Determination, teamwork, and commitment have been, and will undoubtedly continue to be values of this Matignon High 2023 graduate. Heading to New England College in Henniker, NH, Mae, 18, will be leaving her lifelong home in South Boston as she optimistically launches the next stage.

“I expect to be homesick, 100 percent,” she said, “It’s a bit scary, especially being in another state, but the independence will be fun, and It’s a place I can continue with sports, and being on my own will be good.”

In addition to earning the highest average in her history class, Mae plays hockey and lacrosse and received an award for excellence in the two sports. She plans to major in Sports Management and possibly minor in Athletic Training/Kinesiology.

Attending the Murphy School and then Boston Collegiate, she knew sports would play prominently in her high school choice. “I decided on Matignon because I could play both of my sports and it was an environment that was like a community and family,” she said. “My favorite subject was English.”

Mae expresses herself with a soft confidence and in responding to questions, naturally integrates a sensitivity to others.

“I feel sad that Matignon is closing. It would have been nice to go back, but I feel badly that the teachers have to find other jobs and the underclassman have had to find other schools,” she said.

High school was complex for all graduates this year due to a never-before disruption due to COVID-19, and a radically distinct experience of key educational and social years. The impact was not lost on Mae, a capable and engaged student.

“It was so hard to learn,” she said, “We were all remote at the end of freshman year, and hybrid my sophomore year for the most part. On zoom, it felt hard to talk, and the teachers were begging us to keep our cameras on and talk, but then they couldn’t always notice us when they had to look at those in the classroom and the group on remote. A lot of kids had anxiety and depression because they couldn’t see their friends. People don’t realize how important it is to be around other people.”

The importance of community seems integral to the life of Mae Lafferty. Her mother, Kathy Lafferty, is the Director of the Neighborhood House, and she volunteered there, as well as working for the past couple of years at the Condon School Summer Program. “I love working with kids,” she said.

“My mom works to make the community a better place and my dad, “Shine” Lafferty is a hard worker and I wanted him to be proud of me,” she said. In addition, she names Teddy Cunniff, from the South Boston skating rink who taught her about hockey.  It was her young skating experience that is now foretelling a career, as she recalls the support from Teddy and her coach, David Ivaska.

An extended family and her best friend, Molly, have rounded out this graduate’s positive experience of South Boston and has shaped her perspective. Her older brother attends Plymouth State University in N.H. “I love being part of a community where you know so many people and being part of that feels good,” she said.” The downside is the problem with substance abuse so many people have here, and the affordability of the community long-term.”

“What is most important to me is giving back. I want to help my community and kids,” she said. Mae Lafferty has already made academic; athletic and community contributions and it is easy to imagine many more to come.

Congratulations, Mae! Your community is proud of you.