Alumnae Spotlight: Natasha Nechay Arnold '98 and Erika Morant '03
Natasha Nechay Arnold '98 and Erika Morant '03 were students at Maryvale whose daily paths may have unwittingly crossed even though they were five years apart. More than 20 years later, these Maryvale alumnae became acquainted as fellow Alumnae Board members and Co-Chairs of Maryvale's Virtual 75th Birthday Bash.
Natasha came to Maryvale as a seventh grader. After graduating in 1998, she attended Notre Dame of Maryland University as a Communications/Public Relations major until she joined her family's business, Industrial Refrigeration Service, Inc. Natasha learned the business from the bottom up and now serves as president of the company. Her duties include daily operations, accounting and client relations. However, Natasha's favorite task is customer service. She enjoys answering the phones, visiting job sites and entertaining clients.
Natasha credits her experience at Maryvale for developing confidence that "girls can do anything!" She thrived at Maryvale, supported by caring teachers, including Carol Malone and Jeanie Grant, as well as academic accommodations as a student with a learning difference. Natasha found her niche in the Maryvale environment, developing confidence in public speaking and organization. Her enthusiasm and organizational skills have led her to plan every reunion for the Class of 1998 since graduation. Natasha now enjoys sharing the Maryvale experience with her daughter, Addison '26.
Erika Morant attended Maryvale for seven years, having arrived in the sixth grade. After graduating in 2003,
Erika attended Syracuse University where she earned a bachelor's degree in finance with a minor in fashion. After college, Erika moved to New York City. She describes her experience of "descending the corporate ladder" at Macy's, influencing her decision to return to school. She earned a masters degree in Event Management from George Washington University.
Erika's education and background have her wearing many hats in her career. She is currently a government contractor for the Department of Veterans Affairs where she manages and cultivates relationships with business partners for developing veteran business programming. She also operates her own events planning and "day of" coach business and is writing a book about the subject.
Grateful for her Maryvale experience, Erika found the all-girls setting to encourage "no boundaries" for students. The academic work was challenging, but Erika developed her own "edge" which emboldened her to avoid holding back in college. During high school, Erika was a reliable and capable public speaker, serving as a champion for Maryvale at independent schools admissions fairs. Her champions include her mother who never allowed her to quit and Maryvale's faculty, particularly Carol Malone, who helped her find her writing style. "Maryvale gives students ways to fit in and stand out at the same time," Erika said.
As often happens, Maryvale alumnae find new friends after graduating through joint projects at the school, which is true for this dynamic duo. Natasha and Erika, who unknowingly passed each other in the halls at Maryvale many years ago, are now leading the Virtual 75th Birthday Bash with their expertise, creativity, enthusiasm and love for their school. Lucky Maryvale!
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