“NDP is my favorite place.” These are powerful words from Anna Ecker, a 2016 graduate who is now a full-time student at UMBC. Anna came to NDP from St. Ursula’s in the 9th grade and was a hard-working, successful scholar who got involved in many other activities during her time at NDP. Cross Country, Gym Meet, Badminton, Band, Camp St. Vincent’s, and the STEAM program – she was active in all of them. She is also an accomplished dancer.
Despite her coursework and many extracurricular activities, Anna held a job during most of high school. At the end of her freshman year, she got a summer job at Conrad’s Crabs and Seafood Market, and she continued to work there throughout her sophomore, junior, and senior years. Working as she did was challenging, especially during sports seasons, but her goals were to become a manager and to save enough for college. She chose UMBC not only because she really liked the program but also because she would be able to continue to work at the seafood market during college. Today, she is a manager at Conrad’s.
During her senior year, Anna donated $600 of the money she earned to the 2016 Senior Class Gift. When asked why she made this generous donation, she responded, “I gave what I could because NDP gave me so much. I would have given more if I could.” She explained that she was pushed hard to grow by some extremely caring teachers and coaches who made a real difference in her life. So many people – Mr. Dzbinski, Mr. Ellis and, Mr. Klein, among others — stand out in her mind as helping her grow in both skills and self-confidence.
Thanks to all she learned at NDP, Anna is thriving. She does not find the classwork in college difficult thanks to how she was pushed at NDP and is complimented regularly on her performance. She admittedly misses her NDP classmates and mentors, and she will never forget all the wonderful memories made in high school, including the Junior Ring Liturgy and Dance, winning the Gym Meet Dance Plaque for the first time, the senior trip
to New York, and prom. But Anna also left a physical legacy at NDP through her contribution to her class gift.
The 2016 Senior Class Gift was a 21st-Century Classroom, which is under now under construction. Anna really liked the idea of this gift, which would provide students with an outdoor space to study. But her donation “was less about the gift and more about wanting to give back.” She would have supported any gift the class selected. Anna encourages other seniors to think about supporting their class gift and leaving a legacy for future students to enjoy. “It was a lot for me, but it was a worthwhile way to help my favorite place.”