They say students who are more involved, are more likely to get good grades. Anna ’20, is so involved she sometimes feels like she doesn’t have time to do her homework – but somehow is able to stay on the honor roll. This impressive feat is just one of the many things that Anna has been able to accomplish in her first three years of high school.
As a freshman, Anna led a school-wide stuffed animal drive and was able to collect over 250 stuffed animals to donate to local police and firefighters to hand out to kids when in crisis. Anna’s love for service and giving back to the community has only continued to grow as she continues her career in high school. “Being able to drive helps a lot. As a freshman I was only able to do the things offered at school, or that my sister was also doing. I have been able to do so much more with just having the ability to get myself from place to place.” Anna does a lot of service in the community. She volunteers her time at Friars Club as a tutor, basketball coach and volleyball coach. She also coaches a boy soccer team at her local recreation center. These are only a few of the things Anna finds time to do outside of the Community Outreach Board at Roger Bacon. As a member of the Community Outreach Board, Anna is a project leader for the new initiatives of TRASH OTR and the Go Local Fun Fest. Trash OTR was an idea that Anna and fellow board member, Ben Alexander ’21, thought of on their summer retreat. “We (students at Roger Bacon) do our freshman service day in OTR. We go on a tour of the neighborhood, and as much as it is a neat experience, we both felt that we could do more than just walk around.” TRASH OTR, met for the first time in September on a Sunday morning and went to mass at St. Francis Seraph in OTR, spent an hour picking up trash then ended their day with lunch at Findlay Market. This volunteer opportunity is planned to happen once a month, and is open to the entire RB community (students, parents and alumni.)
Anna is a great choice for the RB face, particular known for her service with a smile. She is a shining example of what it means to serve others, particularly those most in need.
Tom Burke, President
The other initiative that Anna is taking on this year is the Go Local FunFest. Last year, the Spartan Army spread out across St. Bernard for an entire day, dedicating their time for cleaning up our neighborhood. They not only picked up trash, but helped local elderly with chores around the home, and even cleaned at the Tau House at St. Clement. A new initiative that Anna, and fellow Face of RB Tori ’20, planned is the Fun Fest, which they hope can take place the same day as Go Local. Anna plans to host a Spirit Day for CISE (Cincinnati Inner-City School Education Fund) schools. Anna says, “Tori and I coached a team at Friars this past spring and heard from multiple kids that they do not have a field day at the end of their school year because they do not have the green space to do it on their campus. Tori and I approached Fr. Roger with the idea of inviting the CISE students to Bacevich Stadium for a Spirit Day. We will have games from local church festivals and hopefully (fingers-crossed) bouncy houses for the kids to enjoy – we just feel that these students deserve a fun day at the end of the school year and it is a great opportunity for our students to volunteer ‘locally’ on our special all-school volunteer day.”
Obviously, Anna is known for her dedication to service among the Roger Bacon community. Fr. Roger Lopez, the Director of Community Outreach, knows just how much work she puts into all her service projects, “One of the Franciscan values easy to understand is 'service.' But easy to overlook is the energy needed in planning and executing service. More than anything, it takes initiative - and that is Anna Merz. Her passion and desire for helping others reminds me of the importance of placing my Christian faith into action. Like Saint Francis who reached out to embrace the leper eight hundred years ago, Anna leads others to reach out and service the poor and marginalized today.”
Roger Bacon is made up of many faces, different faces. We hope to showcase a wide range of our Spartans as possible. If you would like to nominate a Spartan, past or present, to be featured as a Face of RB please click here