Ursuline Academy is teaching its students about the world by bringing the world to them.
At its recent Global Day, the campus welcomed students from sister schools in Peru and China, Ursuline graduates whose careers have international reach, and resettled refugee teenagers attending high school in Dallas ISD.
“I look at this day and see it filled with our lived mission,” principal Andrea Shurley said in a message to Ursuline families.
Students from Colegio Santa Ursula in Peru and Beijing Huaxia Girls’ School in China performed cultural dances along with Ursuline’s international dance club.
“Global Day was an important day of learning, celebration and community-building at Ursuline,” said Cecilia Nipp, director of global relationships and cultural exchange.
Ursuline alumnae Ceci Weigman, Mary Margaret Mason, and Shannon Bradford gave presentations, but three teenagers from Emmett J. Conrad High School turned out to be the most inspirational, campus leaders said.
Rooha Hagharmehdiabadi, a junior, Twa Bee, a sophomore, and Zeinab Ramezanpour, a senior, came to the Dallas area as refugees.
Twa’s family fled from Thailand and Burma, and Zeinab and Rooha’s families fled from Iran.
“Their stories were so emotional, but I’m so glad they were here to share them with us,” Ursuline freshman Kaitlyn Vess said.
The teenagers came to Ursuline through the support of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth’s education department.
Bradford, who discussed her global initiatives’ role at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, said her internationally-focused career couldn’t have happened without her Ursuline education.
“I knew that I wanted to share how instrumental Ursuline had been in shaping the path I took in college and adulthood,” Bradford said.
“I loved discussing the portfolio of work I support at the George W. Bush Institute, including global leadership programs for democracy advocates in Burma and women leaders in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan, and how this work aligns directly with passions fostered by Ursuline.
“I hope students are inspired to take action in their own lives to incorporate more international interactions,” she said.