SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Possessing a combination of great leadership skills and boundless school spirit and pride, Karen Melendez is prepared and excited for the opportunity to make a positive impact as Union Catholic’s Student Council President for the upcoming school year.    

“It truly is an honor to be able to have been elected to represent the school as the President of the Student Council,’’ said Melendez, a senior. “I am grateful for the opportunity, and despite the circumstances, I am ready to create as much of a positive impact as I can.’’

Melendez fully understands the importance of togetherness and unity, so she’s focused and committed on making the strong bond in UC’s already tight-knit community even stronger.

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“As Student Council President, my main goal is to start initiatives that will not just bring us close as a school, but also as a community,’’ said Melendez, who lives in North Plainfield. “These past months have taught me the importance of unity and being able to express ourselves through our cultures and different views on certain subjects. One of my goals is to start a culture day, in which all the students can be able to express their backgrounds freely, and so others can be educated on the culture as well.’’

Melendez has plenty of leadership experience.  

“In middle school (at St. Bartholomew Academy in Scotch Plains), I was a class representative, which motivated me to join the Student Council once I entered high school,’’ said Melendez. “In my freshman year, I was elected as Sophomore Class President, which gave me the experience and the courage to run for Student Council President this year. Although as Sophomore Class President I didn’t get the chance to do much as I wanted, I got the opportunity to look up to the Executive Board during that time, and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of in the future.’’

Melendez has put together a strong resume at Union Catholic. She’s a Student Ambassador, a SMAC Executive Board Member, and she’s in the National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, Spanish Club, and the Connection Crew. She’s also earned First Honor Roll every marking period for every year, received Academic Excellence medals every year, earned National Spanish Exam awards, and AP Scholar Awards.

Melendez said choosing to attend Union Catholic was an easy decision.    

“I attended multiple forensics meets at Union Catholic and other events when I was at St.Bartholomew Academy, which gave me the opportunity to look around the school and I ended up loving it,’’ said Melendez. “My parents then went to go check out the school for themselves, and they also ended up liking how Union Catholic gave students the ability to thrive and succeed through academics, sports, or even clubs. I also had friends who went to Union Catholic who would tell me how amazing it was because you were able to express yourself freely without being judged, and get the opportunity to be involved in so many things.’’

What does Melendez love most about being a student at UC?

“The thing I love most about being a student at Union Catholic is that I have gotten the opportunity to have incredible teachers, who I know will support me and help me whenever I need their assistance. I love the connection there is between students and their teachers because it creates more of a friendly environment and it establishes a sense of trust.’’

Melendez has some advice for younger students who are considering attending Union Catholic.

“I would tell younger students who are considering attending UC that it is the perfect place to go to be able to truly find out what you want to do,’’ said Melendez. “Union Catholic offers a variety of programs, course selections, sports, and clubs that gives students the opportunity to explore and also feel like they are part of the community at the school. Unlike most schools, Union Catholic also offers classes on six different levels, which enables students to learn on their academic level, and encourages them to move up in class level instead of limiting them. UC also provides a sense of family where everyone in the school wants to see you succeed, prosper, and expand beyond the walls of the high school.’’

Melendez can’t believe she’s a senior already.    

 “I still can’t believe that I am already graduating this upcoming year in May,’’ said Melendez. I  will truly miss being a Union Catholic student because I was always surrounded by supportive people who I know have my best interest at heart. I will miss going to all the sporting events and cheering on the teams with the Blue Crew, but most of all I’ll miss being able to see the people I’ve created life-long friendships with every day.’’