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The Monarch Effect, inspired by the "butterfly effect," is the idea that every act performed in the spirit of Mercy can have a positive and transformative impact at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School and beyond.

We’re collecting one-liners, quotes and stories on how you’ve been impacted by The Monarch Effect at Gwynedd, and how we, as a community, have continued the legacy of Mercy beyond the walls of the School. We would love to hear from you!

Share and read the impact of The Monarch Effect below, and make a gift to The Mercy Fund to perform a simple act, in the spirit of Mercy, that will support each and every one of our students.


The Power of the Monarch Effect

During my freshman year, I met Lindsay Carfagno O'Brien ’03 in Mock Trial club. Over the course of the year, she helped me develop the skills needed to excel in a courtroom. In my sophomore year, at our club's annual court date, she introduced me to the presiding judge. This quick introduction helped me gain a summer internship at the Montgomery County Courthouse with Judge Kelly Wall and shadow Lindsay for a day. Overall, the experience furthered my love and desire to become a lawyer. I still continue my internship every summer. - Veronica Sansone '18

After I went on the Project Mercy field trip during my freshman year, I decided that I wanted a future helping kids. Now, with the courses offered at GMA, I am looking into becoming a pediatric doctor.
- Cecilia McCook '20

I was the first girl from my grade school to ever come to Gwynedd. When I walked into Gwynedd for the first time, I walked into a building of 400 perfect strangers. Despite how terrified I was as a shy, new freshman, my classmates welcomed me warmly. Before I knew it, I had met my best friends and found my new home.
- Kathryn Tereshko '20

In the beginning of freshman year, I struggled greatly with algebra. Nothing was making sense and I was beginning to get extremely stressed out. As much as I tried, I could not seem to bring my grade up. However, my math teacher noticed this, and gave me the insight and help I needed to get a better grade and understanding of the subject. I now maintain a higher grade average in math, all thanks to my freshman math teacher.
- Christina Kilcoyne '20

Gwynedd has shaped me into a more outgoing and well-rounded student. Before arriving at school, I was a shy girl who kept to myself. The teachers and students at Gwynedd have helped me to gain confidence in and out of the classroom and to become a leader. I am so grateful for the wonderful experiences and opportunities Gwynedd offers that contributes to my growth as a person.
- Ashley Hartz '20

Through my fellow classmates, I have seen The Monarch Effect come alive in and outside of school. In particular, the girls on the GMA Swim Team and Softball Team have become some of my greatest friends and role models. Whether it has been times of me not believing in myself before a race or getting pulled off the field, fashionably in an ambulance, my teammates have always had my back and were there for me every step of the way. They are all kind and merciful people who inspire me every day, and I am eternally grateful for their friendships.
- Meaghan McGoldrick '20

Starting my Gwynedd career last year, I was nervous, anxious, and a little overwhelmed. After a few months, I became accustomed to the assignments, schedule, and classes. This easy transition was because of all the positive influences in my life. The teachers were willing to answer any questions or help me during free periods if I was struggling. The seniors were welcoming, approachable, and showed me to my classes when I got lost (which happened a lot more than it should have). Most importantly, my fellow freshmen were my colleagues in this journey of discovering the ins and outs of a new school. They helped me to thoroughly enjoy my year. I am so blessed to have an amazing group of 91 girls to accompany me on my expedition through high school. They, as well as the faculty and upperclassmen, were able to make me feel comfortable in a new environment and embrace the changing of school in a very positive way.
- Julianne Mack '20

I've seen the power of The Monarch Effect through my two daughters. When our oldest struggled with test taking, her counselor and teachers initiated a program to provide extra help and attention. This effort led her to excel at Gwynedd and now at LaSalle University. When our youngest was anxious to depart as the only freshman on a New Orleans service trip, the upperclassmen immediately embraced her. This overflowing of sisterhood empowered her to become a contributing member of the group and to step out of her comfort zone.
- Michael O'Malley P '16, '20

Gwynedd has really taught me to be myself and to "spread my wings." I am a freshman; and, although we have only been in school for a month, I already feel comfortable and confident. My grade school was co-ed, and I can honestly say this is an awesome change. All of the girls here are strong believers in supporting each other. Last week we had a major theology test. While preparing for the test, I remembered a song that related to the test topic. I sang it to one of my friends, and she convinced me to sing it for the class. This support from my friend inspired me to help others.
- Devon Sweeney '21
Before coming to Gwynedd, I was usually the quiet student who barely participated in class because of how shy I was. During my first week, each of my teachers inspired me to break through my shell and communicate more during class time. This helped not only my grades, but me to become a more confident and outgoing individual. I now try my best to speak out and share my knowledge and opinions with my classmates and teachers.
- Hanna Saxon '20

When looking at high schools, I didn’t know which one to choose. All my friends were going to Pope John Paul II, but I also was interested in GMA. My principal said, “Don’t base your high school decision on where your friends are going, base it on which school you are drawn to the most.” Hearing this, I started to look even more into Gwynedd. After shadowing, I thought it was the right school for me. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. Also, the night of Mercy Mania was so much fun and helped me make my first friends. I have been very happy with my decision.
- Cece Carton '21

I came from Gwynedd grade school, and I have loved my decision to attend the high school. I have made an amazing group of close friends who I know I will always stay in touch with. Here at Gwynedd, every girl is so merciful and overly kind. I, too, want to make an impact on other students who might need help to step out of their comfort zones.
- Kelly Hutton '20

The encouraging environment of Gwynedd is enabling me to pursue my true interests. Throughout grade school, I focused mainly on athletics, though I did participate in the chorus. When I came to Gwynedd, I decided to completely shift my focus to music. I immediately noticed that most girls in Gwynedd’s music program have been playing an instrument or taking voice lessons for many years. At first this intimidated me; but with the help of the music instructors at Gwynedd and other girls around me, I was able to succeed despite my lack of experience.
- Lauren Halferty '20

Math has always been a challenge for me, but with the patience and dedication from my Gwynedd teachers, it is now my best subject. As I apply to colleges, I'm excited to study math and plan on being a teacher just like them!
- Grace Fuller '18

I learned self-reliance, not from studying Emerson in American Lit, but from Sr. Susan Walsh, RSM, one of my favorite GMA teachers, who sprang into action my freshman year when a priest was delayed for a scheduled Class Mass. "Ladies, we'll just have to do it ourselves," she said. In lieu of a traditional Mass, Sr. Susan led us to share in another meaningful celebration of faith, together. Ever since, when facing a problem that seems insurmountable, her words always return and inspire me.
- Bethanne Mascio Connolly '03