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Student Spotlight: Meet Emily Torrence, Class of 2020

By OLMA Headlines

(Originally published on October 4, 2019.)

Every so often, a student transfers to OLMA as an upperclassman and fits in so well that in no time at all it’s hard to remember that she hasn’t been here since day one. That is Emily Torrence. Now a senior, Emily transferred to OLMA as a junior — on the first day of school. Of course, we knew right away that she was exactly the type of young woman that OLMA was made for. We were thrilled to have her and in true OLMA fashion, her new sisters welcomed her with open arms.

Emily jumped right in. She joined Chorus and Select Chorus. She missed tryouts for the musical but performed along with other OLMA students in the St. Augustine Cabaret. She sang at Junior Ring Mass and took an active role in the Interact Club. Emily also excelled academically and was inducted into the National Honor Society. This year, Emily is helping to manage Chorus, is a member of Select Chorus and will play “Wednesday” in the Adams Family musical set for November. But that’s not all.

Tonight, Emily will compete in a local prelim to the Miss America pageant with hopes of moving on to become Miss New Jersey. As a contestant, she is raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network and for the Miss America Scholarship Fund. Her personal platform, though is what excites her the most. “I love environmental and marine science and am passionate about keeping our waterways clean and safe,” she said. “That’s why I chose ‘Keep the Seas Plastic Free’ as my personal platform. I’m working on educating people about how the use of plastic affects the environment.” It was this same passion that inspired Emily to choose Ms. Coppinger’s Biodiversity Mini-Mester last spring. She and a group of other students traveled to Cedar Key, FL. In addition to snorkeling with manatees and kayaking down the Swanee River, Emily helped make a television commercial about the need to reduce the use of plastic. It later aired on local channels.

Not surprisingly, Emily hopes to study Marine Biology and Law in college with the goal of pursuing a career in Environmental Law. She has applied to 11 colleges. Her top three include the University of Miami, Pepperdine and Eckerd College. “My top choice is the University of Miami, but I love Eckerd too,” she said. “When I visited it gave me OLMA vibes, so that’s also a top contender.” While Emily is a self-proclaimed Math and Science girl, she does quite well on the Language Arts front too. Last year she took AP Language Arts and scored a very impressive 5 on the AP test. Can you say, WOW?

Emily has it all, which is why we know she will shine at tonight’s pageant. Congratulations and go get ’em, Emily!

Student Spotlight: Meet Lucia Scarpinato, Class of 2022

By OLMA Headlines

Growing up in the restaurant business is no easy task, but OLMA sophomore, Lucia Scarpinato says that it’s also fun and rewarding and has taught her some valuable life lessons. “At a very young age, I started learning how to talk with people and to treat them well,” she said. “I also learned the importance of having a good work ethic. My dad has been in the restaurant business for his whole life. He works so hard and has inspired me to want to do the same. I hope to follow in his footsteps and run the restaurant one day.” 

While Lucia has some big shoes to fill, she is most definitely up for the task. A young woman who craves structure and thrives on constant activity, Lucia is becoming a master multitasker. Academics come first, followed by her family responsibilities and her life as a competitive equestrian — a good one. “I’ve been riding since I was five years old and competing for the last six years,” she said. “I compete in dressage, cross country and show jumping,” Most recently, Lucia competed in the American Eventing Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park where she placed 13th. It was her first championship, so she was very pleased and happy to return home with a safe horse. 

Speaking of her horse, he lives in Shamong where Lucia can be found by 4 PM almost every day. “Horses are like people when it comes to being emotional and sensitive,” she said. “He gets so excited when he sees me coming every day.” According to Lucia, he also has quite the game face at competitions. “They know when to be serious. They can feel the adrenaline in the air.” 

Something special was also in the air on the day Lucia first shadowed at OLMA. “I just knew that this was the place for me,” said Lucia. “Everyone was so close, just like family. To me, OLMA is nothing short of amazing, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” Her favorite teacher? That would be Mrs. Blackshear. “Mrs. B is like my best friend,” she said, “My locker is right near her classroom, and she has gotten to know me. She cares and is always there to talk. You don’t get that anywhere else.” 

While college is still a long way off, Lucia is interested in studying business. “I went on the OLMA college tour this summer and was impressed with Rider University’s Business Program,” she said. “I still have a lot of looking to do.” One thing she is sure about is bringing her horse. “Wherever I go, he goes,” she said. “Have horse, will travel.” 

Meaghan Baker Recognized by Loyola University President

By Alumni, OLMA Headlines

An OLMA alumna shoutout goes to Meaghan Baker, Class of 2018! This young woman is making her mark at Loyola University and in the Baltimore community. Meaghan was recognized by Loyola’s president and staff for her contributions and commitment to service. Meaghan carved out a few hours every week last year to host and mentor underprivileged adolescents in the greater Baltimore community. Way to go, Meaghan. We are proud of you!

Student Spotlight: Meet Maya Lee, Class of 2022

By OLMA Headlines

Some might say that Maya Lee’s arrival at OLMA as a sophomore this year was pure fate. While she wasn’t completely happy at her old school she didn’t have any immediate plans to make a move.

That all changed last year in the most unexpected of places. “I was running late to a field hockey scrimmage between my school and OLMA,” said Maya. “When I arrived, my coach told me that OLMA was short one player so I volunteered to join them so we could still play the game. I was a little nervous at first, but the girls treated me like I was part of their team and we had a great time.” That’s when the wheels started turning.

“I liked where I was, but wasn’t challenged at all academically,” said Maya. “Then I found out more about OLMA from my club team, Five Star Field Hockey, and liked what I heard. I decided to check it out and shadowed for a day. That’s all it took. When I got home I told my mom that I had to come here.”

Mom made it happen and the rest is history. Maya says that she loves all of her classes so far and is definitely challenged, especially in Chemistry. “I’m also taking an online course for the first time,” she said. “It takes some getting used to, but it’s going well so far.” She is also making her mark as part of the Field Hockey Team. “Our team is new, but the girls are really good,” she said. “We’re surprising people and that’s fun. We have a great coach and play hard every day.”

Looking ahead to this year, Maya is excited to participate in Sisterhood Day and other OLMA traditions. She’s also anxiously awaiting word on this year’s Mini-Mester choices. For now, she’s focused on her studies and on finishing the Field Hockey season strong. We are so glad you’re here, Maya!