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Vol. 29, No. 3 St. Louis, Missouri - Spring 2020-2021 sjathevoice.org


2 The Voice: Spring 2020

Table of Contents:

Bring Out the

Self Care!

6-7

Stay Positive

during Exams

9

4-5

How Positive

Are You? Quiz

8

Keeping a

Positive Mindset

the

VOICE

The Voice is published quarterly during the school year. All articles and photographs can only be reprinted

with the permission of The Voice. The Voice welcomes letters to the editor, but will not print letters submited

anonymously. We are also online at sjathevoice.org.

Mission Statement

The duty and mission of The Voice is to share news with the St. Joseph’s Academy community through honest,

unbiased and entertaining reporting. The Voice strives to give St. Joe students a voice through the publication

of student-produced articles and seeks to serve as a forum for free discussion among students. The Voice fosters

the development of students into values-driven women leaders by providing them with opportunities to discern

their own views on issues facing both the school and the larger community.

Editor-in-Chief

Megan Wilcutt

Print Editor

Sophie Gloriod

Digital Editor

Anna Carollo

Print Layout Editor

Lauren Bowers

Digital Layout Editor

Mary Dill

Sports Editor

Grace Becker

Public Relations

Maggie Mays

Social Media Editor

Rosie Johnson

Art Editors

Haley Pruett, Megan Tung, and

Hanna Dressing

Photo Editor

Claire Price

Moderator

Ms. Amy Summers


The Voice: Spring 2020 3

Volunteering at

home during

COVID

11

Club

Happy

14

10

COVID-19

Vaccine

12-13

Can You See

Family and

Friends during

a Pandemic?

15

Spotlight:

Laura

Pennington

A Letter from the Editor

Dear readers,

Undoubtedly, we can all agree 2020 was a rough year. Starting off just as strong as any

other year, 2020 seemed to be going in a positive direction. However, the pandemic struck us all

out of nowhere, leaving everyone to encounter a new unknown. We had to distance ourselves

from those we loved most, adjust to remembering a mask everywhere we went, struggle to figure

out zoom, and so much more. It’s safe to say 2020 made us all lose hope at one point or another.

With this in mind, the staff of The Voice is proud to introduce our first print issue of the new year

surrounding positivity.

Each new year brings endless new possibilities- possibilities to better ourselves, reflect on

our pasts, and bring a little more joy to the world. Throughout this issue, you’ll find articles on

how to keep the revitalization a new year brings in your life always and spread positivity even

in the midst of a pandemic. As we say goodbye to 2020, let’s enter 2021 with a new positive

mindset.

Sincerely,

Megan Wilcutt

Editor-in-Chief ‘21


4 The Voice: Spring 2020

Directions: Choose one answer for each multiple choice question. Add up the amount of points associated

with each question, and find your results!

For the first time all month you have no

homework, and you’re excited to have an

afternoon to yourself. You come home in a

good mood only to hear fighting and to find

your mom is stressed and frustrated. You feel…

+3 Still great! You ignore the negativity.

+2 Still good. You decide to sacrifice some free

time to help around the house

+1 Annoyed. You still do the things you want,

but it isn’t as great as you pictured.

+0 Angry at your family. You give up on your

great afternoon and spend your energy rolling

your eyes and making sassy remarks.

It’s the night before a big math test, and you’ve

gotten every question wrong on the study guide.

It’s too late in the night to ask a friend for help.

You…

+3 Decide to wing it. There are more important

things to life, and you spend the day laughing

with your friends rather than thinking about the

upcoming test.

+2 Get a good night of sleep and go to school

early to ask for help from your teacher.

+1 Keep studying, but it takes a long time

because you’re frustrated and about to cry.

+0 Give up. You wake up crabby and spend the

day complaining about the class and the teacher.

Your friend texts you that they had a terrible day. You most

likely respond with something along the lines of…

+3 “Don’t be upset! You have a lot going for you.”

+2 “I’m so sorry you feel this way. You don’t have to talk

about it, but can I cheer you up with some funny pictures or

ice cream?”

