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January 22, 2024

For information on admission to Notre Dame Prep, please click here.

Notre Dame Prep's E & E class learns more from national advocate for the more than 64 million Americans living with disabilities as students begin work on developing products to assist quadriplegics and others who suffer from limb loss or paralysis.

Students in Notre Dame Prep's engineering and empathy class interview Shelly Loose, president of Ms. Wheelchair America who has consulted on new products for quadriplegics.

Students in Notre Dame Prep's first-in-the-nation engineering and empathy class are in the discovery phase of the course where they gather information and research areas related to their upcoming projects.

On Monday, Jan. 22., class members interviewed Shelly Loose, president of Ms. Wheelchair America, which provides opportunities of achievement for women who happen to be wheelchair users and to educate and advocate for the more than 64 million Americans living with disabilities.

It's the third year in a row that Loose has been one of the community partners for the course, according to teacher Louise Palardy, Notre Dame's STEM specialist and manager of the school's robotics center. She said the students had well-thought-out questions and that Loose was inspirational and positive throughout the interview.

Loose, shown with her husband, Ken Loose, has consulted with NDP students for the last three years.

"One of the students asked her for advice for high school students on how to empathize with a person they may encounter who has a disability," Palardy said. "Shelly's advice was to not make assumptions on what they can and can't do. She also said that rather than jumping in right away and doing something for someone that you encounter, ask first if they need help before assuming they do.

Loose told the students to talk to the person, acknowledge them, treat them like anyone else. 

"Her other advice was for the kids to imagine that they had their difficulties," Palardy added, "which is what we will do in our next class. We will have a series of empathy exercises in an attempt to put us in the shoes of our community partners."

For information on admission to Notre Dame Prep, please click here.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School 
Notre Dame Preparatory School is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School's upper school enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame Prep's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School, visit the school’s home page at