Dear Loretto Academy


The Prax Staff poses for a yearbook picture. From left to right: Viviana Orozco, Ava Bonilla, Mia Montelongo, Zuleika Botello, Orlyanka Tantchou, Mia Badillo, Katerina Liano, Mrs. Lockhart-Walker, and (not pictured) Isabel Garza. Photo courtesy of Sophia Ryan

Mia Badillo, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Thirteen years ago, in 2010, I walked through the doors of Loretto Academy’s elementary school, unsure of what to expect for my first day in kindergarten at a new school. 

My parents waved goodbye to me from the playground as I hesitantly followed my teacher, Ms. Reseck, inside. 

After entering my classroom, I vividly remember sitting down on the alphabet carpet and giving my classmates toothless smiles as we ate gummy bears.

After a few days at Loretto, it became apparent to me that I would fit right in.

I knew I would be able to become friends with anyone I shared a class with.

Thirteen years later, in 2023, I’m about to graduate high school from Loretto Academy. 

I can confidently say that the bonds of friendship at Loretto remain present to this day. 

As I walk through the halls of the high school, I wave to teachers, talk to friends, and smile at strangers. 

Loretto has been my second home for the majority of my life, and I can’t grasp the idea that I’m about to leave.

Even though I may not be physically at Loretto after graduation, Loretto will always remain in my heart. 

It’s become a part of me; a special privilege that I will never forget or take for granted. 

The Prax experience

Being a Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Prax during my junior and senior years of high school is something that has made my high school experience even more fulfilling. 

 At school, I’ve strengthened my connections with the students and teachers whom I am able to interview for articles.

 I believe that these interviews have enabled me to act as a voice for my peers, which is a task that I accept with great honor and gratitude. 

Outside of the classroom, I have connected with amazing members of our El Paso community who are working diligently to make a change in this world.

 From interviewing infectious disease doctors to local small business owners, I have enjoyed listening to the stories of influential individuals.

 These moments have opened my eyes to the magnificence of our community, which in turn has sparked my interest in a variety of topics.

 Reporting about the migrant crisis was one of the many instances where I realized what a major role journalism plays in forming a society. 

I’ve found that I learn so much about a current event when I do extensive research or interact with someone who has firsthand experience. 

With the support of my Loretto community and my foundation in journalism, I was able to write an article for The City Magazine, an El Paso-based lifestyle magazine. 

 I even participated in an interview that was published in an edition of The City Magazine, which is something that I never imagined doing. 

 None of these things would be possible without journalism and the amazing peers and teachers I have by my side.

Finally, my writing and leadership skills would have never improved if it weren’t for journalism.

When I reflect on the first articles I wrote for journalism class during my junior year, I see how my writing has become more detailed and professional.

As a Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Prax, I’ve had to put myself in situations where I’ve challenged my communication skills. 

Although I am a fairly introverted person, my role in journalism has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone.

Journalism has given me a new perspective where I feel comfortable and confident enough to speak in front of small or large audiences.

I even had the opportunity to speak at Loretto’s first Women’s Conference, where I was able to represent The Prax Staff. 

Journalism has truly empowered me to make an impact in the Loretto community, which is a responsibility I intend to fulfill in the El Paso community after I graduate.

Final farewell

It has been a great honor to be a part of The Prax Staff, and I want to thank everyone who has guided me along the way, especially Mrs. Lockhart.

Mrs. Lockhart continues to inspire me to use my voice to make an impact in this world, whether that’s by writing or speaking. 

Her unwavering determination motivates me to strive for greatness every day so that I can become a beacon of light for those around me. 

Walking into journalism class every day has become the highlight of my days at Loretto, and I owe it to Mrs. Lockhart for making it such an outstanding experience. 

To all of the Loretto students who have reported for The Prax, I believe you represent the true meaning of hard work and dedication. 

To Orlyanka Tantchou, my fellow Co-Editor-in-Chief of two years, thank you for your continued support and willingness to share ideas, experiences, and memories with me. 

Through the teamwork of the entire Prax Staff, we have cemented our purpose as upstanding members of the Loretto community. 

Although my Loretto years have come to an end, I have no doubt that succeeding classes will carry on the ‘Tradition of Excellence’.

For future generations of Prax writers, prepare to immerse yourself in journalism and feel encouraged to use your talents to advocate for others. 

I will carry my Prax memories everywhere I go in life, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities it has presented to me. 

As I prepare to graduate, I take pride in telling others that Loretto Academy and The Prax have enabled me to grow into the person I am today.