Catholic Schools are Communities and Families: A Freshman Essay

Think about your freshmen year of high school. Do you remember how it felt those first few weeks? What is it like for a freshmen in high school nowadays?

To answer, consider the essay below, written by Tyler Evans (far left), pictured with fellow freshmen Tim Fehrman and Jaksen Wonderlich, just started high school last month. Tyler says,

“Catholic schools are community and families. Gross Catholic reminds me of St. Gerald because of the family aspect and the faith life. Just like St. Gerald, Gross Catholic has a small, tightly-knit community filled with faith and kindness.”

Communities work together, learn together and bond together. I want to continue to learn in a community based in Christ and attend a school that has a sense of family. I chose to attend Gross Catholic because it is not only a community, but a family that excels under the presence of God. I also want to attend Gross Catholic because of its challenging academics and many activities.

One of the core values at Gross Catholic is to be authentically faithful. God and the Holy Trinity are present throughout the school day and are an important part of the school culture. My faith is very important to me because it has always helped me through tough times, like last year when I was diagnosed with cancer. My elementary school classmates at St. Gerald School helped me face my diagnosis with courage and hope.

I love to learn more about my faith and will have opportunities to discuss my faith at Gross Catholic. I will also participate in service projects that incorporate the Corporal Works of Mercy. Gross Catholic will prepare me for a life full of faith, and a life in community with God.

Another core value of Gross Catholic is to be academically driven. Their challenging academics will prepare me for the real world and will help me achieve my goal of getting into the Air Force Academy. I believe that the education that I will receive at Gross Catholic will give me opportunities that I wouldn’t get anywhere else. There are also many extracurriculars that interest me such as mock trial, trapshooting and academic decathlon. I will also have the opportunity to participate in sports I enjoy such as swimming, track and cross-country.

My peers, teachers and staff at St. Gerald Catholic School prepared me for life and I want to bring that knowledge with me to my next level of education at Gross Catholic. I will forever cherish my St. Gerald memories and look forward to making new memories at my Catholic high school.


We are so happy to hear Tyler is healthy, well and thriving and that he cherishes his experience in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Praise be to God! Tyler recently shared more of his story as advocate for school choice here.

Tyler’s mother Nicole is currently employed at Gross Catholic High School, and she shared the story of her faith encounter in our Catholic schools as well:

Read more stories of Every Day Impact from Catholic schools