Alumnae of St. Mary’s Academy were treated to an inspiring spring afternoon recently as the Inglewood school hosted two events: A “Belles ‘n Brushes Soiree” and an “SMA Campus Showcase.”

The first was an outdoor sip and paint event, where Belles were instructed in painting scenic art; and the second was a tour of the latest completed capital projects supported by private donations. The campus sports a new front entrance on Grace Avenue; an Innovation Lab; ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant bathrooms; and a new running track. 

Attendees also learned of other soon-to-be-expanded facilities, as staff shared plans for updating classrooms and providing students with a new library research/media center.

St. Mary’s Academy (SMA), a Catholic high school, has been educating young women for more than 130 years, 54 of them at its Inglewood location. Annually, 100 percent of the students are accepted to four-year universities in California and across the U.S. 

“I really enjoyed both events,” said Daphne Bradford, who graduated as a Blue Tie in 1984. “Saint Mary’s provided a foundation for me to go into public schools.”

Bradford was recognized by the Obama administration as a White House Champion of Change Educator, as she fought for equitable K-12 education. Today she is an Independent on next month’s ballot for U.S. Senator, running against incumbent Alex Padilla. She encouraged attendees’ continued support of the school, which has seen a decrease in enrollment in the last few years.

“The pandemic is a big reset button for the whole country,” she said, noting that SMA students were fortunate enough to be familiar with online learning before COVID-19 struck.

Recently, SMA became one of 2,000 schools worldwide to implement an “AP Capstone Diploma™ program which encourages students to develop skills for college and career success, including critical thinking, research, collaboration, and communication.

For more information, visit https://www.smabelles.org.

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