Honors at Marist: A Home Away From Home

Let’s be honest, academics are scary. You wouldn’t think that the grade you got on a fifty minute biology exam had the power to weigh down your GPA – until it does. That calculus test on Friday? It’s essentially half of your grade.

But the scary part isn’t the number on your test. It’s not the numerical addition of all the questions you got right, or the extra credit answer you just happened to guess on. It’s the belief that you turn into that number – that all the time, effort and lost sleep is just so that you can identify yourself as a quantitative value. But this isn’t how it is, or truthfully how it ever should be. No student should have to be afraid to fail, because failing only means we’re growing, and growing is what we’re meant to do. 

Honors at Marist guarantees that you’ll be fearless. It’s a community of people who aren’t afraid to be themselves academically, and personally. Here are some reasons Honors at Marist truly is the ideal learning environment:

  1. Vibrancy and Diversity 

The Honors Program is academically fluid – anybody from any background and any major is invited to be a part of, and grow within Marist Honors. It is an environment in which a first generation student feels welcomed and accepted by those who have generations of experience; one in which an international student finds a home away from home. Honors students aim to understand each other on a level that is much deeper than the surface. Aspirations, goals and achievements are shared in an environment that is filled with mutual respect and understanding. With such a wide range and variety of people, the Honors Program is ever growing. 

Freshmen Jadyn Kennedy and Emma Fullam highlight the importance of the vibrancy found in the Honors program both in and out of the classroom setting. Grouped together as partners in their Honors Writing Composition course, Kennedy and Fullam were instructed to create a profile for a local nonprofit organization. The assignment aimed to give students a sense of familiarity with their surroundings, and enrich their connection to Marist advocates, as well as the surrounding Poughkeepsie community. Kennedy and Fullam chose to highlight the Hudson Valley House of Hope – a nonprofit organization based in Dutchess County – in an effort to bring awareness to victims of domestic violence. As a single housed organization, the House of Hope continues to struggle for genuine representation, but Kennedy and Fullam aim to provide them just that. The work they devoted towards their assignment branched further than the classroom, as both students aim to partner with the organization to create a Hope Week on campus. Hope Week would give the Marist community an opportunity to bring awareness to the heavy topic of domestic violence, normalize the conversation and set a foundation for students to understand what healthy relationships look, feel and identify as. Kennedy and Fullam’s writing composition class (and many other honors courses like it) enrich both the learning environment of Marist students, and broaden their sense of local and global life.

2. Sharing Ambitions 

As hinted by the name itself, honors students are representative of the qualities that Marist upholds as an institution. These students hold much more than academics under their belts – they share passion and determination for their schooling, their community, and their future endeavors. With such a foundation, Honors students are able to reciprocate each other’s energy and share initiating ambitions. 

3. Family

Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that the Honors Program at Marist is a family. It is walking into the 8th floor lounge for a movie night and being surrounded by some of the best people you’ve ever met. It is studying on the 9th floor, overlooking the Hudson with the most supportive study group. Honors is being surrounded by people who believe more in you than you believe in yourself, and ultimately it is the family oriented environment that helps us be better people for the world. 

Shown: Gina Orazietti, Jadyn Kennedy, Eliana Rodriguez, and Teresa Mazzella

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