Student Spotlight: Teresa Rotondo

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Shannon Carpenter

Teresa Rotondo proudly displays a gift she received after being named the Heart of Mercy.

Shannon Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

A familiar, enthusiastic voice on the morning announcement which stirs you awake from your second hour slumber. A smile that brightens your otherwise dismal day. A little reminder that “You are beautiful” on the bathroom mirror.

Senior Teresa Rotondo is an essential part of Mercy and she was finally recognized for the lasting impact she has left upon the community. She is an outstanding woman and friend and certainly deserves the title of Heart of Mercy. Congratulations, Teresa!

Q: Who is your favorite Disney princess and why?

Teresa: Princess Mia because she’s so real and I feel like we all feel like her sometimes, but in the end, she just totally believes in herself. I admire her for overcoming her insecurities and realizing that she deserves just as much as everyone else does.

Q: How did you feel when it was announced that your peers chose you as the Heart of Mercy?

Teresa: I don’t know. What made me the happiest was that I could make my parents proud. Seeing my parents tears and feeling their embraces was the best. Having a plaque in my room really doesn’t mean much to me.

Q: What is your favorite quirk about Mercy?

Teresa: I love how free we our in expressing our love for each other. We’re not afraid to tell someone how much we love them and give them huge hugs. We’re always trying to see the good in the people around us, no matter what.

Q: Who has influenced your life and in what way?

Teresa: My cross-country team. They have given me something to hold on to. They have given me a belief in myself when there was seemingly nothing else that life could offer. Cross-country offered me another family. I love seeing my teammates overcome their struggles because they always make it through. When someone is about to quit, they always see each other through the race. That’s a huge inspiration for me. In order to inspire, you have to first be inspired.

Q: Where do you volunteer and what is the most rewarding part of your work?

Teresa: In 8th grade and freshman year, I raised a bunch of money and collected Beanie Babies for Operation Smile. That was really important for me in that unsure age because it empowered me to have confidence that I was worthy, that I was powerful, and I could make a difference.

Q: What is one thing that you want to accomplish in your future?

Teresa: If I die tomorrow or if I die in fifty years, I want to always have the simple happiness of Stephanie O’Neil.

Q: If you could say anything to anyone at Mercy what would you say?

Teresa: To the freshmen, don’t hurry. Don’t push time. Don’t get worried when you’re not ready and don’t get anxious when you’re too ready. When it’s time, you’ll become sophomores, juniors, and seniors. When it’s time, you’ll be ready to graduate. I’m not ready for that because it’s not time yet. There’s always time.

Q: What is your best piece of advice for Mercy girls to come?

Teresa: Mimi Norwood once said in a poem, “Everyone is always fighting over whether the glass is half full or half empty but why don’t we just take it for what it is: half” We need to take life for what it is and realize what it isn’t. We just need to make sure our hearts are always open to feel more sweetness and bitterness.