The St. Patrick School sixth grade students once again participated in the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum, Inc. Essay Contest. Last year, Lianna Joy Winans essay was selected as one of the 12 top winners and the Urbanity Dance group included her essay in a contemporary dance called Call of Courage which they performed at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester, MA.
This year St. Patrick School once again had a student win top honors. Nicholas “Nico” Donahue’s photograph and essay entitled Courage in My Life will be published in the twenty-sixth volume of The Courage of Children: Boston and Beyond. Nico’s essay is centered on his day-to-day life as a child with Tourette’s Syndrome. Nico wrote that “it has not been easy, but I manage to find a way to get through each day. This is not an essay just to define courage, but also to spread awareness.” He goes on to talk about how he won’t let Tourette’s stop him. “I am still able to do the things I love and make new friends. If I am being made fun of by someone, I take the opportunity to educate them about Tourette’s Syndrome. I believe education is the key to tolerance and awareness.”
Nico showed his courage by taking advantage of the opportunity on St. Patrick’s Day to read his essay at a school-wide assembly in front of all his peers, parents and guests. A standing ovation captured what a truly remarkable moment this was for Nico and everyone at St. Patrick School. Pamela Blessing, a parent of 2 St. Patrick students, remarked:
“This young man was surrounded by supportive teachers and students who have been there along the way for Nico. It is a real community, a sense of family. The fact that an 11 year old boy could stand up there in front of this large audience and read his story so eloquently about something so personal, is just invaluable – there’s no price that can be placed on that. For anyone that might be questioning the value of their education at St. Patrick School, I ask them to remember what they felt or what their children felt today at the assembly because I don’t think you will find that anywhere else.”
Nico will be honored as a Max Warburg Fellow at their Awards Luncheon at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston on Monday, May 15th, 2017.
(Nico seen being the center of attention with his classmates during Catholic Schools Week)