Julie's Victory Lap
Part 5: Graduation!
As with most of the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Washington, AHC's commencement takes place at the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America, The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. A beautiful and appropriate place to celebrate the 145th class of LOTAs, this Basilica is built on the
The evening before graduation, Holy Cross families gathered for the Baccalaureate Mass held at Holy Redeemer Church in Kensington. It was a beautiful celebration of faith and included a presentation of symbolic gifts by members of the class. From a class portrait to sports equipment, the foot of the altar was covered. Julie presented a candle alongside two other LOTAs, symbolizing the light of knowledge. Why knowledge?
It had been revealed to us a few days prior to graduation that Julie had been selected with two other students, to be Salutatorian. An honor and a privilege,
The graduation ceremony itself was one for our record books. It featured the emotional procession of the ladies in white caps and gowns. There were several musical pieces performed and the class of 1963, within which is a graduate whom we all know and love, Sister Sharon Ann Mihm CSC - the Catholic School Principal who gave me my start teaching Kindergarten at Immaculata Catholic School in Durham North Carolina many years ago. Sister Sharon is a Holy Cross Sister and has been a Principal for a number of
In the proud presence of Julie's Grandparents, Parents, and Lisa and Peter, Julie received an award that for us was the true capstone of her time at Holy Cross: The Cardinal James Hickey Award. It's description and the reason she received it is stated as follows:
The Cardinal Hickey Award is given in recognition of one’s
The 2013 Cardinal Hickey Award recipient, Juliana Desiree Balla,
has an impressive record of dedication to volunteer service, having
used her time and talents to serve many different constituencies.
Juliana has maintained an impressive academic record for the past four
years and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme candidate.
She is a member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish
Honor Society. Most notably, she has also been a four-year member of the
Academy’s Honor Board including serving as President. Juliana also
shares her talents with the school community through her involvement
with the Performing Arts Department and she has served as Treasurer of
the International Thespian Society.
However, it is her dedication to community services that makes
Juliana extraordinary. She recently received the Sancta Crux Award for
Christian Service Commitment by performing over 350 hours of community
service. Much of this work has taken place in China where she has
traveled with her family every summer since eighth grade.
She lives true to the mission of The Academy of the Holy Cross as a
woman of courage, compassion and scholarship. Undoubtedly, she will
bring her kindness and determination as she joins the Class of 2017 at
the University of Southern California where she has received the
There are really no words, except, "Congratulations, Julie, we are so proud of you!
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Steve, Desi, Julie, and Z share their adventures and mind sets from Washington, DC to Beijing and wherever else the journey together leads.
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