About Onward Scholars

Jedesa, Immaculate Conception
Sheridan, St. Eugene
Zada, Maria Regina
Samai, St. John Chrysostom
Haide, St. Joseph
Alexa, St. Joseph
Katherine, St. Margaret Mary
Winsor, St. John Chrysostom
Jessica, Wilder's Prep
Victoria, St. Raphael
N'Dia, St. Eugene
Melody, Ascension
Dream Big, Future Belles!
There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.   W.E.B. DuBois
About Onward Scholars
Through the generosity of The John H. and Cynthia Lee Smet Foundation,12 Belles from the Class of 2022 made up the first cohort of Onward Scholars at St. Mary's Academy (SMA) in the Fall of 2018!  Cohorts II and III followed in 2019 and 2020, respectively.  The two main components of the Onward Scholars program (OSP) are scholarship and mentoring.
  • Scholarship  The Smet Foundation provides a four-year scholarship for 75% of each Onward Scholar's tuition costs in addition to a personal stipend of $2,000 to use over her time at SMA.  The stipend offsets the cost of activities such as summer pre-college programs, camps, or workshops off campus that broaden student experiences and provide exposure to careers and skills of interest.
  • Mentoring  Onward Scholars at St. Mary’s Academy receive not only the support services the school provides, but also work closely with the onsite Onward Scholars Program Director to receive mentoring and access to programs that prepare students for the college application and matriculation process.  Weekly OSP-sponsored workshops focus on life skill development and topics of significance in the advancement of young women in today's world as outlined in the Grade Level Focus Areas below:

Mrs. Michele Rice
Program Director

Michele Rice is proud to be entering her fourth year as the Program Director for Onward Scholars (OSP) at SMA.
Scholars meet with Mrs. Rice on a regular basis to receive support pursuing academic and personal goals through mentoring, access to college workshops, life skills education, and community service opportunities. 

Mrs. Rice holds both a Tier I Administrative Services Credential and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University in addition to a Master of Science in School Counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from CSU Northridge. Prior to joining the St. Mary’s community, Mrs. Rice was blessed to gain over 20 years of invaluable experience in Catholic high school administration, teaching, student services, and admissions. She is passionate about building leadership capacity in students and is grateful to be partnering with the SMA staff to help our Scholars become all of which woman is capable!