Monthly Archives

April 2018

Student Spotlight — Meet Maria Pia Difranco, Class of 2021

By OLMA Headlines

While only a freshmen, Maria Pia Difranco, has high hopes for college. That’s what led her to OLMA for high school. “I knew a lot of people who went to OLMA and had heard good things,” she said. “It’s where I felt I would get the biggest leg up in terms of being ready for college.” With almost one year in, Maria Pia is confident that she made the right choice. “I love it here and cannot imagine being anywhere else,” she said. “This is my home. I’ve made friends that I know will be there for me no matter what. They are the kind of friendships that you just know will last a lifetime.”

Some of those friendships got their start on the soccer field this past fall and even more are forming now that Maria Pia is playing Lacrosse. “It’s crazy how close we are and how welcoming the seniors have been.” she said. “They are so patient as we get the hang of everything.”

Looking ahead to the rest of this school year, Maria Pia could not be happier about her upcoming trip to Canada as part of OLMA’s Mini-Mester program. “I’m excited to be in a different country and to explore it with my friends,” she said. “We are going to learn a lot and I absolutely love the whole idea of Mini-Mesters. They are such a great way to broaden our learning.”

With Canada under her belt, Maria Pia is hoping to travel to Italy with her family sometime soon. In the meantime, she’ll settle for another surprise trip to New York City to see her favorite band, In Real Life . “For my 15th birthday, my cousin suprised me with tickets to a New York fan event,” she said. “We got to meet the band and will be part of a music video for their new song. It was awesome.”

Maria Pia thinks the same of her teachers, especially Mrs. Backshear in Geography class. “She is so lovable and makes learning fun,” said Maria Pia. “Because of that, I’m doing really well in that class.” Maria Pia’s plan is to keep that up across the board with the goal of earning her place in the National Honor Society one day. “I enjoyed the ceremony we had this week and want to be part of that. It’s definitely a goal of mine.”

Maria Pia, we’re quite sure the NHS would be thrilled to have you. Keep up the good work and your chance will be here before you know it.

Student Spotlight: Delaney Donzola, Class of 2020

By OLMA Headlines

If there’s one thing that Delaney Donzola has learned during her first 16 years on Earth, it’s to never give up. This is evidenced by Delaney’s determination to succeed after being diagnosed with Osteochondritis Dissecans at the age of 10. Delaney explained that this condition has affected her knees. “They were basically wearing away,” she said. “The doctors performed two surgeries to try and rebuild them with bone graphs.” Those two surgeries were followed by two more to remove hardware put in place during the earlier ones — and she’s not done yet.

This condition has forced me to make to some changes,” said Delaney. “I used to dance and loved to play soccer, but those activities aren’t possible now, at least not yet.” Instead, Delaney has immersed herself in her schoolwork, clubs and student government. “I’m an OLMA Ambassador and love helping to promote our school,” she said. “I’m also part of the Interact Club. I was in Interact in middle school and just continued it when I came to OLMA. It’s all about service, which is something I really enjoy.” Delaney has also taken on a leadership role by serving as Vice President of her class. As you can see, while she has spent a lot of time on crutches, she didn’t let them slow her down one bit.

Delaney found her way to OLMA through her older sister. “Devan is a year older than me and loved it here, so it was just natural that I’d want to see what it was all about,” she said. “I shadowed a few times and was really happy with what I saw and how the school made me feel. It was a pretty easy decision.” When asked about her favorite part of attending OLMA, Delaney didn’t hesitate for a minute. “I love the family environment here,” she said. “It’s small and always feels like home.”

Looking ahead, Delaney is hoping to slowly resume some athletic activity. “I can do more this year than I could last year, so you never know,” she said. You’re certainly right about that, Delaney, especially when it comes to someone as resilient and talented as you are. Thanks for sharing your story.