JUST ACROSS THE BRIDGE, down the road from Saint Joseph’s University and within a few miles of the Philadelphia Art Museum lies Merion Mercy Academy’s welcoming, suburban campus. Since 1884, Merion Mercy Academy, an all-girls Catholic college preparatory high school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, has been educating girls from across the region. It is one of the few all-girls, independent Catholic institutions that are close enough to serve New Jersey students. It’s not surprising that the school boasts almost 60 New Jersey students who enjoy a very active school experience. They are leaders, thinkers, problem-solvers, athletes, performers and engaged learners—students who enjoy a full and dynamic school life. Director of Admissions Eileen Killeen shares the top reasons why Merion Mercy is worth crossing the bridge.
1. IT’S CLOSE AND ACCESSIBLE. Only 14 miles from Cherry Hill and 18 miles from Moorestown, it is easy to get to Merion Mercy. The school often partners with the all-boys Philadelphia area high school St. Joseph’s Prep, and their bus system has stops that serve every New Jersey town. “Students also bond through carpools. Our community is really similar to a family, with older students and their parents mentoring and helping younger students, especially in the area of transportation,” says Killeen. “Between the busing services (now provided) and carpools, getting to MMA has been working well for New Jersey families for more than 30 years.”
2. IT CELEBRATES DIVERSITY. MMA is real, relevant and reflective of the world. The school draws from more than 110 feeder schools that make up a diverse, culturally rich community. Students’ hometowns span across the Philadelphia region, from Philadelphia, Delaware and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties in South Jersey. Students expand their worlds and form relationships with other students beyond their own backyards.
3. ALL-GIRLS EDUCATION SETS THE STAGE FOR LIFELONG CONFIDENCE. In an all-girls environment, young women grow in confidence, develop leadership skills, value the freedom to grow their unique talents and thrive in academic and extracurricular programs that have been created with them in mind.
In a 2019 Merion Mercy 12th grade survey, the majority of students stated “confidence” as their No. 1 personal quality upon graduation. This came as no surprise because MMA girls grow to be confident and comfortable in themselves and their abilities as they fill every student role in the school. They are surrounded by female role models and mentors at every turn. The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools states that “80 percent of girls’ school students report most of their classes challenge them to achieve their full academic potential compared to 44.3 percent at coed public schools.”
4. PROVIDES CATHOLIC IDENTITY THROUGH THE LENS OF MERCY. Merion Mercy’s mission incorporates six core values, aligning with the Sisters of Mercy’s approach to educating women: educational excellence, spiritual growth, compassion and service, global vision and responsibility and concern for women and women’s issues. A Mercy education shapes the lives of girls in many positive ways—students are educated to learn and to actively live mercy (mercy in itself means “kindness in action”). MMA graduates are known to lead with integrity throughout their lives, whether it is in the classroom, a board room, an operating room or a room in one’s home.
5. OFFERS A PERSONALIZED APPROACH TO EDUCATION. Merion Mercy provides a robust college prep curriculum, but is also attentive to the needs of the whole person and how 21st century learners grow and thrive in today’s society. MMA customizes schedules for each student and offers a unique eight-day cycle, allowing for more collaboration and meaningful project-based learning. Merion Mercy also rotates its class schedule each day. “Our students love the variation in the daily schedules. And our athletes, for example, also appreciate that they don’t miss the same class at the end of the day when they have to leave for games,” shares Killeen. The school also offers more than 70 clubs, sports and activities, which include academic and service clubs and honor societies. “There is literally something for everyone to enjoy at Merion Mercy,” continues Killeen.
For more information on Merion Mercy Academy, visit Merion-Mercy.com.
Merion Mercy Academy
Independent Catholic College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 9-12
511 Montgomery Ave.
Merion Station, Pa.
(610) 664-6655, ext. 166
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 7 (September 2019).
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