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Fontbonne Senior from Braintree Helps Launch Service Day

Founded in 1954 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, Fontbonne Academy in Milton is known for its academic excellence and rigor.

Fontbonne Academy senior, Julia Butts, of Braintree is a very busy young lady.  Between her arduous studies—she is in many AP and honors classes—and her many extracurricular activities, you could say she doesn’t have a spare moment.  Despite this busy schedule, Julia was able to come up with a great new idea at Fontbonne and then lead a team to execute it this year.

“As I was running for National Honor Society (NHS) Officer last year I started thinking of the tenets of NHS: character, service, scholarship, and leadership.  I wanted to bring something new to NHS that was tied into these tenets and I came up with ‘Duck in Service Day’ as a way for Fontbonne to extend its service and commitment to all people, everywhere, or what we call here at Fontbonne, ‘the dear neighbor.’”

This original idea was intended to get the whole school engaged on a single day in service to area organizations.  To start, this year NHS is piloting the program with just the junior class on Wednesday, April 24.  The ‘Ducks in Service Day’ will offer the service of approximately 100 young Fontbonne women to eleven local organizations, ranging from food pantries to nursing homes to schools. 

It has been no small task.  Julia and her fellow NHS officers Maretta Morovitz of Weymouth, KJ Moran of Dedham, and Caroline Cabral of Quincy have met weekly to put together a meaningful day for the junior class.  After a morning of service the students will gather with senior leaders over lunch for a formal discussion about their activities and fill out evaluations.  The day will end with a prayer service for the class, also led by the NHS officers and other NHS seniors.  “We mean to make this a retreat-type of day for the class, filled with reflection,” says Julia.

As a senior, Julia has also been busily preparing her applications to some of the top colleges in the nation, including many ivy league schools.  She is among the top students in her senior class, is a member of the prestigious National Honor Society, and engaged in extracurricular activities ranging from Model UN Club (she is currently the secretary) to Fountain Friends (she is co-president) to dancing.  Julia has been dancing at the Dance Studio of Braintree for 15 years and loves jazz, tap, ballet and point.  She is an assistant teacher at the school as well.  At Fontbonne, Julia has also been an Admissions Ambassador.  In addition to her workload at Fontbonne, Julia took on an extracurricular class through Virtual High School last semester called “Genes and Diseases,” and rather than coast through her senior year, she is planning on taking a course in the German language in the spring.  Julia has a real strength in the sciences, and was given the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) award from Mass Maritime last year. 

Although Julia is undecided in the direction of her studies, she hopes to explore international relations and life sciences.  She will bring enthusiasm, intelligence, and new ideas wherever she goes.  “ I have been shaped very much by the teachers, administrators, and faculty at Fontbonne.  They set very high standards for academic effort and all-around behavior, because they do not simply care about getting students to graduation; they care about helping us, on every step of the road between, to learn, grow, and reach graduation day with the confidence, wisdom, and grace of a “Fontbonne woman.” 

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