After mother’s death, McNamara senior hopes to become psychologist and help others face challenges

With four siblings who preceded her at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, Aliyah Thomas said there wasn’t really any decision to make about whether to go there herself. “Everyone at McNamara already knew me,” when she started four years ago, she said.

That community stretching across nearly two generations of Thomas siblings – her eldest brother is 18 years older than her — is part of what has kept her on track with schoolwork and holding onto her faith in God as her mother battled breast cancer and died when Aliyah was 14, the day after her Confirmation.

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