The Agape Award
Mercy classmates of Camila and Maya established
The Agape Award in memory of Camila and Maya
with a goal of raising the initial $25,000 to formally establish the endowment.
Gifts and pledges of any amount are deeply appreciated.
Olivia Feller '14, Cassidy McCarter '14, and Alana Wilson '14
Camila and Maya formed a deep connection during the Kairos retreat, where Camila was Maya’s retreat leader. Camila described their relationship as a special bond and said she was grateful that Maya was able to share her dreams of a bright future with her. In connection with the teachings of Mercy and the messages of the Kairos retreat, we named this award The Agape Award. Agape ["aga-pay"] is universal love, such as the love for strangers, nature, or God. It does not depend on filiation or familiarity. Also called charity by Christian thinkers, agape can be said to encompass the modern concept of altruism, as defined as unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Camila and Maya undoubtedly lived out the meaning of agape, and this award will continue their legacy of supporting and helping others.
Camila Ron Ruiz ‘14
Camila Ron Ruiz was a San Francisco native and member of the Baha’i faith. She attended St. Catherine’s of Siena before attending Mercy High School, Burlingame where she participated in cheerleading, chorale, tri-school productions, campus ministry, and student government. She valued her Mercy education and the support of the community during times of both joy and loss. When her mother lost a long-fought battle with cancer in 2012, Camila remained resilient and found strength through the support of her classmates and faculty. Camila shined in her leadership roles as student body president, a Kairos retreat leader, and the 2014 “Making a Difference” speaker. She was a treasured member of the Class of 2014 and her soul truly embodied the Mercy mission.
After graduating from Mercy, she attended the University of California, Santa Cruz where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. During her time in college, she was an active member in Alpha Psi sorority and Acquire A Cappella where she was able to share many of her gifts with others.
Camila then worked as a legal assistant at Buffington & Aaron where she focused on tax and business law. After spending nearly a year at Buffington & Aaron, Camila became a legal assistant at Outten & Golden where she was able to focus on workplace fairness. Camila aspired to pursue a legal career rooted in equity, compassion, and accuracy in the law.
Before her passing, Camila had started law school at the University of San Francisco. She was a champion for social justice and was admired by all who knew her. Even in the short amount of time she was at USF, she was commended by her professors and fellow law students for her dedication and willingness to serve underprivileged communities.
Camila was known by many for her natural leadership abilities, kind heart, beautiful smile, and mesmerizing voice. She was an advocate for change and an ally to all. She enjoyed challenging herself academically, sharing her talents as a singer, and serving as a leader in many capacities. Most importantly, she cared so deeply for others; she valued her friendships, and her family was her whole world.
In the words of Mercy foundress, Catherine McAuley, “We should be as shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” No matter her personal struggles, Camila persisted in being a “shining lamp” for all around her each and every day. Camila was destined to accomplish great things and although she is no longer here with us in life, we hope that her legacy will continue to inspire others. (Deceased 9.18.19)
Maya Isabelle Thone ‘15
Maya Isabelle Thone was a local of Pacifica. She practiced the Catholic faith, attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Class of ‘11), and graduated from Mercy High School, Burlingame in 2015.
Maya was known for her radiant, bubbly, and giving personality. In 2011, she won the Bud and Madeline Duggan Kindness Award, awarded to one of nine students at seven different schools in the Bay Area. The award was meant “to recognize a person for their acts of thoughtfulness and consideration,” according to the Duggan family, and “is awarded to someone who is “consistently kind to others.” There are no better words to describe Maya and how she lived every day.
She loved the sisterhood she found at Mercy and the sisterhood loved her just as much. Maya was an active and enthusiastic member of the Mercy community. She was involved with the Yearbook Club, attended the Kairos retreat, and was a supporter of Tri-School theatre. Aside from extracurricular activities, Maya also shined in the classroom, receiving multiple awards for her excellent academic performance. She received the Honors Biology Award, Honors Algebra Award, and was a California Scholarship Federation Life member. At the end of her senior year, she was voted “Friendliest” by her classmates. Her senior quote perfectly captures her spirit: “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” (Nelson Mandela).
After graduating from high school, Maya began her undergraduate studies, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Dominican University in San Rafael. Maya completed clinical rotations in Medical-Surgical 1 and Geriatrics at Kaiser San Rafael where she was able to further develop her nursing skills. She was always the last to leave the medical surgical unit because she was either helping out the nurses, learning a new task, or observing a procedure she hadn’t seen before. She was well on her way to becoming a nurse before she tragically passed away on December 26, 2017, during her junior year.
Maya positively influenced all those she met, especially her classmates, inspiring them with her passion to serve the community and her desire to make an impact in the world. Her fellow Mercy classmates, as well as her cohort of nursing students, will always remember her kind spirit and loving nature. Although Maya wasn’t able to complete her degree and share her talents with the world, we hope this scholarship will allow her memory to live on and provide support for future Mercy students to achieve their goals. Maya lived by the motto, “be the reason someone smiles today.” Maya gave anyone who knew her a reason to smile. (Deceased 12.27.17)
The following criteria WILL be used for determining the recipient of the award:
The recipient should be a young woman who has exhibited qualities that show she embodies the spirit of Mercy and the spirits of both Camila and Maya. These demonstrated qualities should include leadership, compassion, ambition, work ethic, and a desire to make the world a better place.
In good academic and disciplinary standing with a passion for learning who is involved in a minimum of two different extracurricular activities such as student council, the arts, clubs, tri-school, Link Crew, community based projects, sports, etc.
The recipient should be a student of color.
The recipient of the scholarship does not necessarily need to be from a need based family but a family for whom the scholarship could make a difference
Preferably comes from a single-parent household.