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Over 90% of our graduates complete high school within four years, in a city with an on-time high school graduation rate that hovers around 65%.

Lauren '12: Temple University Junior Shares Gesu's Impact

As a 4th grader, Lauren Robinson ’12 sang at the first Gesu Gala. In 2018, she returned to the event to address an audience of more than 300 as a strong, poised college student. Read excerpts from her inspiring speech on how Gesu helped her map a bright future. 

To forge success, you must have the right tools. Gesu gave me those tools with which I have forged my path.
I am studying advertising with a concentration in art direction. I hope to use my degree to add diversity to the advertisements that we are shown every day. I also hope to do freelance work for a non-profit. I did not always have these ambitions or the skills to reach my goals. It took a lot of hard work to map out my path to a bright future. Gesu was a landmark, a beacon on that map, which gave me the skills to succeed on my journey.

Everyone at Gesu believed in me. They knew my journey was unique and challenging, but with the right people in my corner that I could soar.
During my elementary years, I began to struggle with homework. I couldn’t spell or sound out vocabulary words and consistently tested below grade-level in language arts. I was drowning in science and social studies because I couldn’t remember information from the multiple chapters I had read. I spent countless, grueling hours at my kitchen table trying to retain everything, but something wasn’t clicking. I knew there was a roadblock on this path that was bigger than I could have expected. With the help of my aunt, my teacher, and Sr. Ellen Convey, IHM, Principal, I was tested and diagnosed with a tracking problem comparable to dyslexia. I was devastated. I felt defeated. But Gesu stepped in and restored my belief in myself and my abilities. They wasted no time placing me in learning support and giving me the personal attention that I needed to find ways to combat my learning disability. Gesu’s Counselor, Mrs. O’Neill, even worked with my aunt to hand select a high school, The Woodlynde School, to provide the type of support for learning differences that I was accustomed to.

Gesu did more for me than just strengthening my academics. Gesu changed my life. Without the guidance of the teachers and administrators, I would have been like a traveler reading a map without landmarks--lost with no direction.
Gesu helped to cultivate my public speaking ability through theater and choir performances, forensics club, praise dancers, and class presentations. I can now pitch my ideas in advertising class with confidence. I can walk into a job interview and look the interviewer in the eye, smile, and give a firm handshake because I am confident in what I bring to the table. Through a Gesu connection, I interned with the Wealth Management Department at Bryn Mawr Trust. All of this is thanks to the life skills, opportunities, and support that I received and continue to receive from Gesu. Thanks for your support of this amazing school!

“Lauren was always the same optimistic, joyful, hardworking young woman she is now.
You would never know she experienced difficulty with school unless you saw it for yourself. She never
allowed it to keep her down or stop her from pushing toward her goals.”

                                                                                                          —Dana Gilbert, Learning Support Teacher


(Left): Lauren Robinson ’12 shares her Gesu story at the 2018 Gesu Gala. 

  • Woodlynde School ’16
  • Temple University ’20