THE IMPACT OF OUR EDUCATION!
The impact of a Mercy Center’s Sisters Academy of New Jersey education makes us proud, and it brought tears to our eyes earlier this month.
At a meeting in the community, a woman in her 70’s raised her hand. She had been a volunteer at Sisters Academy for many years. She wanted to share a recent experience at a nearby hospital.
She explained that she had a life-threatening episode that landed her in the Emergency Room. The head ER nurse took her case. The patient recognized the nurse’s name – the nurse was a graduate of Sisters Academy who the woman had taught years ago.
The woman got quite emotional as she described how that nurse saved her life. Indeed, this story is a beautiful testament to the impact a great education has on young women.
One hundred percent of our girls go on to graduate high school. That graduation rate is simply unheard of in the Asbury Park school system.
Yes, our graduates are nurses, chemists, and businesswomen. Some are studying to be doctors, and today we have an alumna who is finishing her first year at Yale University.
Dayra Mejia-Reyes (pictured above) credits Sisters Academy with giving her the “work ethic” to succeed and get accepted into the Ivy League school.
All of this happens with dedicated staff and volunteers who rely completely on donors to keep our doors open. We literally provide the ticket for these young women for a way out of the cycle of poverty which they were born into.
Would you consider sponsoring a girl to attend Mercy Center’s Sisters Academy? It costs us $15,000 per year to educate a child, but a donation in any amount helps us change lives. For more information, email Linda Kellner at email@example.com.
MERCY CENTER’S SISTERS ACADEMY
A personal tour of the Yale University campus in Connecticut this month made for some happy and inspired 8th graders at Mercy Center’s Sisters Academy.
“The most inspiring part of the trip for me was hearing stories of some of the black students at Yale. They told us things like ‘be independent’, and they told us to take advantage of all opportunities,” said 14-year-old Christelle Ocean.
The girls joined the Central Jersey Women’s Club for the visit, which left them with curiosity about life’s opportunities and a desire to stay focused academically!
“Getting to actually walk around that campus and hear about its history really made me think, ‘Wow, this could be where I end up in merely four years,'” added 14-year-old Tamara Hayward.
Here’s hoping for some more future Bulldogs!
CHILDREN IN MERCY CENTER’S
“YOUTH WITH A PURPOSE” PROGRAM
VISIT MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY
Strength, courage, and honesty. It’s what the curriculum of Mercy Center’s “Youth with a Purpose” promotes.
The free, after-school program for children ages 7-12 (funded entirely by donations) meets once a week with organized arts and crafts, and includes several field trips, including a recent visit to Monmouth University in West Long Branch.
“The trip gave the children an opportunity to think about their own future. They were full of curiosity asking questions about different activities around campus. One child said, ‘I wanna play on this field one day,'” said Alaa Alyoubi, Advocate with Mercy Center’s Family Resource Center.
On a chilly, damp morning before Easter, a line of people waited outside Mercy Center’s Food Pantry on Main Street in Asbury Park for food. Others waited across the street for the clothes we were providing.
“Mercy Center helps me. I have lived in Asbury Park for 25 years, and with inflation and the cost of food, this pantry keeps me afloat,” said Shannon Grayson, a retired teacher who is having trouble collecting her pension.
On this day, Shannon received special items to serve her loved ones for the holiday – a ham, sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables,
and Easter candy.
We also spoke with David Wallace (pictured above), who was in line for food. “The pantry is great! Plenty of fresh vegetables, and
I only take what I need. My family loves vegetables, and that is what we get here.”
Mercy Center believes every person deserves the dignity to have a special holiday meal with their families. And we provided just that for 567 of our neighbors in need in the greater Asbury Park area for Easter.
“The Mercy Center Pantry means a lot to me. The nicest people work here. They are the best pantry!” added Rose Mellilo of Asbury Park.
Shannon, David, and Rose are among the people in Monmouth County currently being served by Mercy Center’s Food Pantry. In 2022, we served 35,000 people. That’s up significantly from the 1,558 people we served in 2021.
Can you help us keep up with this unprecedented demand? Food is a necessity, and far too many people here at the Jersey Shore don’t have enough to eat… not just on holidays, but every day.