+1 “I’ve been there too. Ugh it stinks. Want to rant?”

+0 “lol same”

St. Joe is playing Cor Jesu in the annual

Funderwear game. Our team loses. Bad. You...

+3 Couldn’t care less! You were here for a good

time with your friends, and you didn’t really care

who won anyway.

+2 Aren’t happy with the outcome, but you still

take the effort to congratulate your Cor Jesu

friends.

+1 You go home in a bad mood, and this lasts

most of the week due to the inescapable posts and

memes from Cor Jesu girls all week.

+0 You are so mad that you wish you hadn’t

gone. The only good part of the game was trash

talking the other team.

A certain global pandemic causes your favorite

events (Mission Week, homecoming, Father

Daughter Dance, sports, musicals, Welcome Week,

etc) to be cancelled or changed. Is it still possible to

have a good year?

+3 Of course! It’s unfair to complain since some

people have it way worse.

+2 I think so. I will make the most of this time with

my friends and family, but it’s okay to get down

every once in a while.

+1 Not really. I’ve gotten used to it, but I still

always think about how I’ll never get those lost

memories back.

+0 Nope. I’ve given up on thinking that any part

of this year can be good.


11-15 Somewhat Optimistic

Congratulations! Your ability

to be unbothered by life’s

obstacles and maintain

a positive outlook is very

admirable. However, we

are here to grow, so I will

offer some advice. I would

consider myself a very

positive person as well,

and I know that it can be

exhausting sometimes.

Make sure you are taking

time to take care of

yourself. A great start

is acknowledging your

feelings of sadness or

disappointment rather than

pushing them away. Look

back to the quiz questions

and compare the first

answers to the second.

Sometimes pretending like

everything is okay when

it isn’t will end up actually

causing some harm to

yourself and others.

5-10 Somewhere in the Middle

While your results may seem

vague, the average person

would likely have similar

answers to yours. I think it

is very good that you tend

to be somewhat balanced in

terms of your mindset, but

we all know places where we

could grow. A good balanced

mindset causes us to feel free

because both complaining

and faking happiness requires

unnecessary energy. Think of

a frustrating situation you are

facing right now (COVID is a

great start), and consider how

you could approach it with a

more balanced mindset.

0-4 Somewhat The Voice: Pessimistic Spring 2020 5

If you’re familiar with characters

such as Squidward, Charlie

Brown, Stanley Hudson, Eeyore,

or Oscar the Grouch, you are

probably aware that pessimistic

characters are often hilarious,

and in my opinion, adorable

(especially Eeyore). We wouldn’t

want them any other way. While

all personalities are unique,

a positive mindset is actually

something that each person can

have control of. My advice is to

think about how much energy

you invest into complaining and

considering if this could possibly

be bringing you or others down.

I’m not going to pretend that

I know or understand your

situation, but I do think that each

of us can find our own ways

to achieve happiness, and it

doesn’t have to look the same

for everyone. I encourage you to

read more of this issue for ideas

of how you can accomplish this.

As you can see, the best answer wasn’t always the

most ‘positive’ one. If you’ve ever seen the movie Inside

Out, you know that the sad moments in life need to be

appreciated just as much as the happy ones. No matter

what your results were, don’t feel ashamed to experience

sadness or frustration here and there. We aren’t meant to

be happy all of the time; we’re not robots! However, I hope

that each of you are able to encounter people, activities,

and life experiences that bring you enough joy to make up

for the tough parts. We’ve got this.


6 The Voice: Spring 2020

Bring Out the Self-care!

By Lizzie Balestreri

Art by Haley Pruett

Self-care is something that every individual can partake in, and can be

completely freeing of one’s mind and one’s wallet. Now is the perfect time to get

started on activities since the new year has just begun.

One form is self-care for the mind. This means that working on the mindset and

perception of different experiences. Working on the mind is a great way to start the

entire process of self-care.

Junior Sam Stryker introduces and supports this idea.

“I would say that care, in any form, definitely begins with a clear mind; no

matter how many face masks you do, it will never truly improve yourself. You have to

start with the inside and work outwards,” Sam said.

