Student Spotlight: Meet Ava Mello, Class of 2023

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For OLMA freshman, Ava Mello, online learning feels like business as usual. “I’m loving it,” said Ava. “With Zoom, I can actually see my teacher and classmates, so it feels like a regular class. Academically, we haven’t missed a beat.” 

Ava is set up at a desk in her bedroom, and everything is squared away. “I am an organizer, so I have a board on my wall where I write all of my classes and assignments for the day,” she said. “I cross them off as I go, so I always know what’s next and what’s left.” 

These days, OLMA feels more like home than ever, but Ava said it felt that way from day one. “When I shadowed, I saw the connection between the girls and with their teachers,” she said. “Everyone was comfortable and laid back. Messy hair was okay. The girls were real, and with no boys, there was no drama.”

Ava’s favorite hobbies include soccer and art. “I’ve played soccer since I was three years old,” she said. “I played for OLMA last fall and really liked being part of the team. I made lots of new friends, and many of them are juniors. It’s normal to have friends of all ages at OLMA. That’s part of what makes it a sisterhood.”

Looking back on the year so far, Ava says that Bravery Training has helped her. “If this had happened at the beginning of the school year, my camera would probably be turned off during class,” she said. “Not now. The camera is on, and I’m okay. It’s perfectly fine.” 

Ava misses seeing everyone in the hallways and at lunch but is enjoying the extra time with her family. “I spent some time outside the other day with my brother and sister,” she said. “We normally don’t get to do a lot of that. This whole situation is giving us a chance to pause, take a step back, and focus on what’s most important. I’m grateful for that.”

photo collage of olma senior, ava casale

Senior Spotlight: Meet Ava Casale

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First in our series of senior spotlights: Ava Casale. This young woman is a powerhouse — on and off the basketball court and soccer and softball fields. She is a true leader and puts 150 percent into everything she does. OLMA is a better place for having Ava as a student as will be Immaculata University this fall. Ava will play basketball for Immaculata and plans to study Business and Accounting. Go, Mighty Macs! Congratulations, Ava!

#Classof 2020 #OLMA2020 #2020Strong #Sisterhood #OLMAPride #WomenLeadingChange

OLMA Honors Class of 2020

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OLMA invites you to join us in honoring the 20 members of the Class of 2020. Small but mighty, this class of young women is one of a kind. They are strong, brave, resilient, and destined for great success. We will highlight one at a time for the next 20 school days. We hope you will share your comments and well wishes as these young women prepare to make their mark and lead a world of change. Watch for our first Senior Spotlight tomorrow!

photo of OLMA sophomore, Emma Hess

Student Spotlight: Meet Emma Hess, Class of 2022

By OLMA Headlines, Uncategorized

When it came to choosing a high school, Emma Hess could have gone anywhere. She decided to follow in her sister’s footsteps and attend OLMA. “I actually chose OLMA because it was all girls,” she said. “I know that might sound strange to an 8th grader who is looking at high schools, but it’s true. Academics are important to me and I didn’t want any distractions. Plus, OLMA has a family atmosphere that you don’t see other places. We are all extremely close and care about each other.”

Emma said the family feel extends to OLMA’s sports teams. “I play midfield on the soccer team and we are all so open,” she said. ” We’ve all made goals this season, so our team has a great sense of equality. We are teammates and want to see each other do well.” OLMA Soccer is doing that and then some this season as they just clinched the CAL’s United Division Championship.

In addition to sports and her studies, Emma is also involved in service. “I was in Interact last year and will be joining the club again in January once Driver’s Ed is finished,” she said. “I really enjoy it.” As a freshman, Emma spent her Mini-Mester week at St. John of God working with disabled teenagers. “I was so afraid at first and worried that they wouldn’t like me,” said Emma. “I was worried for no reason because the kids were so sweet and caring and loved having us there. They never let their disabilities keep them from being happy.”

This year, Emma is excited to travel to New Orleans for her Mini-Mester. “I can’t wait to learn about the history and visit such an interesting place,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to the Powder Puff game next month, as well as everything else that’s coming up this year.”

Looking ahead, Emma’s love for all things sports is steering her toward a career in Physical Therapy. “I am really into sports, which has made me very attune to my body and the stress it’s under when I’m playing,” she said. “I want to help people with injuries, especially those related to sports, to get better and back to doing what they love.”
Sounds like a plan, Emma. In the meantime, enjoy sophomore year!

Student Spotlight: Meet Olivia Stefano, Class of 2021

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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!

Iyanla Kollock Wins States; Commits to Rutgers University

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It’s hard to believe that a mere four years ago, Iyanla Kollock had never tried running before. She knew she was athletic and was a cheerleader, but it wasn’t until she came to OLMA that she decided to give track a try. This morning, Iyanla was surprised by Coach Lenguadoro and the entire student body with flowers and balloons in celebration of her second State Championship win in the 55m. “She works hard and is very focused,” said Coach Leng. “It’s a huge accomplishment to be State Champ even once, and she did it twice.” Iyanla will be running for Rutgers University in New Brunswick this fall — definitely close enough for us to continue to watch her fly. Congratulations!