Celebrating the Class of 2021
On Thursday, May 27, 2021, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP) presented 194 diplomas to the Class of 2021 on the school’s historic campus. The in-person graduation was a beautiful celebration for the graduates and their families who were able to watch the graduates receive their diplomas.
“We, the Class of 2021, persevered through the traditional struggles of high school: endless nights of homework, SATs, AP exams, and college applications. But our strength as a class and as individuals was only fully tested when we faced some even bigger waves,” said Valedictorian Anjali Paye (Georgetown University) in her commencement speech.
She added, “We took on challenges no class before us has endured. Transitioning to online learning in the face of a global pandemic, we adapted to a new world of education. And as we navigated our senior year, we lifted each other up through challenge after challenge, all while staying six feet apart.”
Despite the hurdles, this class earned impressive college admissions numbers. Sixty percent received at least one merit-based scholarship, amounting to more than $24 million awarded by colleges and universities. The class received acceptances to many impressive universities including Cornell University, UC Berkeley, Loyola Marymount University, and more. OLP was the only high school in San Diego to have two seniors receive acceptances to Harvard University.
“We are a better school because of you: from your talents in the classroom, commitment to service in the community, and putting your faith in action. Just as I hope you have been transformed by your educational journey, I want you to know that you too have had an indelible impact on all of us, the faculty, staff and your fellow OLP sisters. Each of you has touched us, and we have in turn been touched by you,” Dr. Lauren Lek, Head of School, said to the Class of 2021 at the sunset ceremony.
Graduate Chrysanthe Frangos (Stanford University) reflected on the support she received throughout high school and during the college admissions process, “My teachers would check up on us to see how we were handling everything and to offer advice. There was always someone there to lend essay edits, emotional support, decision-making tips and personal stories to help us get through it all.”
Maya Berthoud, recipient of the Howard University Leadership Scholarship, echoed this support, “The OLP community was very helpful in my college admissions process. Especially during the pandemic. They put in overtime – whether it was one-on-one meetings or group webinars – to make each and every one of the seniors feel more confident and stronger during the process.”
While this class was unable to have prom and all the typical end of year celebrations, they came together to support each other through it all. “Even with our face masks on, I felt the warmth of smiles everywhere I turned on the OLP campus this year,” said graduate Daniela Andrade (New York University).
Paye concluded her speech, “Remember this: enjoy the unexpected and seemingly ordinary moments, because looking back, those are the ones that will come to mean the most.”
To learn more about OLP visit www.aolp.org.