Letter From the Class of 2021: Maeve Healy


I decided I was going to look at old pictures of me from the beginning of my freshman year to help aid in the process of writing this letter. Bad, bad idea. It’s melancholy as hell—not necessarily because I’m sad that high school is over, but because I know how proud my 14-year-old self would be of who I’ve become. And I know that sounds cliché, but it’s very true.

I walked into Latin on the first day of freshman orientation having no idea what to expect. I was, however, expecting to fit right in. I do remember immediately screaming “DAD!” as soon as I saw Nick Pranger, and sitting with Alexa Silverman while Ms. Rodriguez talked to us about recognizing our own potential. The funny thing is that I happened to be sitting with Alexa during a lot of interesting school talks, most notably the infamous bullying talk from freshman year where she coughed and was immediately yelled at by Tebbens for “laughing.” Anyways, back to Ms. Rodriguez. She talked about her transition from being an involved and social student in middle school to a quiet and reserved high schooler. She urged us to not do the same, and to be strong, active, involved, and to make good changes in the school.

Ms. Rodriguez left at the end of my freshman year, but her words stayed with me throughout my sophomore and upperclassmen years. In the beginning, it was hard. I wanted to stay silent when I saw injustice. I didn’t want to be known as the one who would call people out. I just wanted to be well liked.

I got older, however, and I witnessed more injustice, and I realized that it wasn’t worth sacrificing the values that my parents had instilled in me at a young age: to be kind, and to never stand for injustice when you see it. So I stopped shutting up. I stopped staying quiet when others did. I learned to run my mouth, which was a process that pissed a lot of people off, but I didn’t care. I learned that the pursuit of equity, safety, and justice is much more important than appeasing those who allow inequity and injustice to prevail. School shootings, Survivors of Latin, and the rape culture that surrounds us in high school propelled me to make changes that I hope Latin’s administration and faculty will remember forever.

I grew in other ways, too. I stopped caring about what other people thought. I learned to love myself. I stopped straightening my hair every day out of fear of people calling me ugly, wearing so much makeup, and I started appreciating my body for what it was. I learned how to do math—and the horror that is the unit circle—and to be truly interested in it, thanks to Dr. Hooker and Mr. McArthur. I learned to appreciate the intricacies and beauty of foreign languages, learning about whales and reggaeton from Profe Espejo y González, and about street art and the Iranian Revolution from Madame Cousin et Monsieur Bourlange. I spoke out about my own experiences, from rape to struggles with mental illness.

I learned how to be a writer. My wonderful English teachers—Ms. McGlinn, Ms. Diorio, Ms. LC, and Ms. Kloehn—built me up and helped me write about the hard stuff, and I eventually won an American Voices nomination from Scholastic. I learned how to think critically about politics, history, and culture from Dr. June and Ms. Gallagher inside the classroom, and my wonderful Discourses co-editors Naomi, Izzy, Eric, Rashail, and Ashley outside of class. I learned to be open about who I was from my affinity members in CIDA. My teammates on volleyball and softball taught me to be a leader and gave me infectious energy. I learned who my true friends were when people left me in times of trouble. Koren Jurado, Madison Seda, Tara Walsh, Tia Sciarrotta, Charles Mitchell, Valeria Ceron, Freddi Mitchell, Randy Pierre, Kazi Stanton, Ivy Schenk, Finola Najarian, and so so many others: you are all my rock. You have lifted me up when others tried to tear me down. You have reminded me that I am powerful when I believed I was nothing.

To my brothers (and sister!) Conor Healy, Shane Healy, Quinn Healy, Bri Nourie, and Ronan Healy: you are each the best thing that has ever happened to me. You are there through everything, and you have taught me more about myself than any teacher ever could.

Incoming freshmen, and anyone who will be at Latin next year: Continue the fight for justice. Learn to grow. Be kind. Work hard. Most importantly, be brave. I am so proud of so many of you.

Latin, I love and will miss you for all you have given me, but I walk out feeling defeated because you have not learned. You must learn from me and my experiences, and the experiences of all who walk our halls. You must learn to be anti-racist. You must learn to believe survivors of rape and assault. You must learn to support your religious minority students. You must learn to be more like a school, and not a business. Above all, you must learn to never tolerate injustice, because as a great man once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

I am proud of myself for learning not to care what others think, and for not sacrificing my values for anyone. I am proud of myself for learning to love myself and all the things that made me insecure as a young woman. I am proud of myself for being truly me.

Cheers, Class of 2021. We made it. To the next adventure.

See you in St. Louis!


Maeve Healy