MIDDLETOWN – Two advocates for girls’ education, Sister Diane Szubrowski and Lisa Fontenelli, will be honored at the Fifth Annual “Walk With Mercy” Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 9, the Navesink Country Club.
The event will feature a musical performance by the students of Sisters Academy of New Jersey. Tickets are $75. All proceeds benefit the Sisters Academy Scholarship Fund. For information and tickets, call 732-774-9397, ext. 14.
“We are so blessed to be able to recognize these two individuals who so epitomize our mission and values,” said Sister Carol Ann Henry, executive director of Mercy Center. “Their dedication and hard work have helped to guarantee that our students can have the kind of academically challenging and spiritually enriching education that they need and deserve.”
“Sisters Academy has created systemic change in the lives of our students,” said Sister Mary Louise Miller, principal of Sisters Academy. “Most of our students enter reading several grade levels below fifth grade. By the time they graduate, they’re reading at or above eighth-grade level. Every student goes on to graduate from high school. Eighty-seven percent graduate from such schools as Georgetown, Tufts, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. Peter’s and Georgian Court. That’s life-changing.”
Sister Diane puts faith into action as a community leader and advocate for young people. She serves on the board of trustees of Mercy Center, and has held leadership positions with a number of faith-based nonprofit organizations, including serving as principal of St. Francis School in Metuchen. She is the director of donor relations at Georgian Court University in Lakewood.
A dedicated supporter of Sisters Academy, Fontenelli is a vocal champion for the empowerment of girls through education, mentoring and advocacy. She has worked for more than 20 years at Goldman Sachs, and is currently deputy head of global investment research and head of securities research. Fontenelli sits on the board of trustees of Georgian Court University and on the advisory council of the Whitman School of Management at her alma mater, Syracuse University.
Mercy Center, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Mid-Atlantic Community, located in Asbury Park, provides the chronically-underserved population of Monmouth County with vital social and educational services throughout the year.
Founded in 1997, Sisters Academy of New Jersey is a program of Mercy Center. It is an independent middle school for girls, grades 5-8, that helps empower young women to break out of their community’s cycle of poverty to go on to fulfill their new vision of themselves and their futures.