» Girl power: Here’s something to think about the next time you see your daughter text messaging at the dinner table—rapid two-finger typing is a skill that could lead to big things. Just ask the girls at Merion Mercy Academy, whose dexterity and determination earned them a private concert with rising country star and former American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler. Spurred by junior Jill Fleming, the students took part in a text challenge hosted by 92.5 WXTU-FM, in which the school that texted the most votes to the station won a free concert. Out of 816,000 votes, Merion Mercy—with a student body of just 474—claimed more than 450,000. Introduced by XTU on-air personality Kris Stevens, Pickler strolled on stage wearing a T-shirt made by Merion Mercy seniors to the shouts and stomps of “Kel-lie, Kel-lie” and an audience decked out in red and green tees, Santa caps and red high heels (a reference to Pickler’s song, “Red High Heels”). A Southern girl to the core, Pickler was the perfect BFF, doling out hugs, answering questions about boyfriends and American Idol, and offering stories about what it was like growing up in her small North Carolina town. She also imparted some important advice on the value of wearing stylish shoes, along with some words of encouragement—that no matter where you come from, you can accomplish anything. At the end of the show, students presented Pickler with a canvas tote bag filled with Merion Mercy goodies, including a pair of flip-flops.
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