Meet Monica Pena

Monica Pena

Monica Pena

By Joan Frances –

Calvary Episcopal Preparatory in Richmond takes pride in educating the “whole child.” The school’s faculty and staff know that a well-rounded educational experience includes hands-on learning. Students are engaged in academics, sports and extracurricular activities on a regular basis, including Bible class, chapel three days a week, physical education, choir, theater arts, art, Spanish, library lessons and computer instruction. Seniors graduate fully prepared to take the next step in life. One senior who will be remembered even by the youngest students for her commitment to others and her selfless endeavors is Monica Pena.

Monica has been a student at Calvary for 13 years, since kindergarten. She is a straight “A” student and a member of the student council, serving as a representative her freshman year and treasurer her junior and senior years. Monica was bestowed the “Amicus Generous” Award her junior year and has been involved in yearbook and journalism. She was also awarded a Youth in Philanthropy scholarship her junior year.

Monica’s forte is art, and she has received numerous awards for her endeavors. As a participant at the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) state competition, Monica placed  second and fourth place in art, fifth place in poetry and seventh place in prose interpretation. She was awarded first place at the Fort Bend County Fair and third place at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for her art.

When asked why being a leader is fulfilling to her, Monica said, “I have the opportunity to help others be the best they can be. I love the look on their faces when they’ve done something incredible.  Sharing a passion with other people not only confirms my commitment to creativity but allows me to learn from others as well.”

Headmaster Malcolm Smith, Monica Pena  and art teacher Mary Jean DuVal.

Headmaster Malcolm Smith, Monica Pena
and art teacher Mary Jean DuVal.

One value that Monica lives by is altruism. “I believe what Maya Angelou said: ‘At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did; they will remember how you made them feel.’ I love helping people with their dreams or lifting someone’s spirit. Helping people feel good makes me feel good.”

Her favorite teacher is Renita Myers, her government teacher, homeroom teacher and the high school team leader. “She is in charge of everything high school related, and I appreciate that she takes personal time to accompany us to our events. Her smile lights up a room, and she always has a plan. As a teacher, she is incredible and keeps things interesting. As a homeroom teacher, she keeps her students informed and upbeat, and as a team leader, she teaches them how to work together and really cares about all they do.”

One thing Monica treasures the most about her high school experience is, “the family atmosphere. We’re all so close. We help and support each other, and we get things done and make a great team.”

Monica attends Graeber Road Church of Christ and volunteers at the Beacon in Houston, where she helps provide hot meals to underserved areas and the homeless. She also is engaged at every school event possible. Monica has been on four separate mission trips to help the homeless in Houston.

Monica will attend Wharton County Junior College in the fall and then the University of Houston and will major in industrial design. Congratulations on your commitment to success and generous heart Monica, and good luck as you continue to develop your undeniable talent for your future.