Some ways to help improve one’s self-care for the mind include things such as

reading. Starting a new book or book series will help ease your mind while working

the brain at the same time. Painting, drawing,

sketching, and any other art form one desires is a

great way to put the mind at ease. Art sharpens

the mind through conceptual visualization,

implementation, and boosts memory skills.

Additionally, nature provides the perfect

setting to rest. Watching the sunrise or sunset

can assist one in the presence of God. Getting

a glimpse of beautiful skies is a great way to

appreciate God and his greatness. Junior Grace

Dutch shares how she spends her mornings doing

such.

“Every morning, I wake up just in time to

see the sunrise and it relaxes me so that I am

prepared for the day and face things with a calm

and relaxed head on my shoulders,” Grace said.

Lizzie indulges in self-care by sitting

back and reading a good book while

listening to music and having a lit

candle.

Photo by Lizzie Balestreri


The Voice: Spring 2020 7

Lizzie indulges in another

form of self-care through the

use of face masks.

Photo by Lizzie Balestreri

Another form of self-care is to be

with others. Spending time with loved

ones helps one have lower levels of

cortisol, the stress-causing hormone, and

an increase in oxytocin and dopamine

levels, increasing one’s mood. There are

many ways to spend time with loved ones. One example of a way to spend with loved

ones is by having family dinners or family game nights.

Just as spending time with family is important, so is spending time with friends.

Having sleepovers, going for drives, going out to go shopping, or get food can really

boost one’s mood, as long as you stay Covid safe. Having picnics is another great way

to pass time with friends.

Another form of self-care is exercise and diet. Exercising and dieting is not

to “be skinny” or to “look better.” Exercising and dieting are for one’s health and

nutrition. Exercising occasionally is great to keep one’s body healthy and strong, as

is paying attention to one’s diet as well. Paying attention to what is eaten every day

is not all how the media perceives it. Acknowledging what you eat is important to

understand to include multiple food groups to keep the body balanced.

A great way to include exercise into one’s routine is to go for a hike or bike ride

with friends, family, or alone. It is a great way to get fresh air while spending time

with loved ones, while exercising the body. Stretching and performing body-weight

exercises are simple and easy ways to exercise at home at any time of the day.

Another thing to do to aid in self-care for the mind is to simply write a list of ten

things to be grateful for, and appreciate the good in life

The best way to healthily indulge in self-care is to improve care for the mind,

spending time with loved ones, and exercising the body. The best way to feel and

see results from such self-care is to participate in each form. Self-care is all about

making improvements to oneself in order to become the best version of oneself. It is

not about becoming better than anyone else, instead it is about loving oneself and

becoming comfortable in one’s own skin.

The best way to feel and see results from

such self-care is to participate in each form.


8 The Voice: Spring 2020

Covid-19 has made the

entire world’s spirits get down.

The year 2021 came with high

spirits and hopes for good things

to come; however, as the year has

gone on, it seems like the curse

of 2020 has carried over. From

delayed vaccines to the freezing

temperatures, good times feel

farther away than ever. Despite

all this, good things are still going

on in the world. The first step to

seeing the good (and doing good)

is having a positive mindset.

This does not have to be done

through giant actions, a positive

mindset can grow from

the simplest, and kindest,

actions.

The easiest

way to stay positive is

to make a list of all of

the good things going on in life.

They do not have to be the best

things in the world, but anything

that brings joy to the day-to-day

life. For example, one’s list may

include getting Starbucks in the

morning or seeing a friend in

the hallway between classes. A

list could also touch on larger

things, like your mom or

dad making your favorite

meal for dinner or your

favorite artist releasing new

music.

Positivity can also come

from those surrounding you.

Being around people who spread

love and joy make the days so

much brighter. Taking time to

ask friends and family what

the best part of their day can

make your own spirits rise.

Ms. Hailey Meersman, a

math teacher at St. Joe, loves

to be around students when

she feels her mood drop.

