We’re excited to share these exciting snippets from two of our newest Alum Ambassadors! Story excerpts provided by SMCS’ Jennifer Janus. You can read Kate and Hannah’s full features in the next issue of our Alumni Newsletter to be published this spring.
KATE LOMAKA HOGUE
Kate and her family moved from Philadelphia to Richmond when she was four years old.
She started at Saint Mary’s in Junior Kindergarten, and stayed through fourth grade. Kate is one of a set of quadruplets, and also has another sister and brother, so their family transitioned to public school when she started fifth grade because tuition for six children was challenging.
Kate went to Jackson Davis for fifth grade, and Byrd Middle School for sixth through eighth, then to Godwin High School. In college at Virginia Tech, she majored in human nutrition, foods and exercise; there she decided to become a physical therapist and was accepted into VCU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which she completed in 2019.
Now Kate works full time at an inpatient rehabilitation facility called the Sheltering Arms Institute. Sheltering Arms is a special place for PT because patients there have been sent to a rehab hospital because they are healthy enough to leave acute care but not well enough to return home, Kate said.
“These patients have already undergone a lot of hardship, but once they get to rehab it is amazing how positive and motivated people are to reach their most independent level of function,” she said. “It is special that I get to be a part of many success stories!”
Hannah and her family visited Ireland in October of 2021 and looked at colleges then; Maynooth University was the first one they looked at. Hannah said she had a gut feeling pretty early on that Maynooth University was where she would end up. The town of Maynooth, where the university is located, is about 40 minutes from Dublin, and is easily walkable – both selling points along with the school’s friendly staff and students and strong student support systems.
Hannah said she attributes much of who she is as a person to her IB schooling at Saint Mary’s.
“The organizational skills, project planning, and knowledge of how I learn have been major components in my ability to figure out how to learn in a different country,” she said. “I still use what I learned at SMCS every day! With the IB Programme I developed a thirst for knowledge and new experiences and gained the confidence to pursue those desires.
“I strongly encourage anyone and everyone to look outside of their comfort zone for college,” Hannah said. “It seemed like such a daunting task at the beginning — applying for something I had absolutely no idea about was incredibly nerve-wracking — but as I learned more and spoke with more and more people who were there to help me along the way, it ended up being just as straightforward as applying anywhere in the USA.”