Mary’s profound “Yes” led me to service

By: Jessica McCarthy ‘17

Hello, my name is Jessica McCarthy and I was a part of the 2017 graduating class at Cardinal O’Hara High School. The foundation of my Catholic school education sparked my interest and led me to explore opportunities within service. During my sophomore year at The Catholic University of America I said “yes” to spending my spring break in Kingston, Jamaica on a mission trip.

Not only did we practice ministry of presence and tutor kids, we learned about the poor and marginalized casted away by society. In returning to the United States I made an effort to seek more opportunities to serve and learn about the populations around me. I became a part of the community service team at my university and had the opportunity to make serving food to those experiencing homelessness a weekly practice. God started to invite me to take on opportunities that were outside of my comfort zone. I started a faith and service club at The Busch School of Business and right before the pandemic, I was in the works of creating and leading a business school mission trip to El Salvador.

Saying “yes” to going to a third world country almost two years ago was very scary but it was so rewarding and life changing. Before moving to Washington, DC to attend college, I lived in Springfield, PA my whole life. I had little exposure to different types of populations and I was not appreciative of the fact that I would not have to worry about if I would have a roof over my head, if I would have a meal for dinner, or if I was getting a good education. I encourage anyone reading this to start small, God will meet you where you are. Service is so broad. It could be asking someone on the streets how their day is going or asking what their name is. Gandhi once said, “ The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ” I feel the most connected with Jesus when I am serving and I propose to you, no matter where you are in life to have courage to serve your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Your Tax Dollars Can Help Students Afford an O’Hara Education

“This is the only program where you can literally provide thousands of dollars to O’Hara to award in financial aid to families in need, while only costing you pennies to participate.”      ~ Paul Boston, Cardinal O’Hara Board member and current parent

Cardinal O’Hara prides itself on providing a rigorous and comprehensive education rooted in our Catholic faith. We also work tirelessly to provide financial aid for students, which in today’s world is vital to ensuring that every student who desires an O’Hara education can afford one.

the financial aid paradigm-1O’Hara provides $2.6 million in tuition assistance annually. This financial aid is funded through the tax credit program and through our O’Hara Fund. We are grateful to the donors who make gifts to support our students and our school.

You can help O’Hara students who need financial assistance by participating in the EITC/OSTC program. The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs provide businesses and individuals that pay PA taxes with a tax credit. These individuals and businesses receive a Pennsylvania tax credit equal to 90% of the contribution. Most donors will also receive federal benefit equal to approximately 4%. The process to participate in this program is simple and we have professionals who can walk you through the process step-by-step.

“The EITC/OSTC tax credit program provided by the state and administered by BLOCS, was a program that I found, to be the easiest way to help O’Hara and their families,” reflects Paul Boston. “As a CPA, who helps clients with preparing and planning for their taxes, I reviewed the program years ago to make sure that the benefits to the person contributing to the program and the benefits to the school were as good as it sounded. I found that this program is the single best way for my clients and me to help the families in our area send their child to the school that is best for him or her. The BLOCS organization makes the process of contributing to the school of your choice and receiving the tax credit provided by the State of PA, the easiest and most transparent. This is the only program where you can literally provide thousands of dollars to O’Hara to award in financial aid to families in need, while only costing you pennies to participate. I wholeheartedly endorse the tax credit program, personally and professionally.”

To learn more about how you can help O’Hara through the tax credit program, contact Jen Tuberosa at or 610.544.5679. To make a contribution to support our students through our O’Hara Fund visit

We thank the corporations and individuals who support O’Hara through the tax credit program:

  • Active Image Media, LLC
  • Bill and Barbra Adolph
  • B & E Sportswear, LP
  • Paul and Christina Boston
  • Bryn Mawr Trust Company
  • Bill and Lynn Caramanico
  • John and Erin Caramanico
  • Alvin and Kathy Clay
  • Joe and Mary Crawford
  • Chuck and Peggy Creighton
  • DAS Companies
  • Bill Daggett, Jr.
  • Charles DeFeo
  • Robert Deitz
  • Stephen Donahue
  • Derrick and Kristen Dougherty
  • Bob and Chris Dumont
  • Harold Earley
  • Essent Guaranty, Inc.
  • Marty and Susan Farrell
  • Mike and Donna Farrell
  • J & T Building Company, LP
  • Joseph and Anna Finley
  • Mike Frost
  • John and Joan Gallagher
  • Joseph and Joanne Garvey
  • Larry Giacchino
  • Thomas and Joanne Goldsmith
  • Joseph Grande
  • Gerard and Mary Griesser
  • The Griesser Group
  • Ed and Ellen Hanway
  • Jerry and Christine Haftmann
  • Tony and Mary Kate Hayden
  • Tom and Rose Ingelsby
  • Anthony Latini
  • Chuck Lawson
  • Living Assistance Services
  • Colleen and Paul Martin
  • Larry and Michele McAlee
  • Bill McDevitt
  • William and Lisa McGinnis
  • Clyde McKee
  • Edward and Cheryl Morris
  • Peter and Kathe Morris
  • Jim and Sharon O’Brien
  • Mike and Mary Kay O’Rourke
  • Ricky Palladino
  • The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • Joe and Karin Purcell
  • Patrick and Jean Reger
  • Republic Bank
  • Cary and Maryann Toner
  • Stephen and Betsy Wellman
  • Robert and Mary Gene Woods


