Magda Pawlak
Class of 2009
Bachelor of Science Molecular and Developmental Biology, UofM

What is special about St. Maurice School?
St. Maurice will always hold a special place in my heart. Going through high school is often an experience we take for granted. Looking back at my high school years brings a smile to my face. St. Maurice was my second home. It’s a very tight knit community and all the teachers provide a very big support network for all students. My favorite part about the school was how much love and care can fit into such a small building. Although there may not be many students and teachers compared to other high schools, St. Maurice makes you feel welcome and at home every single time you step through the front doors.

 

How did St. Maurice School prepare you for post-secondary and life success?
Currently I am studying cell, molecular and developmental biology at the University of Manitoba. It’s an intensive program that requires numerous hours of at home preparation. The St. Maurice Biology department allowed me to learn the foundations of what my current studies are built on. Through hands-on lab experience, studying and applying fundamental theories and having to prepare proper lab reports, I was well prepared for my university years.

There is a lot of independent study needed to succeed in St. Maurice as well as university. I was thankful that I was pushed in my high school years to learn which study techniques worked for me so that I was able to apply them when I went to university.

By having small class size every student is able to have the attention of the teacher. Teachers very willingly offer study hints and tricks which students find very useful. My first couple of years at university I would use my high school notes as another study tool.

 

What has St. Maurice School taught you about giving back?
In the St. Maurice mission statement it states that all efforts are made to foster a strong relationship between school, home, the church and the community. Students are taught to be respectful, kind and caring towards all individuals no matter who they are or where they come from. It is so refreshing to see such an emphasis being placed on togetherness and kindness. Through simple activities such as hamper preparations and spending a few hours at a senior’s home we were able to see people at all stages of life: we visited people in poverty and seniors in the final stages of their lives. These kinds of selfless activities motivated me to start my own Christmas hamper within my community and to donate items regularly to Siloam mission. In university I also volunteered to travel to Guatemala on a medical volunteer trip. We visited rural areas of the country and set up medical and dental clinics providing free medical care to people who would normally not have access to it. Despite the language barrier we were able to help over 400 people in a seven day span. We changed their lives and they changed ours. We left Guatemala very humbled and wanting to give back as much as we could not only internationally but locally. The following year I became one of the coordinators at the University of Manitoba for the volunteer trip and we traveled to Costa Rica.

Everything St. Maurice teaches you about caring for others is taken with you after you graduate… mission accomplished!

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