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Advice from Pius X alumni in college

How do you feel Pius X classes and teachers prepared you for your college work?

Hannah Zuercher, '15
Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.) - junior, Biology major (pre-medicine)

"I came into my freshman year of college well prepared for my rigorous science courses. While many of my peers at college struggled with concepts in chemistry and writing college-level papers, I felt confident in both my scientific problem-solving skills and writing abilities. Both my classes and the teachers at Pius X prepared me to succeed in college, in the classroom and as a good role model for my peers."

Rilee Sukup, '16 (St. John's K-3; St. Joe's 4-8)
Nebraska Wesleyan University, sophomore, Nursing

"The Pius staff demonstrates patience, compassion, and giving of self, all of which I will be using in my future profession and daily life. My teachers challenged me and taught me to persevere until I succeeded and that is the key to maintaining a strong life with Christ and to overcome obstacles throughout the journey."

Kelsey Benes, '13
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, post-graduate, Masters of Business Administration

"Pius teachers prepared me because the classroom style and format were identical. This made it for a very easy transition. Also, not allowing for late assignments and being more strict made me more proactive to complete assignments in college."

David Cao, '14
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, senior, Software Engineering, with minor in Business

"I felt prepared for the general requirements like science, math, history, writing, etc... I did not feel prepared specifically for Software Engineering. But, I overall felt academically prepared for college."

Rachael Duden, '16
Kansas State University, sophomore, Secondary Mathematics Education

"Pius X teachers solidified my decision to study Secondary Mathematics Education by teaching something they were passionate about while integrating the family aspect of Pius X."

Kyle Kramer, '17
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, freshman, Economics

"I feel that my teachers at Pius prepared me to write at or above the average for the peers in my classes."

Skyler Clough, '16
College of Saint Benedict, sophomore, Business major and math minor

"My calculus classes definitely helped me realize that math was easier than I thought and I really liked it."

Madison Montanez, '14
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, senior, Advertising and Public Relations major with an emphasis in creativity, and minors in English, Spanish, and Educational Psychology

"The specified classes at Pius would have been helpful at Pius had I known what I was going to do with my career back then. I did know that it would be something in the creative industry, and the English department at Pius helped form that. I do wish that I would've gotten involved in yearbook and taken more web development classes back then."

Anthony McWilliams, '13
University of Nebraska at Omaha, post-graduate, Architectural Engineering (structural emphasis)

"Pius X teachers always challenged me to think of different ways to solve problems. This leads to innovative and exciting solutions to design problems throughout a career. The teachers were always encouraging and motivating, which helped me to believe I could achieve whatever I set my mind to."

Chad Berens, '14
Nebraska Wesleyan University, senior, Sport Management major, Business Administration minor

"Pius business helped prepare me well for the business classes I have taken at NWU. Although more presentations within high school would have made me feel more prepared and comfortable for presentations in college, I have gained that ability while in college."

Bree Ackermann, '14 (North American Martyrs)
Wayne State College, senior, Secondary English Education major, Sport Management minor

"I felt that I was well beyond prepared for college through my education at Pius X."

Abigail Thorson, '16
Augustana University, Sophomore, Double major in Exercise science and Spanish

"The Spanish department at Pius is phenomenal and allowed me to test out of the first year of Spanish classes at Augustana."

Caroline Nebel, '17
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, freshman, Secondary Spanish Education

I feel like Pius prepared me extremely well for college. All the classes I am currently taking are much easier than classes I took in high school (so far) and for most of my classes that is because of what I learned at Pius. For example, both my Calculus and Spanish classes right now feel like more of a review.

Did Pius X prepare you well to continue to practice your Catholic faith, and if so, what do you do to keep active in your faith?

Abigail Thorson, '16
Augustana University, Sophomore, Double major in Exercise science and Spanish

"The focus of theology courses senior year on defending and understanding the faith was helpful for going out into the world beyond our protected bubble of Catholic school. It made students really think about their beliefs and why they believe those things. It prepared me to have intellectual conversations with people in college who don't have the same beliefs as me."

Hannah Zuercher, '15
Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.) - junior, Biology major (pre-medicine)

"Yes! I am involved in the Catholic ministry on campus, and I am a volunteer reader/greeter for weekly mass on campus. I also attend and sometimes help lead a student-athlete bible study group. Since starting college, I have gone on two mission trips through FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students): one for 2 weeks to Mexico City, and another for 1 month to Kolkata, India."

Rilee Sukup, '16 (St. John's K-3; St. Joe's 4-8)
Nebraska Wesleyan University, sophomore, Nursing

"Yes! I formed relationships with priests who guided and supported me. In college, I keep a holy hour once a week, attend daily mass and confessions often, and find others who I can discuss the faith with."

David Cao, '14
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, senior, Software Engineering, with minor in Business

"Yes. I go to daily Mass, lead a Bible study, have 2 holy hours, am very involved in the Newman Center, and visit the chapel frequently."

Caroline Nebel, '17
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, freshman, Secondary Spanish Education

Yes, Pius did prepare me well, I was talking to a protestant just the other day about faith and she asked me some questions that I learned answers to in my Theology classes.

Rachael Duden, '16
Kansas State University, sophomore, Secondary Mathematics Education

"Pius X prepared me to continue practicing the faith, and I have loved getting involved in St. Isidore's Catholic Student Center through retreats, bible studies, and a prayer and action weekend last spring, helping members of the Manhattan community with projects they couldn't tackle themselves, such as painting and landscaping."

