Students march for life in Washington D.C.

By James Gross - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Students from Lourdes attended the March for Life in Washington D.C. to peacfully protest against abortion on Jan. 21.

The students from Lourdes included senior Rebecca Geffers, juniors Lida Stankova and Hannah Kettner, and sophomore Nick Parkin. Two graduates of Lourdes, Nick Parkin and Sami Boehm, also attended the march.

According to Kettner, the March for Life is “a really cool opportunity to stand up for your beliefs and to meet other people who have the same beliefs.” She said that the march was really fun and that she met many new people. She also felt that she made a difference and changed history.

Geffers said that the best part of the experience for her was getting to know people and attending the big Catholic pro-life rally prior to the march, saying it was remarkable and humbling seeing hundreds of priests worshipping with 20,000 other people. She said, “I absolutely loved the rally and the music!”

Geffers also said that attending the march “was extremely affordable, and we only missed three days of school which wasn’t too difficult to make up. We got to visit many places, meet so many people, and gain a new perspective that we may not have otherwise. It was such a rewarding pilgrimage that taught me more about myself and my values, and I think it is something everyone should experience.”

In addition to the march, Kettner said that the group also attended Mass everyday, went to the Holocaust Museum, the Air and Space Museum, and the U.S. History Museum. The group also visited the capitol building, went to the M.L.K Jr. Monument, the F.D.R. Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and WWII Memorial.

According to, the march “promotes the beauty and dignity of every human life by working to end abortion by uniting, educating, and mobilizing pro-life people in the public square.” In addition, the web site states that it promotes "marching to envision a future world where the beauty and dignity of every human life are valued and protected. "

More than 10,000 people attended this year’s march including families, school organizations, and individuals. In addition, President Donald Trump was the first sitting president to speak to the crowd in support of the right to life.

Lourdes students Nick Parkin, Hannah Kettner, Lida Stankova, and Rebecca Geffers represent St. Raphael Parish at the 2020 March for Life.

Female students participate in Girls Granting

By Annie Schraa - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Seniors Sydney Kelly and Annie Schraa and juniors Ashley Holland, Nora Sammons, and Hannah Kettner were selected to participate in this year’s Girls Granting program.

According to the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation: Women’s Fund website, the Girls Granting program was established in 2001 by the Women’s Fund to give high school girls the opportunity to influence the financial support of an organization or program they feel passionate about. The program takes place every two years.

The website adds that girls from the Oshkosh area schools come together as a team and discuss vital issues that affect their lives and community. Organizations focused on that specific issue are invited to apply for a grant, and the girls ultimately choose one organization to receive the $10,000 grant. The money is provided by the J.J. Keller Foundation, according to the O.A.C.F. website.

During the program, the girls learn about grant making, team building, leadership, philanthropy, gender inequalities, and stereotypes. Lourdes counselor Carie Kollat said that the Girls Granting program is a great opportunity for Lourdes Academy girls.

“Being involved in the process of reading grants, observing presentations from different organizations, and discussing opinions with same-aged peers with a variety of backgrounds is an invaluable opportunity,” Kollat said.

Senior Sydney Kelly said she wanted to be a part of Girls Granting so she could help her community. She said she is excited to see how this project will help other girls in Oshkosh. Junior Hannah Kettner said that she wants to make a positive difference in her community and help women who don’t have the resources they need to live a healthy life.

Kettner said that she is excited to see what kind of difference she can make within the group. In addition, she said she is looking forward to being able to see her peers and her ideas go into the process.

Junior Ashley Holland said she wanted to be a part of the program so she can make a difference in her community, especially with fellow young women. Holland said she is most excited to donate the money to a deserving organization and to attend the Power of the Purse luncheon where she will meet and learn from powerful women in the community.

Junior Nora Sammons said that she wanted to be in Girls Granting so she can be a part of a project that can make a difference for her community. Sammons said she is excited to get to know all the girls in the group and to see what the different community organizations offer.

