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Finding one’s place in the Sisterhood

She’s welcoming the class of 2021 to their graduation ceremony but saying goodbye to high school. Salutatorian Mollie Smith on love, community, and finding your place in the Carondelet Sisterhood.

“It’s weird that it’s almost over.” That’s what Mollie Smith ’21 had to say on her penultimate day of high school. It was almost like the gravity of it had yet to sink in, a realization that probably still won’t come until she looks out on Graduation day, across a sea of her peers, their families, and the teachers that got her to the finish line as she delivers the Salutatorian speech.

Mollie Smith was selected as the Salutatorian for the class of 2021 and will give the student welcome address at Graduation. Salutatorian nominees are chosen by the graduating class, and a faculty committee then selects the speaker after each nominee presents a possible welcoming speech for graduation.

For Mollie, her nomination came as a surprise, “I felt surprised and appreciated and loved. I wasn’t expecting to be chosen, but I was so excited.”

Mollie and another student ceremoniously lay lace over the altar during a school liturgy. Throughout her time at Carondelet, Mollie has demonstrated outstanding leadership in Campus Ministry through a commitment to the liturgy and retreat programs, and she is rooted in prayer. She is a recipient of the St. Teresa of Avila Award, an AP student, and was a nominee for the ’21 Homecoming court in the “Faith” category.

“When I went to write my speech I thought about what I’ve learned over the last four years and how the Sisterhood has shaped who I am, and I tried to think about unique qualities that my class might possess,” she explained.

“I just want everyone to feel like they have a place at Carondelet.”

“I talk a lot about how the Sisterhood helped us build a community united by love… Our class has shown that unconditional love.”

Mollie Smith and other students at the Journey retreat.

A senior class doesn’t always “click” in the way that the young women of ’21 have, but two years facing down uncertainty of a pandemic can embolden even the most tentative of senior students embarking on change. “We didn’t start off as close,” said Molly regarding the camaraderie and love she feels for the people she calls her sisters. “But when we came back together we all just missed each other so much, and we were so happy to be with each other again.”

When asked what she wants people to take away from her address on May 22, she said, “I just want everyone to feel like they have a place at Carondelet.

“I feel like sometimes freshmen and sophomores don’t always know where they fit in, and it can be nerve-wracking to feel that way,” said Molly. “Be your genuine self because you’re gonna be loved no matter who you are. Just be open to trying new things and showing others who you really are.”

Mollie Smith and another student pose in front of the fountain during a Journey retreat


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