Whereas some 25-year-olds find themselves grappling with the newly dubbed “quarter-life crisis,” Rachel Harkins, of Kingsville, is right on track to accomplishing her goals. Following a four-year stint as campus ministry director at her alma mater Mount de Sales Academy for Girls in
"Being a role model is a great responsibility and a great privilege at the same time," Rachel says. "For me to show young women they can be happy, fun, engaging and still have their moral character and pursue their passions is a strong message people don't hear from pop culture."
Rachel credits her time as a student at Mount de Sales with helping her to form her independence as a woman. After graduating high school, Rachel attended Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio where she obtained her bachelor's degree in theology and religious education.
Eventually, Rachel returned to Mount de Sales to jumpstart the school's campus ministry program. "I was so excited to offer an opportunity outside of the classroom for students to actively participate in their faith," she says. "Instead of making religion a grade and a subject, I want it to be a lifestyle."
During her tenure at Mount de Sales, Rachel organized retreats and summer service trips for the students, including international trips to World Youth Day, a youth-oriented Catholic event that was most recently held in Madrid, Spain. "It was awesome," she says. "One of my career goals is to take students on a pilgrimage to see the Holy Father."
In addition to teaching religion at John Carroll, Rachel also plays the harp professionally for weddings, private parties and other special events. She began playing the harp when she was 8 years old at the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore. "I went to a party at St. Stephen Church [in Kingsville] and saw a harpist playing," Rachel says. "I asked my parents to take me to a demonstration, and I studied at Peabody for 10 years."
Previously, Rachel competed in beauty pageants where she played the harp during the talent portion. She held the title of Miss Teen Northern Chesapeake 2003, Miss Historic Maryland 2009 and Miss Appalachia 2010. Rachel was also second runner-up to Miss Teen Maryland 2003 and was a semi-finalist for Miss Maryland 2009 and 2010.
When she’s not busy teaching or playing the harp, Rachel takes classes at