Moments of Impact at Cardinal Newman High School
By Ally Hoffman | HealthCorps Coordinator 2017 – 2019
In our lives, I find that we seldom reflect on the impact we have on others. If you’re anything like me, it can be hard to recognize accomplishments and claim them as such. My position with HealthCorps has provided me with the most incredible opportunity to interact with so many individuals: students, faculty, staff and community members alike. Fortunately, I have had the unique opportunity to report on these moments of impact as they reflect the efficacy of my position in the school system itself.
Throughout my two years at Cardinal Newman High School, I have collected quite a few quotes from individuals of whom I had have the pleasure of working with. Although, I may not be able to articulate the impact that I have had, I’d like to share a few tidbits that came from those that I have interacted with:
“We really appreciate you here. Your ability to connect with the kids and to have them trust you in the way that they do is awesome. You have a way of talking to them and understanding that something deeper may be going on when they are acting out. Sometimes it can be hard for young people to work with the kids and still maintain their role as a superior and you have done just a great job.” – Susie Stephenson, Dean of Students
“You were there for me when I felt like no one else was – thank you.” – Newman Alum, Class of 2019
“…What you have provided for the school cannot be replaced.” – Wes Logsdon, Dean of Students
“Ally Hoffman has been a great asset in providing support to the faculty and staff members of our school. Aside from coordinating professional development “lunch and learn” sessions for us and helping to reestablish the planter boxes at the front of the school (all donated from local vendors and alumni, nonetheless), her endlessly optimistic and friendly personality have made our school brighter. Although she has only been a member of the Cardinal Newman family for the past two years, she has established herself as a person you can rely on and trust!” – Caitlin Bobsein, Biology Teacher
“Even though – like Molly said – it sounds Hokey (not to be confused with a Virginia Tech Hokie), you quickly became a part of the Cardinal Newman Family. You made us all think twice about a lot of things. I think all of us are better in some way, shape or form, from your being with us. You are such a warm and caring person.” – Cathy Holland, Guidance
“It was great having you at Cardinal Newman. You are a darling and your positive attitude brightened up our days more than you will ever know. I will miss you so much…” -Helena DaSilva, History
“I do not think I got the chance to thank you for everything this year, and I don’t know if I am going to get a chance to see you again, being that we have exams. I can never feel grateful enough for every single smile, piece of advice, and vote of encouragement. I wish I could tell you more on how grateful I am for your presence during my academic journey through my first year in high school and how much your devotion meant to me. You were never “just a teacher.” In fact, your presence has motivated me enough to stick through the hardest days of school, and prove that it would be worth all the struggles. You have forever cemented a place in my heart that can never be replaced.” – Freshman Student
“I know I’ve told you many times how much I’ve appreciated you coming to Newman this year, but I guess one more won’t hurt. You are a blessing in disguise and I know you impacted every student that has visited you in a positive way…I wanted to tell you this because I’m more than happy that you wanted to do something with your career that deals with mental health. There aren’t many people in the world that would take the time to hear other people’s problems and I’m glad someone like you is willing to do so.” Newman Alum, Class of 2018
“One very important thing I should let you know is that you did save my life… You made me realize that some things aren’t worth it if you’re not going to feel happy in the end, and thanks to you I’m able to do things like I’m doing now to make others happy… Thank you Ms. Hoffman for making a difference in my life. I appreciate everything that you do.” – Sophomore Student
In conclusion, I would like to, once again, share some parting words from our Dean of Students. Please forgive my paraphrasing: What [we] do [as Coordinators] is like throwing a pebble into a lake. We provide that first intervention like when the pebble hits the water, when we interact with a student and establish a trusting relationship. Much like many school faculty and staff, we may not be able to see what the ripple effects of our actions truly are but we have to trust that they are making a difference. Those waves created as a result or the thrown pebble are the lessons that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. No matter how big or small the wave, those moments of impact are the things we carry with us.