Capital Campaign » Together Unstoppable - The Capital Campaign for St. Catharine Academy: Athlete Profiles

Together Unstoppable - The Capital Campaign for St. Catharine Academy: Athlete Profiles

Emmalee F. ‘24: Serving up successEmmalee in volleyball uniform

Sports are a passion for Emmalee Fardella. A competitive swimmer who fell in love with volleyball after playing in middle school, Emmalee took that love with her to St. Catharine Academy (SCA), where she recently graduated as a member of the Class of 2024.

While having the opportunity to continue her athletic pursuits was a consideration when she was deciding on a high school, Emmalee recalls that “I chose St. Catharine for the education. It has great programs that helped my style of learning. Everyone cares about you, and I was paired with teachers who really want you to learn and succeed,” she explains. 

And succeed she has. With solid academic and athletic skills, Emmalee received several awards for her accomplishments, including first honors throughout senior year, Most Improved Player for three consecutive years, and the Coaches’ Award in senior year. She was also named captain of the varsity volleyball team. Outside of school, Emmalee continues to swim competitively as she has for more than 13 years.

As an athlete, one of the things Emmalee noticed when she first got to SCA was how different its sports facilities were from those of her middle school and other schools at which she’d played. “The gym was definitely smaller than what I was used to coming from a public school,” she says, adding that although “the facilities are nice, the serving space is very short,” affecting the team’s ability to make strong serves and play as effectively.

So, when SCA launched its Together Unstoppable capital campaign in April, Emmalee was especially excited about its plans to construct a new state-of-the-art athletics and wellness facility on campus. The center will enable SCA to further support the health and personal growth of its students and other young women in the Bronx and be a valuable resource for the broader community, allowing the school to expand its outreach programs, sporting and arts events, and school activities. 

The plans for the new facility are very much aligned with Emmalee’s personal goals: She’s been awarded a partial scholarship to Nova Southeastern University in Florida, where she’s been accepted to the Student Success Scholar program and plans to study nutrition, continue to swim competitively, and play intramural volleyball. 

As she leaves SCA, Emmalee says she believes that “Having a new facility will help new students train better, learn the sport better, and be better athletes. And they’ll love the sport more.” As importantly, she hopes it will make their experience at SCA even more memorable. “I had an amazing four years at St. Catharine, and I’ll always remember the sense of sisterhood I found here, and the bonds I made. I know my friends will be friends for life.”

With $1,137,095 raised to date toward our $3,000,000 goal, the Together Unstoppable campaign is committed to break ground in 2025.

Jocelyn portrait with basketballJocelyn Swavy and SCA: Together Unstoppable 

When Jocelyn Swavy was deciding on a high school, she could have chosen to continue her education close to home. Instead, for the past four years she’s spent a good part of every school day commuting from Pennsylvania to the Bronx to study at St. Catharine Academy (SCA).

“I’m focused on achieving excellence in everything I do,” says Jocelyn, a graduating senior and aspiring lawyer who’s headed to Cornell University to study political science. At SCA, she found “a sisterhood” as well as an environment in which she would not only thrive but excel. “The teachers are so supportive and always willing to help” with her studies, or as mentors and life coaches, she says. 

Her hard work and the support and camaraderie she’s experienced at SCA have helped Jocelyn compile an outstanding list of accomplishments: She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society, and the Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society (among others). She also serves as Student Council President and gives back to SCA through her involvement and leadership in school activities, while volunteering in her community.

One of SCA’s star athletes, Jocelyn plays power forward on the school’s varsity basketball team, and this year she helped lead them to the finals—something she considers one of her proudest achievements. “No one really thought we’d make it past the first game, but we made it to the final three,” she shares. “We gave it our all, and I’m so proud because it felt like the culmination of all my years of playing basketball.”

Her love of the game is palpable, and one of the reasons Jocelyn gives her time to SCA’s Together Unstoppable capital campaign to construct a state-of-the-art athletics and wellness facility on campus. The center will focus on the health and personal growth of young women in the Bronx, and enhance SCA’s ability to educate students in mind, body, and spirit. It will also be a valuable resource for the broader community, allowing for outreach programs, sporting and arts events, and school activities. 

Jocelyn’s involvement in Together Unstoppable is very personal. “The love I’ve received from SCA is why I’m involved,” she says, and she considers it a way to give back to the school that has given her so much. “Right now, our teams don’t have any locker rooms or showers. We don’t have a standard-sized gym, and that affects our game. There are certain shots we can’t take because the gym is too small,” she explains, adding that there’s also not enough room for the teams’ family and friends to come cheer them on.  

Jocelyn believes that the new athletics and wellness facility will help strengthen school spirit and students’ pride in SCA and make a difference for young women and others in the surrounding community. “A new gym will enable our students to train better and become better athletes and make it easier for SCA to recruit other student athletes.”