Kelly grew up in a small, close-knit Catholic community. She was baptized and received her elementary education in the parish of Saint Bridget's in East Falls. Founded in 1853 by Saint John Neumann, the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia, Saint Bridget's was a relatively young parish, with families very familiar with one another. While attending Ravenhill Academy, a reputable Catholic girls' school, Kelly modeled fashions at local charity events with her mother and sisters. In 1942, at the age of 12, she played the lead in Don't Feed the Animals, a play produced by the Old Academy Players also in East Falls. In May 1947, she graduated from Stevens School, a socially prominent private institution in nearby Chestnut Hill, where she participated in drama and dance programs. Her graduation yearbook listed her favorite actress as Ingrid Bergman and her favorite actor as Joseph Cotten. Written in the "Stevens' Prophecy" section was: "Miss Grace P. Kelly – a famous star of stage and screen". Owing to her low mathematics scores, Kelly was rejected by Bennington College in July 1947. Despite her parents' initial disapproval, Kelly decided to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. Her father was particularly displeased with her decision, as he viewed acting as "a slim cut above streetwalker" at the time.