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< In the Classroom

Attending IND: Breaking Out of the Bubble

A few words from an Institute of Notre Dame graduate:

Until high school, I attended private elementary schools where almost everyone was just like me: white, middle class, and Catholic. Though my parents exposed me to other walks of life, I lived in a bubble.

I had several options that would provide me with a continuation of my middle school experiences—a rolling green campus and many suburban girls just like me—but I wanted to strike out on my own. I became intrigued with the Institute of Notre Dame (IND), an all-girls’ school in the heart of Baltimore City. This was a school way out of my comfort zone, way out of the norm and way out of my bubble. Friends thought I had lost my mind, but I knew it was perfect.

Throughout my four years there, I was exposed to and experienced more knowledge, friendship, faith, and diversity than I had in all of my life before high school. My classmates, my friends, hail from 75 zip codes, six counties, two states, and multiple countries. I gained an appreciation and respect for countless cultural, economic, and religious backgrounds.

Through my service work within the city, I learned what it means to be an empowered, responsible citizen and to make a difference with the blessings and opportunities afforded me. Through the Catholic values instilled in me by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, I have gained a moral self and a deeper Christian conscience. Yes, I would make the same decision a hundred times over.

Because I chose to challenge myself, I am able to continue to grow and learn in a rapidly changing world. I know what it means to be independent and to lead the way in a world where it is so easy to sit back and go with the crowd. I accept myself and others as people of dignity and worth, no matter who they are or where they come from. I popped my own bubble and won’t ever go back.

-Anna Spears,

Class of 2016, Institute of Notre Dame

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