Kyle Kramer, '17
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, freshman, Economics

"Pius laid a solid foundation, but at the end of the day, students have to choose to make faith their own. I made mine personal over the summer at Camp Kateri Tekakwitha."

Madison Montanez, '14
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, senior, Advertising and Public Relations major with an emphasis in creativity, and minors in English, Spanish, and Educational Psychology

"While in college you struggle balancing your faith life with everything else going on. But I do think Pius helped me make a strong relationship with God before heading off to college and it's something I always make an effort at maintaining the relationship. For me, I attend weekly mass, adoration at least once a month, and have formed relationships with friends who push me to continue my relationship with Christ."

Anthony McWilliams, '13
University of Nebraska at Omaha, post-graduate, Architectural Engineering (structural emphasis)

"I participate in FOCUS Bible studies and mission trips. Seeing other areas of the world is one of my favorite ways of experiencing God through His creation."

Chad Berens, '14
Nebraska Wesleyan University, senior, Sport Management major, Business Administration minor

"Pius is a difficult environment to prepare you for your faith life in the real world. Because at Pius everyone is Catholic and for the most part is just going through the motions of your faith because that is just what everyone is doing. I have though been able to keep my faith through college and strengthen it greatly. Once I got to college I realized that I had to make my faith my own that it wasn't going to be done for me like at Pius. So in order to dive deeper into my faith I had to put in more effort and really want to be involved in my faith. Unlike how at Pius you did not really decide this is what somewhat decided for you. So, it is a very hard balance in high school and am not really sure there is a way to prepare for what you will face in college."

Alyson Matulka, '15
University of Nebraska at Kearney, junior, Elementary and middle school education, focus in English

"Yes, I think so. I am still active in my faith. I think Pius taught me the importance of surrounding myself with people that I wish to be more like. I am a part of two bible studies on campus and I go to the Newman Center activities regularly. I go to church every Sunday. I think that Pius gave me a good foundation of finding my faith and letting me make my faith my own."

Rilee Sukup, '16 (St. John's K-3; St. Joe's 4-8)
Wayne State College, senior, Secondary English Education major, Sport Management minor

"Absolutely. I'm an active member of our Newman and FOCUS organizations. I lead bible studies and take part in parish activities as well."

Emily Sullivan, '14
University of Nebraska – Lincoln

"I feel like I was well prepared!"

Nick Whyman, '17
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, freshman, Broadcasting

"Yes all the classes and helped me meet my expectations for college classes."

What cool/interesting/awesome projects or activities have you been involved in during college?

Chelsea Wilkinson, '15
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Junior, Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management and Business Administration with a minor in Leadership.

"Played intramural sand volleyball and hard court volleyball. Was involved in the UNO Newman Center and now am involved at the UNL Newman Center."

David Cao, '14
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, senior, Software Engineering, with minor in Business

"I'm one of the executives of the Newman Center at UNL. I'm also involved in The Raikes School Design Studio, where I create real world software for companies. For example, I helped create the Give To Lincoln Day website for Give To Lincoln Day 2017. I also have a YouTube channel and blog."

Caroline Nebel, '17
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, freshman, Secondary Spanish Education

I am just getting started, but I have been biking with the Cycling Club which has been fun. I am also getting involved with a program called the Refugee Empowerment Program that helps settle refugees in Lincoln, teach English classes, etc.

Rachael Duden, '16
Kansas State University, sophomore, Secondary Mathematics Education

"This year, I am volunteering with Project EXCELL at Kansas State to work with disabled adults on Saturday mornings on campus to give them a college experience that they couldn't have received without this awesome program."

Madison Montanez, '14
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, senior, Advertising and Public Relations major with an emphasis in creativity, and minors in English, Spanish, and Educational Psychology

"I have been involved in a lot of cool things since graduation. Being in the Journalism College you get the opportunities for a lot of fun projects and they push you to find them on your own. I helped fellow graduate Anne Bachmann with her Helping Oats business, traveled and lived in Spain for three months teaching English to children and living with a family there, several internships in the Lincoln area where I have expanded my knowledge on my career, and helped start a volunteer organization called Love Your Melon on campus that helps raise awareness for childhood cancer."

Alyson Matulka, '15
University of Nebraska at Kearney, junior, Elementary and middle school education, focus in English

"I am a cheerleader on UNK's campus and have been for the past 2 years. This year I am one of two captains. I have done projects through the honors program and my major based on observation and comparison of children in different school districts."

Bree Ackermann, '14 (North American Martyrs)
Wayne State College, senior, Secondary English Education major, Sport Management minor

"I'm a part of the WSC Volleyball team and competed in the 2015 DII Final Four in Tampa, FL. Last Christmas Break, I ventured to Puerto Rico on a mission trip with Varsity Catholic."

Hannah Zuercher, '15
Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.) - junior, Biology major (pre-medicine)

"I am on the Lewis University Division II swim team, which has allowed me to do what I love and travel to many other states and colleges. I currently have a research internship under the head chemistry department professor where I am synthesizing hydrogels in order to make more effective bandages for burn victims. I am the secretary of both the Lemon Club (raising money and awareness for childhood cancer) and Student Athletic Advisory Committee (getting student-athlete feedback on various aspects of the university) on campus."

Pius X • 6000 A St. • Lincoln, NE 68510 • 402-488-0931 • Fax: 402-488-1061

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