Sacred Heart alumnae share their story of hope in new film We Go Higher


Sacred Heart Greenwich alumnae Katie Danahy ‘17 and Emily Micciulli ‘17 share their stories of the events of September 11, 2001 in an empowering film coming out in the Spring of 2018. We Go Higher highlights the stories of the children who lost family members in the attacks. Delaney Colaio, a former student at Sacred Heart Greenwich and the co-producer and writer of the film, helped Katie, Emily, and others portray the attacks as more than just a date in time.

Sacred Heart alumna Katie Danahy ’17 with former student Delaney Colaio, co-writer and director of the film We Go Higher.
Courtesy of, We Go Higher, LLC.

Delaney Colaio graduated from IMG Academy in 2017. She lost her father and two uncles in the attacks on the twin towers. As a former student of Sacred Heart Greenwich, Delaney was able to connect with Emily and Katie who also lost their fathers on September 11.
Katie graduated from Sacred Heart as co-Salutatorian and now attends Dartmouth College. She hopes to shed light on aspects of the attacks that go beyond what the media often portrays. 
Katie believes that her time at Sacred Heart is what influenced her decision to be a part of the film. She credits classes, such as the Senior Seminar in Literature and Thought, and traditions, such as her class ring, for providing a strong moral foundation that called her to help other children who lost parents in 9/11.
“I remember an upperclassman once told me that you wear your ring with the heart facing in until you graduate,” Katie said. “Then, after you graduate you turn it outwards because it is time to share the heart you have cultivated with the world.” 
Sacred Heart’s mission to create a community of caring and compassionate young women presents itself through the school’s five goals and criteria. Katie strives to live out goal three: a social awareness which impels to action. She wishes to inspire the people around her the same way Sacred Heart inspired her.
Emily Micciulli ’17 and her sister Sara Micciulli ’19 with their father, William.
Couresty of Sara Micciulli ’19

“We, the children of 9/11, have spent 16 years restoring our compassion, forgiveness, and faith in humanity and now, it is time to share what we have learned, overcame, and risen above with the rest of the world so others can do the same,” Katie said.
Emily, who attends Georgetown University, also had the opportunity to share her story in the documentary.
“This movie forced me to learn a remarkable amount about myself, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it,” Emily said. “While I struggled to answer deep personal questions, I allowed myself to open up and verbalize my inner thoughts. This gave me strength, hope, and courage that I never felt before, and it gave me comfort knowing I have a community to cope with me.”
We Go Higher is a unique documentary that allows the children of 9/11 to share as well as reclaim their stories of grief, healing, and forgiveness. The producer of this documentary, Ms. Sara Hirsh Bordo, supported the process and understood it was crucial to the film that they were able to relate these stories in an honest and safe environment.
“We were told not to hold back and say whatever we want,” Katie said.
Sacred Heart alumna Katie Danahy ’17 with Delaney Colaio working behind the scenes of We Go Higher.
Courtesy of, We Go Higher, LLC.

Not only did We Go Higher allow Katie and Emily to share their own versions of their story, but it also brought a community together that they did not know existed. With the help of Katie and Emily, Delaney embarked on a journey to bring this community of 9/11 children together and have them tell their stories their way, according to Delaney focused on the empowerment of the film, and bringing the community together, rather than dwelling on the past.
This film has already had major success. We Go Higher partnered with successful companies such as Facebook, Adobe, and UBS. Ms. Bordo worked at her own expense for the majority of the film.
Women Rising and Indigogo have also aided the production by fundraising to help Ms. Bordo and the rest of the team finish their film. 
“I hope that the film reaches out to the other children who were affected by 9/11 and that they know they have an entire community of people mourning and coping with them. It is easy to feel alone when confronted with pain, but it is important to know how much strength and perseverance one can gain through such suffering,” Emily said. “Although it focuses on the children of 9/11, the message can be applicable to any type of adversity one might endure, and that is essentially our goal.”
-Amelia Sheehan, Staff Writer