Marist College students surprised by PM visit

17 PM Selfie

by CARMELITE LESI LEMI
We know that the year 2020 was not what we had planned. The Covid-19 pandemic had a massive impact on our lives, our local communities, our country and our world. For us at Marist College, it was one very difficult year, not only for our staff and students, but for our wider Marist community. We are more than grateful that we have worked through these difficult times, and we continue to pray for those still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We, as a school, stand proudly together, believing that wherever God guides us, he will always provide.

Zarrel Cardenas (Year 11) with the Prime Minister. Marist College presented Jacinda Ardern with a charcoal and pencil sketch of “Māori Mary” by Zarrel.

On Thursday, March 18, we were fortunate enough to be visited by the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, an inspirational, strong and empowering woman. We were not aware of her visit (we think our principal kept it as a surprise), as we were just suddenly and excitedly called into an emergency assembly.

It was such an honour to hear Jacinda Ardern speak. Her speech was affirming and inspiring. All in all, it was a really special day as, in the afternoon, we held our annual Family Festival, a night of school culture and a celebration of diversity. Having the Prime Minister physically come in and talk to us really was a blessing. She empowered our young Marist women to keep dreaming big, reminding us that we can be who we want to be, as long as we believe in ourselves. She also spoke to us about saying “Yes”! Just like our Mother Mary said “yes” to God’s call. The Prime Minister inspired our students to be women of courage and change, and to believe that we are capable of anything! It was wonderful that the Prime Minister of our country took the time to come and check in on us. She definitely encouraged us to just continue being the young Marist women God calls us to be.

Jesus through Mary — Ad Jesum Per Mariam.

Carmelite Lesi Lemi is Marist College deputy head girl — special character 2021.

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