Six Juniors Attend QLI Resource Fair in NYC

Michelle H. Daino
On Tuesday, December 6, six juniors from Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung garnered valuable information from representatives of different community-based organizations at the Quality of Life (QLI) Innovations Resource Fair. They were accompanied by their teacher, Kathleen Brennan, Department of Mathematics Chairperson, and John Maldonado, English teacher and Assistant Athletic Director, at the fair which was held at the United Federation of Teachers in New York City.
This was the first time that students from the Mount attended the fair, however, the Academy has participated in the QLI Competition. In 2020, Meghan Webber ’21 of Madison and Aryanna Perez ’21 were honored for achieving second place distinction for their project, “Sustainable Fabric Face Masks.”
Participating in the QLI Innovations Fair was an extremely valuable experience for me. Participating in sessions led by members of New York City agencies allowed me to better understand the intricacies of many complex societal issues, and hearing from former competitors inspired me to brainstorm innovative ways to solve these problems,” said Zoe Schack '24.
 “The chance to hear from students, teachers, and judges who had experience in the QLI project was so valuable and makes me even more excited to develop my own project on a topic that I’m passionate about,” said Lillian Del Rossi '24.
“This was an invaluable opportunity to secure resources for our future projects, added Akshaya Karanam '24. “I especially enjoyed the NYU educational researchers who shared how their data archives and analysis changed various state policies for public schooling in NY. This resource fair was an incredible opportunity to meet previous competitors who led community-based initiatives using their QLI projects!”
Zoe Daly '24 said that attending the fair “definitely helped me develop ideas for my project, learn about careers, and make connections.”
“This fair was extremely informative, and I really enjoyed the variety of organizations there,” noted Victoria Fekete '24. “It was so interesting to hear about their work, and to have the ability to ask them questions about starting our project – my research partner and I had engaging conversations with representatives from a few of these organizations, like the Research Alliance for NYC Schools, and their knowledge and excitement about our topic will help us as we begin to research and develop our project!”
Isabelle Fretz '24 concluded, "Inspiring. That’s how I would sum up my experience at the QLI Resource Fair. There were many interesting and diverse students and ideas, and numerous organizations actively working to improve the quality of life in New York City from many different angles. I’m eager to apply what I learned at the event to make my own project even more impactful. Being with my peers outside of the classroom was a lot of fun. I am extremely appreciative to Ms. Brennan for giving us this special opportunity!"
© Mount Saint Mary Academy