“If I’m getting stressed

out, I like to take a break for

a few minutes and just talk to

students. They always have

something funny to say which

puts me in a good mood

and reminds me how lucky

I am to work with

such great people,”

Ms. Meersman

said. “I also like

Senior

Rosie Schibig

and Ms. Meersman

smiling behind their

masks while listening

to music during a free

period.

Photo by

Sophie Gloriod

to sometimes play music in the

hallways because once one girl starts

singing along, it spreads to others

and puts people in a better mood.”

In order to keep a positive

mindset, it is important to take care

of the body as well. Drinking water,

eating food that not only

gives the body fuel but also

joy, and getting fresh air are

all important components to

staying positive.

Sophomore Lily Pingleton

understands that positivity comes

from taking care of one’s mind and

body.

“Whenever I feel stressed, I

turn on some of my favorite music

and have a dance party. Not only

does it brighten my mood, but it

gets me up and moving around” Lily

said.

Keeping your mind occupied

helps joy grow. Finding a hobby that

you love is another important factor

to positivity during these times. It

does not have to be something you

are already great at. Instead, try to

develop a skill in something

new. Test your hand at baking,

painting, or even knitting.

Hobbies keep the mind

occupied while relieving stress

and raising serotonin levels.

A positive mindset can

be hard to keep these days. The

world seems like it is out to get

all the good. However, there still

are so many things to be grateful

for. The best way to start to get a

positive attitude is to look for GOGs

everywhere. Once you find the little

things that bring you joy, it will be

easier (and more fun) to spread joy

to those around you.


The Voice: Spring 2020 9

Communicate:

Your teachers, friends and family want to help you. Talk to

them about your highs, and lows and let them know how

you’re feeling! Plus, listing your assignments verbally helps you

remember and organize!

Vision Boards:

Allow yourself to get excited about the things that inspire you!

Mood boards are a great way to remind oneself of the bigger

picture, and to get some perspective on what you’re really

working toward.

Change of Scenery:

Move around! Staying in one place, no matter how perfect,

can be dull and monotonous. To avoid blending your days,

time, and study habits blending together, choose a few

different places that inspire you, and rotate.

Procrastination:

Try not to let your work pile up and consume you. Prepare in

advance for big assessments and assignments, and organize

early. Doing a little bit of work everyday, and gradually

building up to big assignments will decrease your stress, and

allow you to prepare better.

Forget to Recharge:

You’re human too! Don’t forget to eat, hydrate, and sleep

because, in the long run, keeping up with your physical needs

is more important than a late assignment. Don’t sacrifice your

needs to play catch up on work.

Forget about your Mental Health:

Your mental health is just as important as your physical

health. Once again, you don’t have to sacrifice your emotional

well-being to keep up in school. Communicate with your

teachers, and be cautious of slipping. You are valid, loved and

important regardless of your grades, scores, or assignments.

1-800-273-TALK for Mental Health Crisis


10 The Voice: Spring 2020

Since mid-January, the COVID-19 vaccine

has been made available for Phase 1B tiers 1 and 2

Missouri residents. This means that healthcare workers,

first responders, government employees, anyone

over 65 years of age, and any adult with underlying

conditions are eligible for the vaccine.

The state of Missouri is still determining

when tier 3 residents will be allowed to receive the

vaccine. Among the tier 3 residents include teachers,

faculty, and staff at private, public, and K-12 non-profit

schools. As the state of Missouri continues to quickly

continue down the tiers, many students and teachers are

wondering what will happen for them when the vaccine

will become available for them.

Ms. Karen Davis, Principal of Academic Affairs,

has been working very hard to keep St. Joe safe during

the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We have registered our school as an

organization to be vaccinated when possible,” Ms.

Davis said.

Sophomore Brynley Wall is patiently waiting

for the day when the COVID-19 vaccine becomes

available for students.

“Eventually I would like to get the vaccine so I

can return to a somewhat normal life filled with many

fun activities, but the people who need it more than me

should be able to get it before I do,” Brynley said.

Aluma Hannah Pingleton who graduated from

St. Joe in 2014 is now a nurse at Mercy Hospital. She

recently got her second round of the vaccine, and has

much to say about it.

