Meet Our Student Leaders 7

In this series of articles, we find out about our student leaders, their background, roles and ambitions. Today we feature our head prefects, Tahlisa Stevens and Maurice de Jesus.

Grateful, honoured and determined. These 3 words communicate what Tahlisa and Maurice both felt when they found out that they would be Sancta Maria’s head prefects for 2019. However, when asked directly about her thoughts on her position as head girl of Sancta Maria College, here is what Tahilsa Stevens had to say:

‘It is still mind boggling that I have been given the honour of Head Girl for 2019! Never did it cross my mind, starting school in Year 7 close to six years ago, that I would represent the school in this role. To give back to Sancta Maria College is an incredible opportunity and one for which I am truly grateful.

As a Head Prefect for this year, it is a goal of mine to bring more attention to the special character of our school. I hope to encourage Sancta Maria College students to seek God and to give of their time in service for others. Through this, it is my hope that every student becomes aware of the strength and well-being in his or her lives when it is truly blessed by God.”

With Tahlisa Stevens striving to greatly enhance the special character of the College, our head boy, Maurice de Jesus, had something a little different to say to the community:

‘Being selected to be Head Boy for Sancta Maria College has been nothing but, both an honour and a privilege. Ever since I’ve started at our College, I’ve always looked up to past Head Boys who I found grand and somewhat daunting. I would never have imagined being given the opportunity to fulfil such a role.

Through this position, I’m determined to listen to the opinions and voices of my fellow students in all year levels, ensuring that their thoughts and ideas are considered in future school developments. This may include creating a 2019 Student Council. It is an effective way of connecting with students of different year levels, I know this as I was able to take part in it as a Year 11 representative in 2017. I also want our school to give back more to the community through potential initiatives that would help the homeless and needy or initiatives that can raise awareness about family violence, and not only at our school but on a larger scale. These are just a few of the many challenges to come. I strive to set an example for those who don’t believe in themselves, that all things are possible with God on your side and with faith as your compass.”

Choosing to largely centre on connecting with the students of the College and the community, Maurice de Jesus’s focus on what he wants to achieve as head boy, differs slightly form Tahlisa’s. However, a

common trait between Tahlisa and Maurice as the head prefects of 2019, is that they both have a sense of active service. They commonly place importance on giving back to the community in their own individual ways. It is through their developed Catholic values that both Tahlisa and Maurice have never forgotten to be humble and always attribute their success towards those that have supported them:

“Through the support of fellow students, teachers and my family, I have gained the courage to step up and grasp this role with both hands. So far, it has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and has allowed me to further gain different perspectives in all aspects of school life,” says Maurice.

Similarly to Maurice, Tahlisa attributes much of her success as a leader, to her teachers and friends, as well as her experience as a Young Vinnies leader:

“Sancta Maria College; its teachers, our special character and the initiatives, have allowed me to grow and develop academically, spiritually and culturally throughout my time here. The friends that I have made make me a better person. The Senior Leadership Team’s belief in me - I do not take for granted. It is this belief that will continue to motivate me this year to be the best head girl I can be.

The Young Vinnies group is what I see as my greatest commitment and achievement at Sancta Maria College. Vinnies has allowed me to not only grow as a leader and hone my leadership skills, but Vinnies has given me the vital opportunities and direction to grow in my faith and in my relationship with God. Being able to meet some of the most inspirational people I have ever met through this collective, and hear their faith stories and witness their commitment and dedication to make a change for the youth in Aotearoa, is why Vinnies is one of the biggest blessings in my life.”

With Tahlisa Stevens and Maurice de Jesus as the head prefects of 2019, Sancta Maria College is greatly anticipating what these leaders will do in their positions and wish them all the best in their roles.

Zoe Chou