New School Year Kicks Off with Reimagined Sisterhood Experience Days

Sisterhood Experience Days have been a beloved Merion Mercy Academy tradition for years. Designed for each grade to get together for its own special experience outside of the classroom, these days were typically scheduled throughout the school year. This year, Dean of Students Paul Clementi reimagined Sisterhood Experience Day—August 30—as a means of framing the school year for each grade around a specific theme. Guided by the Mercy Core Values and Profile of a Mercy Graduate, each theme has been chosen to inspire and empower our students, reflecting where they are in the process of maturing as young women committed to living mercy and seeking justice.    

The themes are as follows:

Freshmen: Belonging 

As the closing day of their orientation, the class of 2027 participated in a series of fun and insightful interactive workshops held on campus. These interpersonal skill building exercises focused on 1) understanding one’s personality style preferences, 2) engaging others with respectful, curious questions and 3) effectively collaborating and communicating. Clementi says, “As they come together to form their sisterhood, the goal of the day is to give them a common language and experience as they begin their journey together.”

Sophomores: Discovering

For the class of 2026, this year will be focused on discovering how their passions and interests can lead to their future collegiate and professional endeavors. To envision their potential paths, the sophomores toured Haverford College where they visited the Marianne Koshland Integrated Natural Science Center and the Visual Arts and Culture Center, and Villanova University where they saw Finneran Pavilion and the award winning Nursing School Simulation Lab. They also enjoyed a panel discussion with women at different points in their journeys across various fields. At Villanova, these women included:

At Haverford, the speaker panel included:

  • Dr. Lou Charkoudian, Chemistry Professor

  • Noha El Toukhy '18 

  • Dr. Kelly Jung

  • Vy Le ‘25

Juniors: Leading 

As they make the transition to being leaders of the school, the class of 2025 had the opportunity for an insider’s tour of Lincoln Financial Field as well as an opportunity to meet with women who hold key leadership positions within the Philadelphia Eagles organization:

  • Ryan Hammond, Executive Director, Eagles Autism Foundation
  • Kirsten Saraceni, Director of Scientific Programs and Inclusion Initiatives, Eagles Autism Foundation
  • Emily Shields '14, Partnership Activation Account Executive
  • Tina D’Orazio, SVP and Chief of Staff to the Chairman/CEO
  • Lauren Gress, Senior Manager, Event Operations
  • Sarah Zangrilli, Director of Digital Strategy
  • Barbara Zaun, Director of Entertainment Groups
  • Tamia Casey, Eagles Cheerleader, Analytical Chemist

The Eagles’ profound commitment to the community, specifically the Autism Foundation, serves as an exemplar of how an organization can leverage its platform in the service of others.

Seniors: Serving

As the Mercy Core Values call students to go forth and serve others, the class of 2024 served both the local and school community. First, the seniors volunteered at various service sites in Philadelphia, including Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, Face to Face, and Cradles to Crayons  They returned to MMA to lead a sisterhood bonding activity with the freshmen class.  

Clementi looks forward to continuing this new tradition for years to come.

  • Merion Mercy Academy
  • sisterhood

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