more kind towards foreigners than the American media portrays them. Matthew said the two cultures “were surprisingly similar, but there are still many distinct differences.” If given the chance, Matthew said he would definitely do something similar again, especially in Lithuania as he has heard a lot about it.

In order for him to take the trip, he had to fill out a detailed online application with references, complete a personal interview, and pass a medical exam, which would allow him to apply for a visa.

Koranda

Lauren Koranda ’19 (De La Salle House)

Lauren Koranda is an exceptionally involved student at Trinity. She’s captain of the dance team, a cheerleader, and a member various honors societies including, math, foreign language, and NHS. This year Lauren is taking AP Government, and has said it’s her favorite class so far this year, largely because “it is more important now than ever before for young people to be politically aware and active, and Mr. Geisel definitely shares that value.”

Last year, Lauren choreographed Trinity’s musical, Beauty and the Beast. She calls it, “without a doubt, the greatest experience I have had throughout high school.” She added, “Mrs. Jarrett’s trust in me gave me the confidence to accomplish something I had never done before, and it helped me realize my plans for the future beyond Trinity.” Lauren’s success with Beauty and the Beast led her to take an internship over the summer at the Carlisle Theatre, where she served as assistant stage manager and helped with many of the theatre’s social media platforms. This too, helped her realize she wants to pursue entertainment as a career.

This year, she’s taken on a new role at Trinity, co-captain of the House System. As co-captain, Lauren helps to plan activities for the entire school. It’s a shift from what’s been done at Trinity in past years, with a move away from traditional high school systems, such as student council and division based on grade level. Lauren says, “The House system has given a platform to students from all grade levels where they are encouraged to share their talents and abilities within their mentor group, their house, and the Trinity community as a whole.”

As a senior, Lauren is “most looking forward to appreciating the people who have made all of my years at Trinity so great, and to hopefully have a hand in making this year great for other students!” She’s also looking ahead to college, possibly New York University or Fordham to pursue a major in theatrical studies.

Michael

Michael McDermott ’19 (Immaculata House)

Michael McDermott is one of Trinity’s senior leaders this year. A member of the football team, president of the Board Game club, and co-captain of Trinity’s new House System, Michael is involved in a variety of school activities.

Michael cites his participation on the school’s football team as providing great lessons in leadership, especially in overcoming adversity. Michael said, “as a leader on the team it is my responsibility to help my team face adversity head on and fight for the love of the sport. It is in those moments when true people are born, how well they do when their backs are against the wall.” Michael and the rest of the team endured a tough season, with nine straight losses, but their determination and grit never wavered. They shut out rival Camp Hill 26-0 in the final game of the season.

As co-captain in the House System, Michael has seen rivalry shift from competition between classes, to competition between Houses. This “is a good thing,” according to Michael. “It brings about the creativeness of people in each house to help pull funny pranks on each other. One example of a good rivalry is when we had our pep rally on field day, the houses had to try and out-chant each other to win. They were also acting like student sections towards each other which created a very unique and fun environment.” Michael has seen success already with the House System, and believes it will ultimately “help showcase all the talents Trinity has and unite the school as one, with both the faculty and students.”

Michael is looking forward to participating in THON this year, where he’ll dye his hair blonde in order to raise $1,500 for the fight against pediatric cancer. Next year he is hoping to attend Penn State University, where he’ll participate in NROTC/AROTC.

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