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Student Spotlight: Meet Olivia Stefano, Class of 2021

By | Uncategorized

One of the best things about working at OLMA is witnessing the dramatic changes that take place in our students as they grow academically, spiritually and socially during their time here. While Olivia Stefano is only in her second year at OLMA, you can’t miss how this young woman has blossomed. The best part is that she recognizes it as well. When asked to describe what she was like when first joining OLMA Olivia responded with the words scared, small and different. Today, she describes herself much differently using words like brave, smart and myself.

Olivia credits these changes to the comfortable environment and opportunities offered at OLMA. “The small size of our school makes it easy to make friends and participate in many different things,” she said. “While my academics come first, I’m also a class officer, play two sports and manage another. It’s great to get involved, which is something I started doing in the summer before freshmen year started.” Olivia explained that she attended sports camps that summer that instantly translated into new friends. She also cited the Big-Little Sleepover as something that helped lower her anxiety level in a big way.

In addition to the activities already mentioned, Olivia serves as a Student Ambassador. She visits middle schools to share information about OLMA and provides tours during Open House and Shadow Days. She’s also participating in the Compassion Quest series of service projects. “Last week’s smile Boxes day was great and I’m excited for what we’ll be doing at the animal shelter this weekend,” she said. “I’m helping to organize a project around an upcoming MS Walk set for late next month. I enjoy being part of a school that helps us experience how great and important it is to give back.”

As sophomore year begins winding down, Olivia is excited for Mini-Mesters. I’m going to California this year and cannot wait. As she looks toward junior year one of her top goals is to be accepted into the National Honor Society. You are certainly off to a good start, Olivia. Keep it up!

Student Spotlight: Meet Reagan Kennedy, Class of 2019

By | OLMA Headlines

For OLMA senior, Reagan Kennedy, helping people is her passion. She’s also up for a challenge. Those two character traits have led to her decision to study nursing in college next fall. “I’m the kind of person who tries to put the needs of others before my own,” said Reagan. “I don’t like to see people off by themselves or looking sad. When that happens I go over to talk or offer to listen. This is something that’s pretty easy to do at OLMA because we’re all sisters. There’s a comfort level here that you just don’t find in other places.”

Reagan has also paid close attention to her studies while in high school. My grades are good and I especially enjoy science. She plans to attend Rowan University as she is impressed with their nursing program.
Other plans are a bit up in the air — literally. Prompted by her dad, Reagan is working on getting her pilot’s license. My first time flying was a spur-of-the-moment thing and I loved it. I am excited to finish my training and be able to fly solo!

She did say that she liked a challenge.

When asked about words of wisdom for incoming freshmen Reagan’s advice was to be yourself. “Explore everything you can and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Ask questions of your friends and in class. Enjoy the ride.”

That sounds like pretty good advice. Good luck, Reagan! The sky is no limit for you!

Student Spotlight: Meet Julie Andaloro, Class of 2022

By | OLMA Headlines

In a school as close-knit as OLMA it would be hard not to know Julie Andaloro. That’s because this OLMA freshman exudes enthusiasm at every turn. She is also a regular on the piano — entertaining everyone in earshot before school, during break and while waiting for a ride home. Piano, by the way, is one of the four instruments she plays.

Julie joined us after graduating from Hammonton Middle School where there were more than 500 students in her class. “You might think that going from so many kids in a huge school to OLMA would be a big shock,” said Julie. “Well, it was, but in a good way. Suddenly, I went from knowing a few close friends in my old school to knowing everyone in every grade at OLMA. It was pretty crazy, especially the way the teachers treat us. They care and are always available to help or talk. They definitely push us hard when it comes to academics, but they are also as kind as can be.”

Julie has a twin brother over at St. Augustine Prep, which is how she first became interested in OLMA. “I was looking for a change and decided to check it out, she said. “When I shadowed I heard a lot about Bravery Training and empowerment. I liked the sound of that and knew this was the place for me.”

Julie is an honors student who maintains excellent grades. She said that time management was something she had to learn fast if she was going to do well in school and still have time for sports and music. In addition to being a four-instrument musician, Julie is a three-season athlete. She played soccer in the fall, swam all winter for OLMA and a club team, and is now playing lacrosse. “I love sports, but I know that I can’t play if I don’t keep my grades up. It took a little while for me to learn how to juggle it all, but I’ve got it now.” Indeed she does.

With only a few months left of her freshman year, Julie is looking forward to her Culinary Arts Mini-Mester and summer with her new OLMA friends. Looking ahead, Julie says that she and her brother are planning to do the Spain Exchange in junior year. She loves the fact that she has this adventure to look forward to and is glad that it is something she will do with her brother.

Until then, there this plenty of adventure to be had closer to home. Knowing Julie, she will have no trouble finding it. Keep smiling, Julie.