Students Spend Summer at Work and Play

Villa girls may have taken some “R&R” over the summer, but many were also busy with service, work, and travel.


Students work to repair a house in New Orleans.

Members of the Class of 2016 went on a service trip to New Orleans. Working with the St. Bernard Project (, they helped rebuild homes damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The students performed tasks including fixing baseboards, grouting tiles, scraping, painting, and cleaning. They also worked packing meals for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Elizabeth McKenzie performs in Italy

Elizabeth McKenzie (back row, center) performs in Italy

Junior Elizabeth McKenzie spent a month in Italy studying and singing with the International Opera Theater company. Elizabeth performed in 2 world premiere productions this August: The cantata Hildegard von Bingen: Bambina Mistica, dedicated to the childhood of Saint Hildegard vonBingen; and, a world premiere Italian Lyric Opera, based on “The Comedy of Errors” by William Shakespeare.

Erin Bitting

Erin Bitting

Senior Erin Bitting interned for Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania in their marketing department. She worked on various marketing campaigns learning about print and social media. Erin is already looking forward to next summer, when she will travel to Mexico to visit the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Center in Cuernavaca.  She has already visited the WAGGGS Centers in London and Adelboden, Switzerland with her Troop.


Twenty two Villa Maria students, accompanied by Sr. Regina and Mrs. Mrs. Dianne Goddard, traveled through Europe in June. Their first stop was Barcelona, where they saw the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. The girls also visited Lourdes, Paris and Normandy.


Gabriella Nunag at the Grand Canyon

After returning from the Villa Maria service trip in New Orleans, senior Gabriella Nunag went out west where she met up with cousins in Las Vegas, but also traveled through a few National Parks. Gabby visited the Hoover Dam, hiked the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks.

The DiDonatos on their European trip

The DiDonatos on their European trip

Junior Erin DiDonato and her sister, recent VMA graduate Katherine, traveled to Europe with their family this summer. They visited Paris, Versailles and Beaune in France; Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland; Munich, Germany; and Venice, Cinque Terre and Rome in Italy. Erin cliff jumped in Cinque Terre and the whole family went on a bike tour in Versailles. They finished their trip in Rome with a night tour of the Colosseum and an early morning tour of the Vatican.