Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Mercy grad grateful for GRACE Scholars support 

By ABIGAIL WHEELER, Special to the Bulletin | Published June 10, 2022

ATLANTA—The blessing of Catholic education can be difficult to attain for some families. Fortunately, through the generosity of donors, the GRACE Scholars program provides assistance to make that education an option for a wider array of students.  

One recipient, Kiana Vigilance, a recent graduate of Our Lady of Mercy High School in Fayetteville, is a testament to the grace that can come from attending a Catholic school. 

Before being a student at Our Lady of Mercy, Vigilance attended public school.  

She says that through Mercy, “I became a youth leader at my parish, I was in social justice, I was also an altar server. I was volunteering and helping as a catechist during the summers, so I have always been in the Catholic faith. Mercy has assisted with that as their faculty and teachers have open arms in helping me with my education as well as my faith.” 

Unlocking the full potential 

Through GRACE Scholars, Vigilance said that she was able “to see that you are capable, to never belittle yourself and never think that you are not worthy of receiving a good education.” 

Teachers are the true influences on a young developing mind. Vigilance credits her previous theology teacher Mrs. Megan Troquet for her “intuitive and heartfelt” relationship with Christ. Vigilance shared that mental health checks were a repeated activity in their class and that through meditation and still time with Christ, she was able to develop her own unique habit of prayer. 

Through the four years of theology classes required at Our Lady of Mercy, a variety of faith studies was provided.  

“Being at Mercy has helped me with my confidence and my self-esteem to know that I am a Christian,” said Vigilance. That confidence helps her to say, “I do know what I am talking about when it comes to faith.” 

Different educational environments bring something new to each person, said Vigilance.  

“As somebody who has been on two sides of it through public school, I can say that a Catholic education is life-changing,” she noted. 

Since graduation in May, Vigilance has heard a lot about the impact of Mercy from alumni. They told her Our Lady of Mercy “overprepares” students for college. She is excited to experience that as she moves on to college. 

The support of friends, school and faith communities is important when working through challenges in life. For Vigilance, the GRACE Scholars program showed her that “your community will always be there” to help with faith, education or other assistance.  

“They will be rooting for you and your family, giving you an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Vigilance.

Writer Abigail Wheeler is a sophomore at Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fayetteville.