Mountie grads celebrate community, and keep on moving

Mountie grads celebrate community, and keep on moving

At Sunday’s Mount Saint Charles Academy Class of 2017 commencement ceremony, the school’s top two honors for seniors were awarded: the Excelsior Award and All Mountie Award. The Excelsior Award is presented in recognition of good leadership and participation in extracurricular activities, and this year’s recipient was Valedictorian Kim Le of Woonsocket. Earning the All Mountie Award was Cumberland’s Emily D’Abrosca. Here, from left, are Mount President Herve Richer, Le, D’Abrosca, and Mount Principal Edwin Burke.

WOONSOCKET – Mount Saint Charles Academy held its 93rd commencement on June 11 and top graduates from the Class of 2017 celebrated the lessons learned during their time at the Catholic high school while exchanging inspiring words of advice for the future.

“Mount has truly become a second home. It is a place where we are allowed to explore new interests, gifts, and talents and are nurtured and guided to reach our full potential,” said Mistress of Ceremonies Emily Mercier of Cumberland, the third top graduate in the 130-member class.

Salutatorian Meghan O’Brien, of Franklin, Mass., reflected on memories from her first days of entering the school as a 7th-grader.

“On orientation day, I was too nervous to talk to anyone else so I started to eat lunch alone,” said O’Brien. She said two members of Campus Ministry sat down and talked with her.

“At the time, I was grateful that they had spared me some of the embarrassment of eating by myself,” she said.

O’Brien noted how she and her classmates had changed during their time at Mount.

“We are not just older or smarter than we were when we first came here. We became more compassionate, more driven, more confident,” she said. “We grew more concerned about our roles in the world. We became the type of people who sit with terrified 7th-graders on their first days.”

Students have changed because the type of education they’ve received “was never purely intellectual,” said O’Brien. “At our cores, we will continue to be Mounties, bound by friendship, united in faith, forever family.”

The Mount community also celebrated a landmark anniversary for the Class of 1967, handing 50th anniversary diplomas to former students who returned to the school for a 50th anniversary weekend.

Mercier spoke on what it might have been like to graduate that year, noting “some striking similarities” with modern times.

“In 1967, the world was faced with great uncertainty and conflict, both overseas and at home,” she said. “Young people, however, were striving to make a difference in that world, heading new political and cultural movements that have shaped the world as we know it today.”

School Principal Edwin Burke Jr. thanked the parents of Mount’s latest crop of graduates for choosing the Woonsocket school.

“As a parent, I understand the leap of faith you have taken in sending your children here for their education,” said Burke.

Valedictorian Ngan Kim Le of Woonsocket urged fellow graduates to live intentional lives.

“Whatever happens in the future, be active and take control,” said Le. “You might not know your destination, but you choose how fast you go, whether it be 40 miles per hour or 80 miles per hour.”

“You decide what drives your life. You decide where you want to go and which roads you want to take.”

She added, “Sometimes life’s problems make you feel helpless. Sometimes you’ll feel like you can’t do anything, but there’s always a way if you’re willing to look.”

“I have no doubts that you’ll stay in motion. Whether inch by inch or mile by mile, there’s no destination that you can’t reach.”

Le thanked the teachers and staff at Mount for being dedicated.

“You’ve made our school not just a place for learning, but also a community,” she said.

The graduates, administrators, faculty, family and friends listen as Mistress of Ceremonies Emily Mercier, of Cumberland, welcomes everyone to Mount St. Charles Academy’s graduation in Adelard Arena last Sunday. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)
Meghan O’Brien, 2017 class salutatorian, of Franklin, Mass., talked about her learning experience at Mount St. Charles.
Xinyi Hu, of Shanghai, China, left, celebrates graduating with her friend, Yunting Hu, of Chongqiang, China.
Friends Gregory Lynch, left, and Collin Scott, both of Cumberland, celebrate graduating. Mount St. Charles Academy’s 2017 graduation took place in Adelard Arena on Sunday.
Proud grandfather, Lee Ambler, hugs his granddaughter, Madison Ambler, of Bellingham, Mass., at Mount St. Charles Academy’s 2017 graduation last Sunday.