By Caroline Bonin, Clarion Herald Contributing writer
Mount Carmel Academy instills in its students the belief that with a good education, one can accomplish great things.
What better way to exhibit this empowerment than to have students investigate and embody their favorite historical woman for the entire school?
This is exactly what English teacher Jaime Carroll asked her students to do during the recent “Living HERstory” biographical celebration. Students chose an influential woman, investigated her life and historical significance and portrayed that woman in a costume that represented her, creating games and giving presentations.
The intent of the students’ research was to inspire them as they discovered amazing female role models and produced creative ways to portray them publicly.
I chose St. Joan of Arc. I dressed in armor, created a catapult game made from Jenga blocks and gave presentations with facts about her life. I detailed her leadership, bravery and faith on the way to sainthood.
On the day of the event, the Mother Thérèse Chevrel Assembly Center was filled with students portraying empowering women from Marie Curie to Malala Yousafzai to Julia Child.
Within the blink of an eye, the person who sat next to you in calculus was now Amelia Earhart. During lunch, teachers and crowds of girls visited each of the influential women to learn about those trailblazing females.
Senior Adeline Chappuis, who portrayed “Grey’s Anatomy” TV star Ellen Pompeo, commented on how researching Pompeo inspired her and how she was influenced by the HERStory event.
“I’ve watched the entire series plus some of her earlier works, but I didn’t choose her just because she was my favorite actress,” Chappuis said. “She’s such an incredible woman inside and out. She fought for equal pay in the TV business and won – that’s huge! She really inspired me – and I hope other girls, as well – to fight for what I believe is right and just.”
Chappuis was not the only student who found a role model that day; girls throughout the campus were inspired by the portrayal of the strong women introduced to them. We hope that “Living HERstory” will become an annual event at our school to provide more opportunities to be inspired by women who have made a difference in our world.
Caroline Bonin is a senior at Mount Carmel Academy.