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Thursday, June 20, 2024

‘Day by day, and little by little, you can get it done:’ Meet Notre Dame Education Center Grad Mollie O’Donnell

Mollie O’Donnell is a South Boston native who attended Catholic Charities Boston’s Labouré Child Care Center growing up. This past November, the 24-year-old graduated from the Notre Dame Education Center’s HiSET program, which is now under the portfolio of Catholic Charities Boston’s education programs. Thanks to the program’s adaptable model and encouraging staff, Mollie is now following her dreams of working at a healthcare organization. Read our Q&A with Mollie below.

What first led you to enroll at the Notre Dame education Center?

I was born and raised in South Boston, and my brother graduated from the Notre Dame Education Center in 2010, so I’d known about it for a while. When I left high school in 2016, I always knew I would go back. Things just kept getting in the way, but eventually, I just knew it was time.

What did you enjoy most about your time at the Notre Dame Center and what was most impactful to you?

I most enjoyed how much accessibility I had as a student in the program. If I ever needed extra help or practice,our teacher Adam would always take the time out of his day and his schedule. There is so much flexibility to the program. You can tell there’s no judgement from the teachers, either. They really want you to succeed. Everyone is so kind and caring.

How did your teachers support you in finding a job and career path after graduation?

Adam always gave me resources for places that are hiring. They don’t push, but they were very supportive of me in finding a job that I like. When I started interviewing, they kept in touch and checked if I wanted to do a mock interview. I now work at Tufts Hospital as a practice coordinator. I love it. I love being able to help people.

What advice would you give to another young person wondering if they should go back to pursue their high school degree?

I would say, ‘When you are looking at the overall picture, it might seem hard, but if you take it day by day and little by little, you can get it done.’ If you are in a program like the Notre Dame Center and Catholic Charities, when life happens, they let you take that pause and help you get back on track. Once it’s done, you will feel so much better.

Learn more about Catholic Charities Boston’s High School Equivalency (HiSET) programs here. To learn how you can support Catholic Charities clients, visit our Ways to Give page.

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