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Sister Speak was planned and facilitated by Our Lady of Mercy Academy guidance counselors and student leaders. Shown, in back row from left, are Hannah Hargrave, of Vineland;, Ani Schubert, of Sicklerville; Maria Pia DiFranco, of Bridgeton; Melissa Szawlewicz, guidance counselor; Madison Franquet, of Sicklerville; Caelah Palumbo, of  Sewell; Isabella Zanghi, of Margate; and Kimi Hiles, of Millville; front row, Angelina Balis, of Mullica Hill; Chloe Abo, of Egg Harbor Township; Amani Malickel, of Pittsgrove; Kami Thomas, of Williamstown; Lauren Olah, of Mauricetown; Lindsey Serafine, of Tabernacle; and Maggie McMahon, of Ocean View.

NEWFIELD — When it comes to tackling the tough issues facing our youth today, there's nothing quite like open and honest communication between peers to calm nerves and boost confidence.

That's exactly what happened as part of the Our Lady of Mercy Academy's Sister Speak program. Planned by the newly formed Sister Speak Club in conjunction with the Guidance Department, the program offered discussion sessions on Stress/Anxiety, Family & Friends, Self Image, and Dating. Students selected one session and shared their opinions, feelings and ideas in a comfortable environment facilitated by student leaders. 

"I could not be happier with this program," said Brooke Coyle, head of school, in Newfield. "The girls shared so much with one another and were respectful, insightful and honest. While our students know that they can come to us at any time, we wanted them to realize that their peers experience similar emotions and challenges and that they are loved and never alone." 

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