You pass by more high school students on campus than you think.

There are 18 to 20 senior high school students, representing six to seven catholic high schools, who are at a prestigious academic level currently taking college courses here at Saint Joseph’s University. Among those students, Michelle Vo explained her experience here at Saint Joseph’s University. 

Vo said that not many students or professors know that she’s a high school student unless she introduces herself or is in her school uniform. A lot of people assume that she and other Diocesan Scholars are college student

“What separates them within their high schools is that these are students who are at the top of their classes,” Diocesan Scholar advisor Maria Beazley said.

At only 17 to 18 years old, their willingness to participate in a college environment, commute from Western suburbs and Northeast Philly as well as take on the extra workload is strenuous but worth it, Vo said.  

Becoming a Diocesan Scholar has somewhat affected Vo’s mental health. She said it has challenged her and prepared her for college. Vo says that being a diocesan scholar gives her leverage over her peers because she has the opportunity to attend classes that she is interested in rather than be forced into the academic high school curriculum.

From this experience, she has evolved and believes that all the work she had done in her past three years of high school really does pay off. 

The most rewarding thing that Beazley hopes for these scholars is to “ build connections with their peers, professors, and advisors.” Beazley also hopes that during this experience that the diocesan scholars now have the preparation for communicating with others, the difference between college and high school, and to “make more informed decisions about what they want in a college.”