Occasionally, proud alumni write us to let us know how much their Mercyhurst Prep education helped prepare them for life after MPS, or just to say how much being a Laker still means to them. We love to hear from Lakers any time, so never hesitate to drop us a line.
Alissa Chessario (’10)
I just finished my senior year at Penn State majoring in Spanish and Business. As part of my curriculum, I was required to take a 400 level Spanish Lit course, which was Modern and Post Modern Spanish Short Story. It was handsdown the hardest class I’ve taken during my college career. We had two essay exams and two seven page literary essays, and that was it for grades, not to mention that my teacher was a rather difficult grader AND I was doing this all in Spanish, which made it even more challenging. . . truly, it was the coaching I had in my IB Humanities classes at MPS that got me through the class. Because of what I learned during my two years in Humanities in terms of literary essay composition, I was able to very confidently take on those papers and exams, which required the use of lit crit, the comparison of stories by various authors, and the discussion of literary devices (and actually understanding what I was reading in Spanish on top of that). Thanks to IB, I was extremely confident that I could pull off these assignments because I knew exactly how to structure an essay and what do you know? I got an A in the class.
Alex Salen (‘09)
I couldn’t have asked for a better high school. I may not have understood exactly why learning certain things was so important , but having been out of high school long enough to reflect on it, the IB program taught me how to think versus what to think. This has proven invaluable in every aspect of my life. I don’t care what sort of reputation other schools may have; I truly believe that Mercyhurst Prep is the real academic powerhouse of Erie based on the style of learning that they cultivate.
The rowing team is another thing that separates MPS from other local schools. Frequent practices that challenge athletes both physically and mentally were one of the most important ways I matured in high school. I learned that I was capable of more than I thought, life is not always fair, and discipline combined with hard work will take you farther than natural talent alone. Even the challenge of waking up so early and knowing that I was going to go do something extremely painful toughened me up in ways that still serve me well. While you can find great people anywhere, I still enjoy a bond with my teammates that most other relationships cannot match. I’ve participated in other sports and loved my other teammates, but none carried the same sort of bond that rowing did. I went on to snag both an NCAA championship and record in college.
Being part of a smaller school was personally so helpful to me in my own development. My teachers knew me well and they knew what it took to push me to succeed as both a student and a person. Both my classmates and teachers inspired me when I really needed it.
MPS will always have a special place in my heart and I cannot recommend it enough. It was worth every difficult moment in that it has brought me so much closer to becoming the person I always wanted to be.