January Alumnae Spotlight, Mignon Blanc, Merry Mac of 2015

In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?
Ursuline specialized in a well rounded education, and I believe that is reflected in all that I do from the volunteering I carry out, to the school work I accomplish, and even to the relationships I create and maintain. I currently attend a diverse liberal arts university where everyone’s voice is heard. Ursuline taught me to be accepting of all people no matter the race, gender, or religion. Ursuline also gave me the skills needed to properly convey my thoughts and opinions effectively. As far as academics, Ursuline prepared me immensely. I have a very challenging major, and my education at Ursuline definitely put me at an advantage. When service is concerned, Ursuline certainly planted Serviam in my character long before I went on to college. When I first started attending Loyola, I felt like a part of me was missing. It was not until months later that I realized I was missing service. I realized that because of my Ursuline education, service became woven into the very fabric of my personality. Ursuline prepared me for not only what I am doing today, but for life in general.

Please describe the most significant value you learned from Ursuline Academy.
The most significant value that I learned from Ursuline Academy was giving and not in the traditional sense of the word. At Ursuline, I learned to give of my time, talents, intelligence, and friendship. Serviam is included in every aspect of the school, thus instilling Serviam in every aspect of myself.

Describe Ursuline in one word. Explain.
Welcoming. Ursuline opened its doors to me seven years ago and those doors are still open to me today. When I first walked into the great halls of Ursuline Academy, I knew I was where I belonged. Every single person there treated me and others with the utmost respect and dignity. At Ursuline, I did not feel like a number. I felt like a person with an opinion and voice. One of my fondest and first memories of Ursuline was when I received a handwritten letter from the principal at the time, Mr. Gabriel, explaining his excitement and gratitude that I chose to attend Ursuline Academy for high school. A simple personable act such as a handwritten letter is what sets Ursuline apart amongst many other things. When you’re welcomed into this family, they will never turn their backs on you, and that is something I will never forget.
Mignon Blanc is a Junior at Loyola University of New Orleans majoring in Biology and minoring in Business Administration. She has been an avid volunteer for most of her life. Her passion for service began when her mother started working at Raintree Children and Family Services. There her appreciation for her blessings grew. She wished to share her blessings and talents with the youth at Raintree. She dedicated over nine years of service to Raintree. She tutored the girls, donated clothes, assisted staff members, and offered friendship and guidance. But her passion for serving her community did not stop there.
When Mignon attended Ursuline Academy for high school, her love for service was solidified. The motto of Ursuline: Serviam which means “I will serve” soon became her own motto. At Ursuline, service was implemented in every aspect of the school. Serving others became ingrained in her character. As a result, Mignon has volunteered with over ten different organizations over the years. She was a peer mentor to the rising freshmen at Ursuline Academy; she assisted teachers at Kingsley House Head Start and St. John the Baptist Preschool; she visited the elderly at Covenant Home and Kingsley House; she sat with the mentally challenged at Strive; she helped restore our wetlands by planting trees with Common Ground Relief; she helped prepare meals for the hungry at Second Harvest Food Bank; she leads and directs spiritual retreats for the seniors at Ursuline Academy; she is a peer mentor for Loyola’s Black Student Union; she teaches young girls modeling and self-esteem boosting techniques at Glam U; and most recently she became a tutor for Elevate Next. Mignon’s dedication to service over the years has not gone unnoticed. In 2015, Mignon was awarded the Edward Lafaye Humanitarian Award. In the same year she was also awarded the Courtesy, Loyalty and Courage Award, which is the highest honor that can be received by any Ursuline graduate. Most recently she was honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and named Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy.
While devoting much of her time to service, Mignon has managed to excel in school. Throughout her elementary and high school careers, she always held a place on the Honor Roll. She was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship to attend Loyola and has maintained her place on the Dean’s List. She was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. She was also crowned Queen of the Black Student Union of Loyola. She recently landed a full-time paid internship with Frito-Lay which was named as one of Forbes’ Most Valuable Companies. With her Loyola degree, she hopes to pursue a career in Medical Device Sales and remain dedicated to serving her community.
Mignon has used her charisma, tenacity, and dedication to shine a light on her New Orleans community. Even though she has accomplished many things in her 20 years of life, she is far from finished serving her community. She hopes to inspire those around her to open their hearts and minds, and serve those around them. A quote Mignon holds dear is “Love consists in sharing what one has, and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words.” –St. Ignatius of Loyola