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Seton senior's family influences pro-life stance

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Rita Rogers, a senior and class valedictorian at Seton School in Manassas, must look no further than her family for inspiration when it comes to developing her pro-life stance. Her sister, Gabbi, has a rare genetic condition called Mowat-Wilson Syndrome and a condition called complete agenesis of the corpus callosum.


“The corpus callosum is the part of the midbrain that is the main connection between the two hemispheres; Gabbi’s is completely missing,” said Rogers. “She is my best friend.”


Her aunt has Down syndrome and “has played a huge part in my life since the moment I was born. She has quite a sense of humor, and always makes me laugh,” said Rogers. “She is one of the most faithful and prayerful people I know.” 


Rogers’ sister and aunt are her inspiration.


“Many times, babies are aborted because of their disabilities, but the lives of my sister and my aunt are living examples of how valuable each and every human life is,” she said.
Rogers’ mother almost died when she gave birth to her son. “This is another firsthand experience of the intrinsic, unconditional beauty of human life, why life is something we should always cherish and advocate for,” said Rogers.


Rogers has won several contests for her pro-life essays and speeches.


“I participated in the Virginia Society for Human Life Alex and Geline Williams Pro-Life Oratory Contest in Richmond May 4,” she said. “I was honored to be chosen to represent the state of Virginia in the National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest, which will be held in July in Charleston, S.C. The focus of my speech is, through personal witness, the illustration of how disabilities or sufferings do not limit human value.”


Rogers took first place with the essay, “The Smile that Changed the World,” for the National Culture of Life Studies Essay Contest in 2019. She won first place for the Youth Apostles pro-life essay contest in 2018.


She plans to attend The Catholic University of America in Washington to study nursing.


She has taken classes at Northern Virginia Community College in Manassas and Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave. She is president of the National Honor Society, and received the National Honor Society Most Tutoring Hours award from Seton in 2018.


Rogers earned a diploma in piano studies from the National Music Teachers Association in 2017 and is qualified to become a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers. She uses her music skills at Seton, where she plays piano for Masses and school programs, and she plays with the jazz band. Rogers has worked as a caregiver of children ages 1-11, including those with special needs, as well as the elderly.


The spirituality of Seton has had an impact on Rogers during her time at the school.


“One of the most apparent and influential aspects about the Seton family is keeping Christ at the center of our studies, our activities, our lives,” she said. “That aspect has influenced me, I’m sure, in more ways than I can imagine.”


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019