Althoff Catholic Students Gain Global Perspective, Confidence at Georgetown, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The late artist Salvador Dali once said, “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Althoff Catholic students Brittany McDonald ‘21, Carlo Amorado ‘20, David Osthoff ‘19, Malynnda Aldridge-Johnson ’20, and Michal Miller ‘19 showed that they are not short on either of these by spending part of their summers getting a head start on their collegiate and professional goals.

Ivy League Aspirations

For Althoff Catholic Senior Michal Miller, the opportunity to spend seven weeks studying at Harvard University, earning eight Harvard credit hours was the perfect opportunity to learn time management and to adapt to life in a college setting. “The application process was very similar to applying for college,” said Michal. “I wrote four essays, submitted my ACT score and a copy of my transcript.” Michal completed two full-semester, college classes in seven weeks’ time. Time management was crucial to her success. “Nearly all of the studying was independent and there was no one to hold your hand like high school. One week I had 700 pages of reading for my English/Lit class in addition to a five-page midterm paper and another assignment due in a span of three days, not to mention my calculus homework,” said Michal. This challenging experience taught Michal how to completely dedicate herself to accomplishing her goals. Michal’s goal is to attend an Ivy League school to major in biochemistry.

Junior Carlo Amorado also spent time at Harvard for a two week pre-college program during which he studied global health. For Carlo, the most meaningful part of the experience was interacting with people from across the world. In addition to his Introduction to Global Health class, Carlo participated in a variety of activities, including a tour of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus and reading strategy seminars. “This experience made me want to be more driven and focused in anything I do in life,” said Carlo. “The class I took made me realize I want to delve deeper into the world of medicine.”

Driven to Attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

“When I was in 7th grade, I had my first science fair and I won first place. That is when I knew what I wanted to do,”
said Malynnda Aldridge-Johnson ‘20. “My teacher (at Sr. Thea Bowman Catholic Grade School) told me about a school called MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). I went home right after school and looked the school up and I have never been the same since.” Last summer, while participating in the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Malynnda had the opportunity to meet some MIT professors and visit the campus, making her dream of one day attending MIT seem a bit more real. While she was unable to travel to the east coast again this summer, Malynnda took it upon herself to study the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science courses through MIT’s Open Courseware program. Through her experience over the last two summers, Malynnda learned to embrace change and not to be afraid of failure. “We learned that even the greatest scientists failed, but they used those experiences to push them to where they are today.” In college, Malynnda would like to embrace her love of science and music by double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Music Technology.

Exploring Law at Georgetown University

Senior David Osthoff became interested in the National Student Leadership Conference at Georgetown University because of the opportunity to further explore the legal field. Through a series of lectures, tours of Washington D.C. museums and monuments and participation in a mock trial, David gained leadership skills and a deeper understanding of what he wants to do in the future: “I enjoyed being with people from all around the world who have interests similar to my own.”

Discovering Medical Career Options at St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Brittany McDonald attended a six-week program at St. Louis College of Pharmacy with the goal of exploring the medical field. Brittany completed a total of six classes including basic pharmacy where she had the opportunity to see how medications were made and learn how they work. The application process and the program itself boosted Brittany’s self-confidence. “In addition to submitting my transcripts and recommendation letters, I had to go through an interview process where I had to dress, talk and look the part,” said Brittany. Along with medical lectures and classes, the program included professional development sessions which Brittany found very helpful. “We could not be shy. We had to speak. This helped me most of all with confidence. The teachers really helped me come out of my shell, the approach they used was fun, not forceful,” said Brittany.

Congratulations to Michal, Carlo, Malynnda, David and Brittany on their outstanding summer experiences. We know that the future holds great things for each of these students. At Althoff Catholic College Preparatory High School, we welcome all students who are looking for a personalized approach to education. If you or someone you know is currently exploring high school options for their child contact Lauren Haukapp in our Office of Admissions at 618.235.1100 ext. 116 or visit


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