She Stayed for the Family Spirit
Meet Nyarok Lam, Class of 2019. Nyarok is a state-winning journalist, choir member, Dux Esto drama performer, homecoming queen, student council president, and Marianist LIFE core team member. Nyarok chose Gross Catholic because her friends were planning to attend there, but she stayed for the family spirit.
“I came to Gross because many of my friends and classmates from St. Bernadette were also coming. But, I think it matters more about why I have chosen to stay all four years, which is definitely due to the family atmosphere,” recalls Nyarok. “During my freshman year I connected with so many students and teachers, that even if I had wanted to leave, I just couldn’t because of the many family type connections I have made during my time here.”
Nyarok recently discovered her passion for singing and acting while attending Gross Catholic. Theatre is now among her favorite school activities along with yearbook and Marianist LIFE group. “My newfound passion for singing and acting was discovered for the first time here at Gross. I have grown so much as a performer these past four years and it definitely is the one thing I look forward to everyday,” affirms Nyarok.
Her work on the yearbook staff has provided Nyarok with an outlet to grow as a writer and photographer. She loves using her creative talents to develop the theme and content for the yearbook and believes this work will help create a “time capsule” of high school memories for all her classmates. As both a participant and core team member of the LIFE (Living in Faith Experience) group, she enjoys having a space to talk about her faith without feeling any judgement.
Nyarok credits her success in high school to her connection with faculty and staff. “The most meaningful thing about my Gross Catholic experience is definitely having teachers and staff members who genuinely want to see me succeed in everything. They have pushed me to do my best and I owe the world to them because of their unwavering support these past four years.”
Her mentors at Gross Catholic include Mr. Joe Kmiecik, journalism teacher and yearbook moderator, Mrs. Becca Jackson – York, drama and vocals teacher, and Mrs. Deb Rice, office manager.
“As my yearbook advisor, Mr. Kmiecik has helped me grow in my writing, which led me to winning a first place state medal in journalism, states Nyarok. “Mrs. Jackson pushes me not only to grow in my acting and singing, but in my worldview. She has helped me develop a greater sense of self and has ultimately made me a better person.”
And despite the hustle and bustle of a busy school office, Mrs. Deb Rice has always found time for Nyarok, giving her a sounding board and a friendly smile whenever needed. “Mrs. Rice has always taken time out of her day to talk to me when I need it. She has been there for me countless times and I thank God for her every day,” exclaims Nyarok.
After graduation this spring, Nyarok plans to attend a four-year college and study journalism. In the Marianist spirit of Service, Justice and Peace, Nyarok believes a career in journalism will help her address issues of social justice in the world. “I want to be a voice for people who don’t have one,” states Nyarok. “Whether it’s because of a language barrier, or simply not having anyone to listen, I want to be a voice for the disadvantaged all over the world. I think it is extremely important to know about the mistreatment and injustice that goes on in our world, and I hope my work as a journalist can spark discussions about these things.”
Although she has not yet determined where she would like to attend college, she hopes to travel abroad and to attend a school out-of-state. “I want to explore the world around me and the lifestyles of people who aren’t like myself,” shares Nyarok. “My goal is to change the world, no matter how cliché that sounds. I’m not sure how I’ll do it and I’m not sure to what extent, but I just want to make the world a better place for everyone.”