written by Jennifer Tuberosa, Vice President of Development

Legacy of the Lion: Rick Vito ’67

Grammy-nominated guitarist and performer Rick Vito ’67 has been active in the music industry since the 1970’s, having worked as a solo artist, songwriter, session musician, and as a member of the bands of John Mayall, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger, Jackson Browne, Roger McGuinn and many other R&R Hall of Fame artists. He is probably best known as an official member of Fleetwood Mac from 1987 to 1991, and more recently as the frontman for the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band. Rick is also the recipient of the W.C. Handy Award and has 8 solo CDs and 2 solo DVDs in his long list of credits. Rick will be returning to the area on April 20 to play at Kennett Flash in Kennett Square.

Rick took a few minutes to sit down and answer some questions about his O’Hara experience in anticipation of his trip back home.

1. What elementary school did you go to?
St Francis of Assisi in Springfield.
2. Who were your closest friends at O’Hara?
I wouldn’t say I had super close friends in high school, but rather friends that I went to dances with and saw socially. I’m a loner by nature.
3. What activities were you involved in during high school (at O’Hara and outside of school–a job, volunteering, etc.)?
My daily routine was to go home and practice the guitar by listening to records. I listened mostly to the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Chuck Berry and, later, blues. I don’t read music, but I developed a pretty good ear this way, and I’ve been faking it pretty well ever since.
4. Which teacher/administrator/coach at O’Hara had the greatest impact on your life and why?
I was fond of Fr. Meehan, who was a friendly, sweet guy, and a good example of a happy man. I also liked Fr. Casey, (the former disciplinarian) whom I watched go through a personal transformation to became a terrific guy and friend to the boys whereas before, he was mostly just feared. I also liked Fr. Fulginiti because he was an actor and an artist at heart.
5. What was your favorite class?
6. What is your greatest memory from your days at O’Hara?
I used to occasionally entertain the guys in my class with comedy bits from Jonathan Winters. They all thought it was funny and there are many mentions of this in my yearbook. I guess the camaraderie that grew in three years of being in C2-A-2 gave you a sense of what people are like and how to get along with each other. Overall, they were a good bunch of guys.
7. If you could go back to your high school self and give some advice, what would it be?
“Rick, you have been given talents and now you have to learn to be more confident in that and not let anything or anybody tell you otherwise. Don’t waste time in self-doubt. Believe in yourself.”
8. What advice do you have for our many students who are musicians, in the band, performers, choir members, singers and have aspirations to continue this as a career?
Read my answer to question number 7. Put a LOT of time into preparation on whatever you do as a singer, musician or performer. Success will come if you are well prepared when opportunity knocks. If you have the goods, it will be obvious, and you’ll be the one who gets the job. Work on originality, no matter how simple that may be, because people recognize originality instantly. Come up with your own material, songs, bits, plays, works, etc. Look for collaborators that share your vision, and learn to recognize those who will waste your time or break your heart. The entertainment business is hard, so you have to love it, but also realize that you are presenting a product for people to consume, so be serious and as GREAT as you can be.
9. Do you keep in touch with any of your O’Hara classmates or teachers?
With Facebook, I’ve re-established ties with a lot of my old friends like Mike Tomasso, Frank Peditto, Dave Stott, Gus Breitmeyer and more. Some of my old buddies have come to see me perform in recent years. It’s interesting that after 50 years, people look a little different, but you can often recognize them by their eyes…the windows to the soul.
10. You are performing back here in April. A lot of your classmates are hoping to make the event. Anything you would like to say to them before the event?
I’ll thank you in advance any time you can come to see me. I hope I’ll get to spend a little time with everyone and hope I won’t mess up! 😉
Rick, thanks for taking the time to connect with us. We are proud to call you a #lion4life!
Photo and biography courtesy of

Lion Tales….Stories of Pride



Cardinal O’Hara High School will serve as a national Catholic leader in the education, spiritual formation and leadership development of young people.


To develop graduates of character, competence and confidence who are prepared to lead in this world and live forever in the next.

Our vision and mission statements provide the foundation for our aggressive strategic plan. Having successfully completed 50 years of providing an exceptional Catholic educational experience for students in Delaware County – and beyond – we now embark on “the next 50 years.” Responding to the ever-changing worlds of education and technology, the economy and the workplace, and meeting the challenge of society increasingly drifting astray from any moral anchor, O’Hara has set a course for providing a formational experience equal to none. Education, spiritual formation and leadership development are the defining elements. Focusing on the individual growth of each student in these three areas, we will stay true to our mission of developing graduates of character, competence and confidence, and to our vision of serving as a national leader as we set the example for others to emulate. This is the O’Hara way.

To celebrate all of these men and women and their stories, we have launched our “Lion Tales” blog to tell the stories (“tales”) of our lions….We will have tales of meetings with alumni from around the world. Some of our current students and faculty will share reflections based on their experiences here today. We will share the many stories that showcase the O’Hara spirit of pride, excellence and tradition.

Follow our blog. Send us story suggestions. Want to be a guest author and share your story or your expertise? Let us know. We would be blessed to have you join our team of bloggers and to share your lion tale…