Notre Dame Prep students throw surprise for Sister Mendoza

Notre Dame Prep students surprise Sister Mendoza (submitted photo)

Notre Dame Prep students surprise Sister Mendoza (submitted photo)

When student leaders at Notre Dame Preparatory in Scottsdale heard about the DUDE. be nice Project, they were inspired to try their own version of a “be nice” surprise on Dec. 11, honoring Director of Campus Ministry Sister Yolanda Mendoza IBVM.

The DUDE. be nice Project is a platform to inspire young people to build a positive community by recognizing a person or group in a fun, creative and meaningful way, according to a press release.

Although it wasn’t an official “DUDE. be nice” surprise, the effect on Sister Mendoza, affectionately known as “Sister Yo,” was just as precious. The students planned the entire surprise just outside Sister Mendoza’s office in the Student Activities Center at NDP.

“They had been working under my nose the whole time,” she stated in the release. “It just made my day.”

More than a hundred students, faculty and staff gathered in the Notre Dame Prep gymnasium with signs, flowers and letters to show Sister Mendoza just what she means to them. Members of NDP Live!, the multimedia club, produced a video, with several people on campus telling “Sister Yo” that she is loved.

“It was overwhelming,” she stated in the release. “Maybe by seeing the impact the kids can have and how they can make a difference for somebody, it will inspire them to do it more.”

Sister Yo doing the electric slide (submitted photo)

Sister Yo doing the electric slide (submitted photo)

Sister Mendoza began as director of campus ministry in 2004. She plans and facilitates student retreats and days of reflection. She organizes the monthly all-school Mass and special prayer services. Everyday after lunch she leads the entire school in the daily examen, where she ends the prayer with her signature line, “And do know that you are loved.”

“The students wanted her to know that she is loved,” stated Brenda Beers, director of student activities and advisor of student government association, in the release.

After the surprise, Sister Mendoza, who entered religious life 37-years-ago, led all those in attendance in the electric slide.

“The kids did this all by themselves, and that’s pretty amazing,” she stated in the release. “It made more than just my day.”

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