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Transforming Our Future – One Student At a Time

First CRT Student Accepted to Study Abroad Summer Program


Maria A., ’21, is one of 15 students selected nationwide to attend the University of Dallas Rome Program - Rome and the Catholic Church Odyssey. This program is open to rising juniors and seniors of high academic achievement and high moral and ethical values.

Maria's study abroad experience will take place July 8-30, 2019, at the University of Dallas’s Eugene Rome Campus at Due Santi, twelve miles southeast of the center of Rome.

During her time in Due Santi, Maria will study and deepen her faith while simultaneously earning three college credits. She will explore Catholicism through the study of saints, religious readings, historical landmarks, and the rich culture of Rome. A few highlights along her journey will be visits to basilicas, the Vatican Museums and Observatory, Trevi Fountain, The Scavi, and the Pantheon. Her studies will also take her on day trips to Subiaco and Orvieto and a four- day trip to Assisi and Siena.

It is hard for Maria to contain her excitement while beaming with pride when speaking of her recent accomplishment. This young woman who is passionate about her Catholic faith shared, “I am so excited to grow deeper in my faith, learn more about Catholicism, and expand my knowledge base. I am looking forward to a taste of college life abroad before my senior year as well.” Mr. Kevin McArdle, Youth Ministry Coordinator at Nativity Catholic Church, is so proud of Maria. He shared,” Her ability to focus and strive for greater things, her demeanor and maturity, her commitment to family and friends, and her unwavering faith in God’s plan have made Maria a strong role model and inspiration to her classmates, and others throughout the parish.”

Maria learned of this opportunity while exploring summer program options with Mr. John Davidson, Director of Guidance and College Counseling, Cristo Rey Tampa High School. “I encouraged her to apply after asking her about her summer plans and reviewing a few college opportunities online. This particular opportunity stood out amongst the rest,” said Davidson. Once Maria realized this was what she wanted she move forward expeditiously. She completed her application, gathered the required recommendations, and completed the required essay to accompany her transcripts and standardized test scores.

Maria is the daughter of Evelyn Diaz and Jose Rodriguez. She attended Nativity Catholic School and is a member of Nativity Catholic Church. As an active parishioner, Maria serves as a lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion at Sunday Mass and a youth group leader. In her Cristo Rey Tampa High School community, she serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, lector, and is  the president of Key Club.

Congratulations, Maria! We are very proud of you and wish you many blessings.  #CRTproud

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