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Student of the Month - May 2024 (Olliyanna McClendon)

Olliyanna McClendon.png

“She strives to do her best in school, and she is a good friend!” says Nana, this Doherty High School sophomore. Olliyanna has not had the easiest journey, but she has continued to overcome adversity with her fearless attitude and determination to accomplish her goals. After a rough start in high school, she has been able to succeed by pushing herself to develop new habits. This includes getting organized with a planner and increasing her discipline through activities such as ROTC and track. She has leaned into the healing power of music and the impact of having her own quiet time. Additionally, she now wakes up at 4:00am to ensure that her day is as productive as possible. 


Olliyanna has always loved math because she believes that math is a puzzle. She has continued to excel in her favorite subject and gives back by tutoring other sophomores and freshmen students in math. Additionally, Olliyanna volunteers at her elementary school and her church. She is passionate about helping others and aspires to begin a career dedicated entirely to this pursuit. She has always been curious about how the mind works and enjoys giving advice. So, it’s no surprise that she wants a career as a therapist. She hopes to guide teens 12-18 years old in her profession. To broaden her horizon, she wants to attend a college out of state.


Outside of school, Olliyanna is a great cook and baker! After learning of her celiac’s disease as a young child, she fell in love with alternative recipes and making them gluten free. Although she enjoys cooking side dishes, she prefers baking and anything to do with dough. She makes a fantastic cinnamon roll! 


Olliyanna is motivated by her cousin, who continues to push her to keep going. She has found community in attending the AAYLC the last two years. Consequently, she notes that it’s “nice to be surrounded by people my age that look like me.” We look forward to seeing Olliyanna again at AAYLC next year, and we can’t wait to see the impact she continues to make on young minds!

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