“I chose to get the vaccine to protect the people

I love,” Hannah said. “If we want life to get back to

normal, we have to take certain measures to defend

ourselves against the virus: masks, social distancing,

and getting the vaccine.”

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available

to more people, consider the benefits this new

technology offers. If you have any questions about the

vaccine or the availability of the vaccine, reach out to

a healthcare professional or visit St. Louis Missouri’s

Government website for more information. With

vaccination plans rolling out, remember to mask up,

socially distance, stay home if you’re sick, and stay

positive.

Seniors. Ella

and Grace

Kertz pose

with their

vaccine cards.


The Voice: Spring 2020 11

In the midst of COVID-19, service is still a necessity within the community, from tutoring toddlers to socializing with

seniors. Although at-home service requires greater technology and creativity than before the pandemic, volunteer work remains not

only possible in the midst of social distancing, but also beneficial to the volunteers as well as those receiving the service. While many

organizations have found ways to virtually continue their services, there are also individual volunteer activities that can contribute to

the betterment of the community using personal talent, interest, and social media platforms.

Sewing masks for those in need

By making masks for those in the community, this personal act can have a direct and rapid effect on the health and wellbeing

of individuals. While the pandemic continues to affect the world today, there is a constant need for reusable masks for those in

at-risk environments, whether that consist of a job or an overall population. Plenty of tutorials exist via YouTube or Google, and

organizations who receive mask donations can be found with a simple internet search. Through this act of service, teenagers and

young adults receive a newfound social awareness of those who are most at-risk or who live in an extremely at-risk environment.

Becoming a virtual tutor

In terms of the St. Joe community, tutoring as service allows students the opportunity to use their valuable education for

the greater good. Additionally, clubs and organizations at St. Joe such as National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and several other

honor societies require tutoring service hours. A great way to get involved as a tutor is to create a personal flyer that parents and

students can post on social media in order to get public attention. Virtual tutoring may appear more difficult than in-person tutoring;

although, with time, it will undoubtedly get easier. Additionally, while contact still occurs through a screen, by actually speaking to

someone, a tutor gains better social skills, whether that be with a child or with a child’s parents.

Creatively fundraising and donating to those in need

While fundraising may appear difficult at this time due to many unexpected financial problems as a result of COVID-19, it is

important to remember that even the smallest contribution can help. In fact, with high numbers willing to donate, the smallest money

donations combine to form extreme values that can benefit a large number of people in need.

A perfect example of fundraising and donating involves senior Taylor Polcyn, who reached out and encouraged her 368.8K Tik Tok

followers to raise money for homeless shelters that were in serious need of food donations.

“My followers donate ‘gifts’ when I livestream to simply just be generous. I wasn’t necessarily doing anything to earn this

money, so I felt guilty keeping it all to myself, and I wanted to help people that really needed it. That’s where the idea came from.

Also, many of the Tik Toks that I post reflect positive Christian values, so as a result, many of my followers have really kind hearts!

They have been super generous, and this definitely isn’t all me! I’m super grateful for them, and I’m so blessed to even have this

platform to begin with,” Taylor said.

In this way, Taylor uses her social media platform for the good of society as well as a form of service.

Making blankets

This service activity can actually be done with friends, as long as social distancing is maintained. Additionally, it is simple.

All that is needed is felt and scissors. Buy two large pieces of felt as any local fabric store, such as Hobby Lobby. Then, lay the two

pieces on top of one another, so that they are perfectly aligned. With scissors, simply cut about two to three inch strips along all the

edges about one inch apart from one another. Afterwards, tie one felt strip to the other felt strip aligned with it, so that a knot forms.

Continue to make knots around the entire felt sheet, and a blanket forms in the end. (See photo above by Anna Carollo)

Senior Ella Kertz, who plays club soccer and varsity soccer, at St. Joe reflects on this service activity she performed with her club

soccer team.

“As part of our service commitment for my soccer club, we all spread out in a massive room and individually made blankets

out of felt. We socialized at a distance and played music, which made the service very enjoyable,” explained Ella.

