Cranford student one of five to receive Mercy Girl Effect Award

Ruth Anne Munroe, fourth from left, presents the Mercy Girl Effect Award to members of the Mount Saint Mary Academy 2021-2022 Student Council executive board on Tuesday, May 10. Pictured, from left, are Arianna Salerno of Watchung, Hannah Cunniffe of Basking Ridge, Margaret Ferris of Westfield, Munroe, Alexandrea Pace of Westfield and Caitlin Cotter of Cranford.

WATCHUNG, NJ — Ruth Anne Munroe, director of Campus Ministry and Student Council moderator at Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, reported that the Mercy Girl Effect Award has been presented to the academy’s 2021-2022 Student Council executive board.

“Each year, the five-member board is challenged with a Mercy Girl Effect project that raises awareness about ethical issues that affect the human rights and dignity of people around the world,” said Munroe. “The focus for this academic year was to look at water: that most basic of human rights. Not only is water used for drinking, but for cleaning, cooking, personal hygiene and sanitation.”

She said, “Once the board became aware of this project during their Mercy Girl Effect Global Leadership Conference in June 2021, they immediately got to work to map out what they were going to do to raise awareness among their school community. During the Mercy Girl Effect action campaign, the students were invited to explore how girls have become the water carriers for their families, which often involves missing school or being targeted by gangs as they make the journey to the well, which can be several miles away.”

“The board members also organized fundraising activities to make it possible to build wells in communities without access to water,” said Munroe. “Their hard work this year is going a long way to making a difference to young girls and families in the world. We are so proud of them and our school community for their achievements!”

Arianna Salerno, Student Council Executive Board Communications director, said, “I have had the pleasure of watching the board’s progress in raising funds for the Mercy Girl Effect project. We have worked tirelessly to raise as much money as we could — hosting a fall dance, teacher auction, powderpuff game and many more. Not only did we reach our goal, but we surpassed it.

“All year long, I felt extremely satisfied with our efforts, because I knew our actions would help to improve the quality of life of those in need,” she added. “When the board was recognized with this special award by Sister Deidre, we knew that our work did not go unnoticed. Receiving an award like this is extremely special. Sister Deidre has been a wonderful role model to us, so to have her recognize us in this manner feels extremely humbling.”

“I leave my work on this project not only with information about worldwide water insecurity but also with a sense of pride regarding the tenacity the board and I have obtained throughout this process,” concluded Salerno.

Photo Courtesy of Michelle H. Daino