Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Mount Mercy Academy Helps Build Future Leaders

by Pat Burns


Mount Mercy Academy, under the direction of Mrs. Suzanne Overdorf, is once again offering its Leadership Program to females in eighth grade from local Catholic, Public and Charter schools. The program meets once per quarter at Mount Mercy Academy. The Institute will culminate with a graduation ceremony in May.

All local grammar schools were invited to participate. Twenty-six girls received recommendations from their principals to be part of The Mount Mercy Academy Leadership Academy. Participating schools in this exciting program are: South Buffalo Charter School, Notre Dame Academy, Queen of Heaven, St. John Vianney, West Seneca East Middle School, Southtowns Catholic, St. Monica at Nativity Miguel, Our Lady of Victory and Discovery School.

The program is designed to develop and refine inherent leadership skills. Public speaking is one of the main areas of focus during the program as it is an essential component of leadership.  Students are instructed on how to identify strong role models through the use of literature, film, poems and inspirational quotes.  Another facet of the program is learning about the moral responsibility that comes with leadership.  This includes the onus to use one’s gifts to improve the world.

Students create a vision board to help them realize their short term and long term goals for the future.  The future leaders are charged with the task of creating a service project based on a need in their schools or in the community. 

Overdorf, who is also a member of Mount Mercy’s Board of Trustees, commented, “Each year I witness the transformation in students when high behavioral expectations are set.  These students enter the program a little unsure of themselves and leave very confident with a better sense of who they are, where they want to go and what their responsibilities are in making our world better.”


"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

College Acceptances

Where our Mercy Girls go