Mosaic Ambassador Maria Biasbas Briggs Write Up in Rosati Kain Magazine

In 1975, Maria Biasbas found herselfand her family moving from Chicagoto St. Louis. As the first-born of animmigrant family, Maria felt anxiousabout leaving the racially-diverseneighborhood of Rogers Park torelocate to south St. Louis where noone looked like her. She had juststarted 4th grade and instantly feltout of place. “The move hit me hard,”Maria recalls. “Being Asian-Hispanic,I was treated poorly and had to facediscrimination. I just wanted to fit in.

”When it came time to look at highschools, it was Maria’s father whourged her to consider Rosati-Kain,and it was there she found whatshe was looking for — people whowelcomed her. Maria excelled in herclasses and found her niche throughjoining Library Guild, InstrumentalEnsemble, Advanced Chorus, andR-K Voices.

Maria’s newfound confidence was awelcome adjustment, although it mayhave caused some friction with theprincipal at the time, Sr. MargaretAnn. It was during one of their“discussions” that an official banon corduroy pants was instituted.“Back in high school, I may havesounded like a rebel, but unless girlswent to Rosati-Kain, they didn’t getit. They just thought I was beingargumentative,” Maria explains.But there was more to Maria’s highschool experience than finding herown voice; it was, in fact, becominga member of the notable R-K Voicesthat led her on her next journey.Since the 1950s, the R-K Voiceshave performed Christmas carolsat St. Louis City Hall each year. InDecember of 1983, this traditionresulted in a chance meeting withWilliam Danforth, Chancellor ofWashington University. ChancellorDanforth asked Maria what collegesshe was considering. “I remembertelling him Stanford, Northwestern,and just about every other school,but Wash U,” Maria recalls. He justlooked at Maria and said, “There isan important school missing fromyour list. You are overlooking a greatschool in your own backyard.”

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