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Our Lady of Mercy celebrates $27M in scholarships at prom

Seniors at Our Lady of Mercy Academy get

Seniors at Our Lady of Mercy Academy get ready to head into their prom at The Metropolitan on June 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Kayla Dwyer

The Class of 2016 at Our Lady of Mercy Academy earned the right to blow off some steam on prom night at The Metropolitan in Glen Cove last Wednesday.

The 131 graduating seniors have been offered more than $27.3 million collectively in scholarships and awards from colleges around the country, according to Amanda Corbo, director of communications at the school.

Several students at the all-girls Catholic high school in Syosset will soon become freshmen at top schools such as Cornell, Princeton, Columbia and Swarthmore.

Senior Elizabeth Stiles committed to Swarthmore as a basketball recruit with the help of a scholarship from the college that covers more than half of her expenses.

And she’s leaving a legacy at Our Lady of Mercy. After frequently babysitting her neighbor’s daughter, who had leukemia, Stiles started Helping Hands Babysitting, which now has 40 babysitters from Mercy connected with 13 local families. Stiles said she intends to keep growing the organization into a 501(c)3, but for now, younger Mercy students are taking on more responsibility.

“After building it up for like three years, it was really hard to hand it off,” she said.

Senior Myrlandy Surprise was one of 14 students in the country to be selected for the Siena-Albany Medical Program, which reserves her spot at Siena College to each a bachelor’s degree and at Albany Medical College.

Surprise has wanted to be a doctor since she went on a mission trip through Mercy to Haiti last February.

“Just to see the conditions there and to see how people were struggling, and how there’s a lack of healthcare — it made an impact on me, and I knew that I wanted to become a doctor so I could give back to those who were less fortunate,” she said.

This is a theme that principal Lisa Harrison said is reflective of the school.

“The sisters of Mercy … have definitely infused the culture with a richness, a spirit of giving back,” she said. “...They want to do good.”

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