From JCA Student Ambassador to St. Mary’s and Notre Dame


“She was a natural when she was here. She was always smiling and offering great information to the prospective students.” Mary Ragusa, Director of Admissions, talks about Colleen Quinn, a 2013 graduate of Joliet Catholic Academy and a former member of the JCA Student Ambassador program. “She could talk to the principal or teachers of a grade school we were visiting, a parent at Open House or a prospective student and always have the right words to say. She spoke from her heart, and it was always so genuine.”

Colleen is a second-generation JCA graduate, following in her father’s footsteps. “Even though I knew JCA, I struggled to figure out what my thing was going to be when I first arrived,” said Colleen. “I wasn’t athletic, so that wasn’t going to be my thing. I eventually got involved in the Ambassador Program, and that’s where I carved my path at JCA. The Ambassador Program gave me a new perspective. It helped me to experience JCA through the eyes of people that hoped to join the JCA family.”

The Student Ambassador program at JCA gives current students an opportunity to help plan and participate in activities involving future Angels, Hilltoppers and their families. Activities include grade school visits, Open House, Step Up Day for eighth-graders, and much more. Approximately 250 students are involved in this very popular club for freshmen through seniors.

“I’m always impressed by our students,” said Mrs. Ragusa. “You have students, age 14 through 17, getting up in front of a hundred or so seventh and eighth graders, and they are able to talk about their spirituality, their volunteer work, the activities they are involved in and so much more. Colleen is just one example of our students being able to present themselves to their peers and adults alike.”

Colleen is currently a sophomore at St. Mary’s College, the sister school of the University of Notre Dame. She is a business major with a marketing concentration.

At JCA, participating in the Student Ambassador program was always one of Colleen’s favorite experiences. That’s why she was thrilled when she found out that she could do the same thing for St. Mary’s. During her freshman year she received an email that St. Mary’s needed volunteers to help with the Senior Preview Day for high school seniors. Since she helped with events for eighth graders at JCA, she decided to volunteer and was assigned to be a tour guide of one of the buildings. One of the moderators pulled Colleen aside after watching her work and asked her if she ever considered being an ambassador for St. Mary’s. The moderator told Colleen that her ability to give tours seems like second nature that she would be a great fit for their program.

Colleen said, “I guess I never really thought about it since I was just talking about my experiences at St. Mary’s and what I like about the school.” She was selected to be part of St. Mary’s Student Ambassador team at the beginning of this school year. She also works with the University of Notre Dame’s football ambassador program, showing high school recruits around campus every Saturday there is a home game. “It’s been amazing. It takes what I’m passionate about and allows me to express it to everyone else. At JCA I wanted to give the incoming freshman a personal experience. It’s great to be able to continue doing this for St. Mary’s and Notre Dame.”

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