In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?
My Ursuline education prepared me in so, so many ways. Ursuline is strong in science, math, and the greater world view. This has served me so well in opening our local business, Code Ninjas, which is focused on computer coding and STEM skills, as well as in my nursing career. I know everyone jokes about never needing Algebra again - but I use it often in nursing. I really do!!
Ursuline prepared me for prioritization and multitasking. I couldn’t even begin to handle my day to day moving parts without that base - much less the daily demands of a nursing career. As a nurse who started my career in the ER, those skills were essential for saving lives and keeping every patient well taken care of. Ursuline also prepared me by having a loving and strong community of amazing women in my life. Personally, professionally, and daily life are regularly impacted by Ursuline’s influence. When I go to my weekly Zumba class, it’s taught by an Ursuline friend; if I need to be dressed well to give a great impression, another Ursuline friend; marketing materials needed - you guessed it - my Ursuline sisters are doing amazing things and are a built-in network for life.
Please describe the most significant value you learned from Ursuline Academy.
Service. Ursuline embodies teaching its students the motto of Serviam. I want to leave this world a better place. Service has impacted every aspect of my life from nursing, to opening a business that provides kids with computer coding and STEM skills, to non-profit work with children in foster care and children with cancer, to being a summer camp volunteer for over 22 years. I take great joy and pride in giving back to individuals and our community as a whole.
Describe Ursuline in one word.
Family. I run into Ursuline alumnae weekly, if not daily. I reach out to my Ursuline sisters for friendship, business contacts, and assistance with give-back and community events. My business, Code Ninjas, had Ursuline as our very first field trip!! Talk about supporting its family. Ursuline sisters (and their parents and children even) are always there and ready to jump in for whatever. My classmates and extended Ursuline family have been, and continue to be, a major part of my life. What a huge gift for me and for all of greater New Orleans!!
About Susan Hackett Walpole
Susan Hackett Walpole is a proud Sioux of 1990. Susan is one of the owners of Code Ninjas in Metairie which is a center that teaches kids coding (computer programming), with robotics, and other STEM activities intertwined. Susan also currently works as an R.N. who serves “medically fragile,” special needs young children. Her love for the kids she serves is immeasurable. She has coordinated events for CASA (serving children in foster care) and as Volunteer Director for What You Give Will Grow (serving kids battling cancer). Susan was awarded the very first Frank Ganz, Sr. Award, in 2016, from What You Give Will Grow for her leadership. She was also recognized for her work with Team Comeback Kids after the flooding in South Louisiana in 2016.
Susan also currently serves as an Executive Committee Member on the Board of Trustees for Camp Hardtner, Louisiana’s only Episcopal summer camp. It’s a place she has loved since childhood and the reason for her nursing career. Over many years, she has served in almost every role possible there including Interim Director, camp staff member, head of nursing, multiple committee roles, chairs, counselor hiring, and creation of new committees. Susan serves on the Vestry of her church in Metairie. She built and ran the church website for over 7 years, including digital graphic creation, and social media development.
Although her focus has been mainly on children, Susan has also volunteered with Gathering Place while living in Houston previously. Gathering Place is a respite non-profit that throws monthly parties for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other dementia-related illnesses. Also while in Houston, she was a Board member for Emmanuel Episcopal Church’s day school.
Susan is truly a person who believes in giving back to her community and knows that each small positive act creates a ripple effect in our world. She and her husband Clint currently reside in Metairie with their dog, Marty.
(Photo courtesy of José Angel Castro)