This form of service is a simple and fun way to help out those less fortunate. In regards to the winter, these blankets can be

especially useful to the homeless, who have nowhere warm to go during winter months.

In these four ways, it is not only a simple way to receive service hours during this time of physical interactive uncertainty, but

also it is impactful for the greater good of the community. Whether performing these acts of service alone through tutoring or getting

a group together for a socially distanced hour of blanket making, service is not only possible at home, but also it is entertaining and

rewarding.


12 The Voice: Spring 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic going strong for nearly a year now, it has been

difficult for everyone to get to see their family and friends. It simply isn’t safe to see

anyone for fear that someone may unknowingly have the virus and spread it to others,

but luckily there are some ways that you can see loved ones with minimal risk of getting

yourself or someone else sick.

Throughout this year, technology has become people’s

best friend, as it is one of the only ways anyone could safely

communicate with each other. While ZOOM has been

popular for schools to use in order to teach while at

home, it can also be used to have big group calls

with family and friends who you can’t visit.

Mrs. Diane Everitt, a theology teacher here at

St. Joe, Zooms with her friend group from

her SJA class of 1982.

Mrs. Everitt said, “We are fortunate

enough to have two doctors, a nurse

practitioner, and a nurse who help us

keep up to date on COVID from the

medical perspective. It has been a great

way to stay connected and support each

other during this challenging time.”

As long as you can explain how it

works to the family member who may need

help setting it up, you are good to go. For

smaller calls, you can use a video chat feature

of different phones. It may be difficult if the two

parties have different brands of phone, but if you

do, then it’s an easy way to have a “face-to-face”

conversation. Even having a simple text conversation is

better than not being able to talk to someone at all. While

technology may be difficult for some people, it is currently one of

the safest ways to talk to those you care about.


The Voice: Spring 2020 13

If you do end up trying to see family in person, make sure you follow safety

guidelines in order to keep everyone safe. Keep six feet apart from those you are with

and make sure you keep your mask on and worn properly. Remember to wash your

hands and keep hand sanitizer with you. Seeing family and friends is important, but so is

making sure you are doing everything you can to prevent yourself and others from

getting COVID. Sophomore Mia Thompson and her family, who had seen

relatives over the holidays, made sure they did everything they could

to make sure everyone stays safe.

“When my family went out of town to visit relatives

over the holidays, my family went to a hotel while my

grandparents stayed at their house, when usually,

we also stay at their house. When we got together,

it was always outside and we wore masks and

stayed socially distanced the entire time. It was

a lot of fun getting to see everyone, even if we

couldn’t be very close,” said Mia.

One thing we all have to remember

though, is that while visiting family and

friends that we haven’t seen in a while

is tempting, the fastest way COVID is

spreading, is through these gatherings. There

have been many cases where one family

member has already with a bigger group of

people and ends up being asymptomatic, not

realizing they are sick and then they go to family

gathering and spread it to everyone there. COVID

can be spread to others so easily and quickly, meaning

we have to take any and all precautions possible.Stay

safe and healthy should be everyone’s priority right now. If

we all do our part in staying socially distanced and wearing a

mask, this pandemic will be over so much sooner, and we can go

back to see people normally, which is our ultimate goal. Have fun but

stay safe.


14 The Voice: Spring 2020

CLUB

highlighting the

importance of high

school mental

Health

art by hanna dressing

and lauren bowers

Any high school student will admit

to moments of academic stress, comparisons

of body image, or pressure in the midst of a

global pandemic. This pressure and stress in

high school builds up over the course of four

years and can continue when deciding on a

college. Club Happy was made just for that

reason: to keep a positive atmosphere among

students in a sometimes stressful situation.

Overall, it is a place of optimism and utter

enjoyment that hopefully spreads from its

members to the entirety of the school.

Club Happy was created in the 2019-

2020 school by three current seniors: Megan

Wilcutt, Lily Bayer, and Grace Kinzel. Clearly

with the uncertainty and unexpectedness of

COVID-19, the invention of Club Happy acts

as a great influencer and reminder of the good

things in life whether that be making the most

of free time or creating an organized routine

during the stressful school year as a way of

relaxation and order, as life slowly returns to

normal.

