Wildwood Catholic senior Caitlin Nanos gave the following testimony at St. Ann Church, Wildwood, on Jan. 26, the first day of Catholic Schools Week.
Good Morning. My name is Caitlin Nanos and I am a senior at Wildwood Catholic High School. I have been grateful for the past 12 years to have Catholic education in my life.
Catholic education is so much more than just having religion class every day. It has truly helped me grow as a person and live a better life.
Four years ago I found out that Wildwood Catholic would be closing its doors at the end of the school year. After being the last class graduating from St. Ann’s, continuing my education at a Catholic high school wasn’t an option at that point. The school I had been planning on going to since I was younger wouldn’t be there for me. I was upset and now I had to figure out where I would spend the next four years.
I couldn’t imagine not going to a Catholic high school. Then a few amazing individuals came together and came up with a plan to save the school. It would take money, determination and hard work, and I was ready to do whatever I could to help out.
You don’t realize how much people care about something like Catholic education. It was heartwarming to hear that people were supporting our cause and were willing to donate their money.
That summer, I spent almost every day at the high school after work doing what I could. Whether it was painting, sweeping or mopping, I was ready to do it all.
Other friends of mine questioned why I would spend the beautiful days of summer in a hot and dusty building. It was because I wanted to do this. I wasn’t getting paid but I did it because it felt good to help. I also wasn’t doing this to get a thank you or a pat on the back; I was doing it out of the goodness of my heart. I learned that no matter what anybody says, you can change the outcome of any situation.
I couldn’t have been any happier to put on a Wildwood Catholic uniform come that September. Now four years later, the school is stronger than ever, thanks to a few people who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Wildwood Catholic isn’t just a high school; it’s a community of faith, knowledge and service. During my years at the school, I have been lucky to participate in many service projects that have helped the members of our community.
I look at the younger kids in our community and realize that they are the future of our school. They look to us as their role models. I remember as a young child always looking up to the big kids and being so excited to be them someday.
I am thankful every day for the sacrifice that my parents have made over the years to get me a good Catholic education. These schools have prepared me for everyday challenges, college and life. I couldn’t be prouder to call myself a St. Ann’s Star and a Wildwood Catholic Crusader.