Alumna Victoria Terry '10 Introduces Students to Mindfulness

Victoria Terry ‘10 has been deeply practicing mindfulness for the past five years. She found it so meaningful that she first took a course at the University of Pennsylvania. When she realized she wanted to make it her life’s work, she began training with internationally known mindfulness instructors Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. The last part of that training involves a practicum and that’s when Terry had the idea to introduce the practice to students at her alma mater. 

A free six-week Introduction to Mindfulness course was offered to Merion Mercy students and six of them said “yes” to the opportunity to meet on Wednesday mornings before school. 

Asked how mindfulness benefits this age group, Terry explained: 

“Teens are discovering who they are and they often feel pressure at this young age to also figure out who they’re going to be. There are many emotions and a tendency to judge yourself harshly. Mindfulness helps you regulate those emotions and to embrace who you are in the moment.” 

She adds, “You learn equanimity and to embrace curiosity over reactivity. That’s something I wish I’d learned at an earlier age.”

Julia Figge ‘25, one of the students in the class, had this to say about the experience: “I learned how to better regulate my emotions, and it served as a fresh restart in my week. I always looked forward to our meditation sessions as they taught me to become more present in the moment and reduced my daily stress.”

Assistant Head of School for Mission Integration, Sister Danielle Gagnon, RSM, was instrumental in bringing Terry and her mindfulness teaching to MMA. She appreciates how it aligns with Mercy core values, including qualities of grace, compassion, empathy, curiosity, and emotional intelligence. 

Gagnon says, “By incorporating mindfulness into your day, you can further develop the inner resources to approach life with courage, wisdom, and dignity. You will continue to learn to be stewards of your own well-being while serving others.”

Other benefits include:

  • Reducing anxiety and finding inner calm amidst life's challenges

  • Growing in self-knowledge, resilience, and purpose

  • Building healthy relationships and community connection

  • Discovering meaning and value in your unique gifts and talents

Terry expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share her practice at Merion Mercy. “Knowing what I needed when I was here and being able to give back is so meaningful, even if it helps just one student.”

An Introduction to Mindfulness course will be offered again in Fall 2024. 

  • Merion Mercy Academy
  • mindfulness

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