When Brianne Bannon ’10 thinks of her years at the Academy, these words come to mind: Home. Friendship. Warmth.
“Throughout my nine years there, ASH was a home to me,” she says. “It was absolutely a safe place, and I never doubted that the people there cared about me and were going to do what they could to make sure I was okay, to make sure I did well.”
Reflecting on her Academy education, Brianne shares, “Growing up, I took for granted that kids liked to read and learn, that they cared about things like winning Heart of Oak awards and being on the honor roll. It never occurred to me that it could be uncool to work hard and strive to do well in all areas of life. I distinctly remember one of my classmates standing up at a retreat to mention another, his friend, who had just gotten on the honor roll after working hard all year. This was an affirmation rather than dorky or embarrassing. I know ASH academically prepared me for high school and my future, but I think early exposure to that culture of passion and hard work is what has gotten me through life’s challenges.”
Brianne attended Villa Duchesne, then went on to Truman State University where she majored in English and minored in Spanish and studio art. After graduating in 2018, she joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and spent a year with YMCA International Services providing legal assistance to asylum seekers in Houston, TX. Currently she is working at a local library as she discerns pursuing a career in law or writing.
“Now that I’ve been out of ASH for almost a decade, what I remember most fondly are the traditions. I have vivid memories of helping haul frozen turkeys in before Christmas Basket Mass, or of standing in early summer heat to watch Maypole every year. Growing up with Conge was such a treat. ASH has character–I loved going to school in a place that was rich with history and weird little quirks.”
Brianne returned to her Academy home for Country Fair and says, “I made some of my best friends at ASH, some of whom I have kept and still see as often as possible. These friends are easily some of the most important people in my life, and I am so grateful to have met them.”