The girls met for the first time on Feb. 18 at the O.A.C.F. building. Holland said she liked how welcoming every girl was during the first meeting and found the conversations during the meeting very interesting. She said her goal for the group is to grow closer and to be able to learn from everyone’s differences regarding backgrounds and views.

Kelly said that she thought the first meeting was eye-opening because she heard about a lot of problems in the public schools that aren’t necessarily problems at a smaller, private school like Lourdes. She said her goal for this group is to make it easier for girls in the Oshkosh area to be successful in life.

Kettner said the first thing she noticed during the first meeting was how open and honest every girl was and how everyone seemed eager to make a difference.

“Being more of a listener, I really enjoyed seeing all the girls being honest and true to themselves and their ideas,” Kettner said. She said her goals for the group are to please everyone and let every girl express her opinions on the issues being discussed.

Sammons said she thought the first meeting was interesting, and listening to the perspectives of all the other girls was exciting. Holland said that her take-away from the first meeting was that she hopes to better understand and appreciate every kind of girl in her community.

The girls all had to fill out an application and explain why they wanted to participate in the group before being accepted into the Girls Granting program. Holland said the application process was fairly simple. “We mainly just had to answer why we wanted to be a part of Girls Granting and what we were hoping to achieve or how we would be making a difference for other girls,” Holland said.

Kelly said she found that the application process got her more excited and interested in participating in the group. Kettner said the essay part of the application helped her express why she wanted to be involved in this opportunity. She said that she felt the essay allowed people to see that her goal in life is to help others, and that participating in this group helps her to initiate that motive.

The Girls Granting program consists of four meetings, one of which takes place on April 8 where the girls will attend the Power of the Purse luncheon. At the luncheon, the girls will present their grant to the organization of their choice.

Front to back: Seniors Sydney Kelly and Annie Schraa and juniors Nora Sammons, Ashley Holland, and Hannah Kettner were selected to participate in the Girls Granting program.

Botany students grow fresh veggies for the lunch program

By Regan Kraus - Knight writer

Lourdes Academy - Student Journalist

The new batch of lettuce has sprouted, and it is as healthy as ever.

Many may recall that in a previous edition of this story, the lettuce plants were found murdered on the scene, but the next generation has continued to flourish.

Biology teacher Carrie O’Connor and the botany students nurtured almost three buckets of lettuce plants with the help of the Fork Farms hydroponic system. This system hydrates plants by circulating water through an elevated machine and provides plenty of LED lighting. This system helps the lettuce plants grow in just four short weeks and eliminates weather and bug issues that normal gardens may come in contact with.

All of the lettuce is then given to the Lourdes Academy kitchen staff so they can use the produce for school lunches. “There has definitely been a lot more salads on the lunch menu lately,” O’Connor said. She hopes that she can order different kinds of vegetables in the future to give the students more variety and to give the kitchen staff more inspiration.

“This system gets rid of issues like pesticides which makes our Fork Farm lettuce basically organic,” O’Connor said. This lettuce is healthier for the students and good for the environment since there are no chemicals in it. The lettuce also has a better shelf life than if it came from a company. This is because it can go straight to the Lourdes kitchen without having to travel in a truck for a week.

Thanks to the Botany students, a new batch of lettuce has already been planted. “The students have been doing pretty much everything on their own; I do not need to help very much,” O’Connor said. As the gardening system expands, O’Connor is planning on getting help from the Sustainability Club as well.

The gardening, however, is far from complete as O’Connor has big plans for the future. “Right now I’m planning on getting different kinds of lettuce, and once we get another system, we can start planting things like cherry tomatoes and strawberries,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor is planning on writing her next grant to get donations for another hydroponic system. Another system is needed because fruits and vegetables cannot be planted together as they need different nutrients.

Thanks to the Fork Farm system and the diligent work of the Botany students, Lourdes will be able to have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable options for lunch in the near future.

Sophomores Xochilt Messenger and Alexa Luquin reveal how much the lettuce has grown in four weeks.

Junior Laura Binning helps harvest the crops.