Graduating in the final class of Matignon High School, Molly Walsh, lifelong South Boston resident, is filled with gratitude despite the closure of a school she loved. She is headed to the University of New Hampshire with sensitivity and thoughtful goals.
“I went to Boston Latin Academy from grades 7-9 after Boston Catholic Academy but transferred to Matignon to play hockey. It became like a family. The teachers took the time to know you at a deeper level and that pushed me to want to do better,” she said. “I made so many friends and got to know and was supported by coaches too,” she said. Molly played hockey and lacrosse at Matignon.
The challenges of this graduating class are well documented, and Molly, a talented student and athlete, was not immune to related issues. During COVID, the rich interpersonal style with which she sems to thrive was greatly diminished as remote learning and concerns about her own health and family mounted. “It was just hard, and I can’t say it wasn’t. I was isolated and (a close family member) has autoimmune issues, and I was so worried that I would expose her. Even after the restrictions were lifted, I was still nervous,” she said.
Every setback seems to lead to new learning for this resilient graduate. “I learned to prioritize mental health, and never to take anything for granted. A classmate committed suicide and though not a close friend, it had a real impact on me. I learned how to advocate for myself, and others. When you learn about being down and then come back, you want to help others know that it is possible,” she said.
So, headed to UNH with an interest in homeland security, computer science and psychology, the middle child of Michael and Carol Walsh, will undoubtedly bring forth the commitment and values of service developed in her three-generation family.
Molly is a keen observer of life and especially of the beloved Neighborhood House. “I love everything the Neighborhood House does. I started going to a girls’ group in the 6th grade and then worked there,” she said. “It is just a great place.”
She is also astute about South Boston and her place in it. “It’s been changing ever since I can remember, and my grandma says the same! The upside is a downside because you can have such good friends that you can get stuck, and not see anything else. It’s hard to leave but there is more” she said. The part I like best here though is the winter when you can hear a pin drop. It’s beautiful then.”
Molly Walsh is the kind of person who readily lists many people who have been important to her and begins “my parents, grandparents and my nana especially, my older brother , Michael, a junior at BU, Kathy Lafferty, my friends mother, Miss Patty, a teacher/advisor at Matignon who took the time to know and support us,” she said.
Naturally, she suspects she may get homesick. “Especially for my dog, cat, and grandparents,” she said. As she prepares to end her high school life, much of which was impacted by the pandemic, and an alma mater that is closing, she will soon by leaving a community and closely connected family, but her sights are well positioned.
“I am excited,” she said. “This is about forming independence and becoming an adult. I know 100 percent, that I will contribute in whatever I decide to do.”
Congratulations, Molly! South Boston is proud of you.
(Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org If you know of a graduate from South Boston who you would like to see profiled)