Throwforward Thursday: Class of 2017
Posted 05/18/2017 03:30PM

Throwforward Thursday: Emily, Dante & Audrey

The countdown is on! AP exams are done; the prom has come and gone; National Honor Society inductions have taken place; spring sports are in their final days of competition; and Senior Service projects are wrapping up. With only two weeks until Commencement, the Class of 2017 is gearing up for graduation!

In this week’s edition of Throwforward Thursday, we caught up with Emily, Dante, and Audrey before their tennis matches to learn more about their exciting college plans.

Emily Taranto ’17 has always walked to school. A Brighton native, she attended Saint Columbkille Partnership School through 8th grade before transitioning to Saint Joseph Prep. Next year, however, the walk to the University of Massachusetts Lowell is probably unrealistic; nevertheless, Emily is excited to begin her studies in the College of Engineering! Emily became involved with Robotics in middle school at St. Col’s, and once she saw the work being done in SJP’s Robotics workshop at the Open House, she was inspired to keep at it! “I didn’t think I could do anything like that,” she says of the robot SJP students were showing off. “But I wanted to try and was amazed that we could build something of a similar caliber.” Emily has been a four-year member of the Robotics team at SJP and three-year captain, and she’s also kept busily involved in Campus Ministry, National Honor Society, Tennis (two-year captain), and the Photography Club. At UMass-Lowell, she plans to stay active in Campus Ministry and with community service, citing how important it is to help other people, and that through service, you also gain some much-needed perspective on your own worries and challenges. She is most excited for the opportunities available to her in college, though. From the classes to the new relationships, she’s definitely ready for the next step. Mixed with her excitement, however, is a tinge of sadness. “The connections I’ve made with friends and teachers will be hard to replicate. The bonds are so strong though, I know I’ll miss them, but I also know I'll stay connected to them for the rest of my life.” Emily is volunteering at Boston College’s Campus School with disabled students for her Senior Service project.

Dante Salvucci ’17 will head north from his home in Waltham to Merrimack College in North Andover, where the Soccer and Tennis captain will be studying Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences! Dante was drawn to Merrimack for several reasons, including the campus, the facilities, the kindness of the students and faculty in the Psych department at the Open House he attended, and the school-wide commitment to service. Most importantly, however, it felt like home and the sense of community he experienced while at Saint Joseph Prep. Regarding his interest in Psychology, he is eager to learn more about how people work and how he can help them with their personal problems. Dante has an intuitive ability to understand how others are feeling and he’s a great listener, both of which are skills that will benefit him moving forward. His long-term goal is to become a Sports Psychologist, helping athletes maximize their performance through mental strategies such as visualization and other relaxation techniques. Dante has loved his four-year experience at Saint Joseph Prep. “I’ve felt really comfortable at SJP for all four years,” Dante explained. “I knew I could talk to my teachers, there were a lot of opportunities to get involved in sports and other activities, and I’ve made great friends.” Like most soon-to-be graduates, he’ll miss the people more than anything else at SJP, but he’s looking forward to the freedom and independence. And while he acknowledges that there will be additional pressure in his next step, he’s ready to see how he’ll respond. “It will take some getting used to—being a freshman again—but I’m excited for it!” Dante is completing his Senior Service at the Winship School in Brighton, where he helps elementary students at a morning program.

Audrey McDonough ’17, from West Roxbury, will study in the Honors Program at Saint Anselm College. She was attracted to St. A’s because of its geographic location, the strong sense of school spirit, and the opportunity to join the Honors Program, which includes a generous merit scholarship, separate housing, and preferential class registration! For Audrey, the opportunity to get involved at Saint Joseph Prep was an important part of her high school experience and something she wants to replicate in college. At SJP, she played volleyball and tennis, participated in National Honor Society, was active in the Servant to the Dear Neighbor volunteer program, and attended the Appalachia service trip. “I like knowing that I'm doing something to make a difference. Seeing smiles on the faces of [those I serve], makes me happy,” Audrey shared. As such, she definitely expects to get involved with various service-oriented opportunities at Saint Anselm as well! Currently, she is working on her Senior Service project at the Nazareth Child Care Center in Jamaica Plain and is loving the time spent with kids. Although she feels challenged by serving two-year old’s at her current placement, she is considering majoring in Early Childhood Development in college, or perhaps Environmental Science, which she notes is a significant issue in today’s world. When reflecting on her upcoming college experience, Audrey is most excited to meet new people and learn to be more independent. She believes that Saint Joseph Prep and the high expectations the School has for its students has prepared her well. “Coming from middle school, I used to be really shy. SJP changed me a lot, especially how I see myself; it has helped me to branch out and be more confident.” She’s excited to expand on that growth in college, but she knows she’ll miss laughing with the girls on the tennis team and singing with her volleyball teammates in the vans.

Congratulations to Emily, Dante, and Audrey! We’re so proud of your accomplishments and look forward to hearing all about your future successes!