Chiamaka Alino, Salutatorian

Salutatorian, Chiamaka Alino has always lived by the quote, “Everything happens for a reason”.  Chiamaka says “I honestly find so much comfort in this quote because I often find myself in situations that feel hopeless. Whenever I get anxious or freak out, I  remember that these terrible events could eventually lead to a positive in my life which is a nice relief. Repeating the quote in my mind never failed to calm me down.” During her junior and senior years, Chiamaka was STUCO Class President and a Kairos Student Leader. She is a member of SHAdes of SHA, BSU, and was a Musical Cast Member. She was part of the Mu Alpha Theta, the Math National Honors Society. Chiamaka was also in the Orchestra, TSA, Math League, and participated in the M3 Math Challenge. She received the Harvard Book Award and was recognized by College Board in the African American Recognition Program. This program seeks to honor African American students who have scored in the top ten percent of the state on the PSAT or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP exams during their junior year. She also received High Honors during all four years of high school. Outside of school, Chiamaka volunteered at her local library and worked in a nursing home over the summer. She finds interest in reading, journaling, and research.

Chiamaka plans to attend Brown University as a chemical engineering major. She chose this major due to her love of math and chemistry which she wants to use to create things. At Brown, Chiamaka is most excited about the independence. She says, “Being on your own seems scary at first but also it seems freeing. College is really a chance to understand the world and who we are as people independent from our parents’ influence. I am excited to experience that transition and I hope it serves me well”. After completing her undergraduate years, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. and work as an engineer for a biomedical company.

Chiamaka’s favorite memory of SHA was this year’s senior prank: the 6 am Barbecue. She said, “Honestly at first, I thought it would never work. However, I was wonderfully wrong. The barbecue went on without a problem and it was so awesome to see the class come together to plan something so bizarre with many moving parts. I was so proud of my class in that moment”. For the entire senior class, this school year was the most normal of years they have had, which allowed them to have such a memorable last week of classes at SHA.

Chiamaka has learned during her time at SHA that balance is key. It may be tempting to join every club, although she has learned that it is good to have a good work-life balance. SHA has taught her to acknowledge this fact and learn how to implement a sense of balance in her life. Chiamaka’s words of wisdom to the SHA student body are to soak in all your experiences. Going through high school, she knows that your time here will go by in a flash, and in a blink, you’ll be in your cap and gown. Chiamaka expresses, “For the time being, however, enjoy being a freshman, sophomore, junior, and especially a senior. Drink in your experiences and learn from them. Don’t count down the days rather focus on the lessons you are currently learning. Make your time worthwhile!” Lastly, she wants everyone to remember to live in the moment and treasure their friends and classmates. You will never have another experience like the one you have here, so do not take it for granted!

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