Specifically, senior Grace Kertz, who

has been a member of Club Happy since last

year, discusses how Club Happy assists with

her stressful workload.

“It is a very stress-free club, and

overall, it is just a welcoming environment.

The leaders do a great job to make sure that

each meeting is engaging. Sometimes the

leaders bring food, which is always fun,”

Grace said.

The three coordinators created the

club as a way to shed light on mental health

issues in hopes of brightening other students’

day. Although this club in no way is therapy

or a support group, Club Happy discusses

ideas including: stress, anxiety, personal

enjoyment, and solutions to de-stress. The

club welcomes anyone and everyone. The

idea is to engage in a personal growth

mindset in high school to help prepare

students for their life after they leave St. Joe,

especially in college and beyond. The club

normally provides breakfast, activities, and

music before school on the first and third

Friday morning of every month from 8-8:30

in order to start the day off right.

Co-president Lily Bayer was one

creator of the club after noticing that the

St. Joe needed a club to lessen stress in a

normally stressful environment. She helps

come up with activities and discussion topics

for meetings.

“We make motivational posters, play

bingo, provide study tips for school, and

even bring in guest speakers,” Lily explains.

Altogether, Club Happy propels

positivity among St. Joe students. While

high school can be stressful at times as well

as the busyness of daily life, this club acts

as a reminder to slow down, enjoy life, and

make the most of every day.


The Voice: Spring 2020 15

St. Joe emphasizes the importance of

making a profound impact in the world in their

students’ post-graduation, and Lara Pennington

is one alumna doing just that. Lara graduated

from St. Joe in 2004, leaving St. Joe to receive

undergraduate and graduate degrees from St.

Louis University. From there, she went on to

pursue her passion of leaving a positive impact

on others through social work and working in the

mental health field.

The first 12 years after her education,

Lara’s career focused on mental illness and

addiction, specifically with women and families.

Working at the Queen of Peace Center, a part of

Catholic charities network, she helped women

and their families overcome their mental struggle

with addiction.

“The women at the Queen of

Peace Center had a lifetime of trauma,

and homelessness and poverty and limited

educational experiences and we were intervening.

It was hard work and took a toll on me. So then, I

really wanted to switch gears and focus more on

preventive interventions,” Lara said.

She did just that and jumped into the

second part of her career focused on prevention.

Part of this work involved figuring out how to

reach people struggling earlier on and provide

them with the resources and tools to better cope

with stress. The most recent three years, Lara

has specifically targeted preventive health and

well-being through education and direct service.

Currently, she works At Palm Health where

she is a coach working with clients directly to

identify their goals and create a plan of action to

accomplish such goals.

“A lot of the people we serve there

experience a lot of stress and stress takes a pretty

significant toll on the mind and body. So, working

with clients to help them identify their sources

of stress, how their stress shows up, and helping

them learn techniques to reduce their stress, and

to establish goals to ultimately live the life they

want to live,” Lara said.

On top of that, Pennington also works

at the nonprofit Anthropedia, where she is

the Director of Community Engagement. The

organization promotes health and well-being

primarily through education by working with

other nonprofits, schools, and organizations to

implement their educational resources. Lastly,

Lara works at the nonprofit Mental Health of

America where she does wellness seminars. St.

Joe played a pivotal role for her career path,

introducing to her the idea of caring for one’s

well-being.

“I went to Catholic schools my whole life,

so I’ve always really understood the importance

of health from all of its perspectives: physical

health, psychological and emotional health and

spiritual health. Health is really the intersection

of those three things. Growing up in catholic

schools and particularly at St. Joe, we were given

opportunities to nurture all aspects of our health,

in particular our spiritual health. What gives you

meaning and knowing that you are sacred and

connected to something larger, that sense of faith

gave me the hope and the courage to continue

when life is difficult,” Lara explained

Lara Pennington truly acts as a model

of how to take everything St. Joe promotes and

uses it to make their own unique impact. As she

touches the lives of all her clients, Lara truly is

making the world a better place.


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