The College Board has named Antonella Lejwa ’23 a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, an honor reserved for a select number of outstanding students. She has proven herself through academic achievement and various extracurricular activities.
From her days in the Hutchison nursery to her senior year, Antonella Lejwa ’23 has learned how to express herself and uplift those around her at Hutchison. Growing up with the same girls, as well as her peers who later joined the Hutchison community, has provided support along the way.
“There are a lot more of us now, but we are still connected to each other. It’s nice to have that community,” Antonella said.
As a member of the Equity and Inclusion Council, Antonella works to make sure everyone feels like they belong in this community. Students on the council collaborate to plan events throughout the year to celebrate diverse cultures while promoting awareness and the importance of being kind and inclusive. The council also serves as a space where members can come to discuss concerns and issues shared by their peers. Civil discourse tactics are implemented to encourage thoughtful and respectful engagement.
“When issues are presented, you can express your idea of what should be done and hear other people’s perspectives,” Antonella said. “It’s good that people feel that they can be heard and represented.”
Her involvement in dance, design, and technical theatre over the years has helped her gain confidence and communicate her thoughts and emotions. For Antonella, dance has given her a place to be herself despite being out of her comfort zone based on her personality. She took creative ballet classes with Mrs. Koeppel and transitioned to being a member of the varsity dance team, which she joined during her sophomore year.
Antonella is also distinguishing herself academically. She has been named a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar. The program recognizes academically exceptional Hispanic students who have scored in the top 10 percent of the state on the PSAT or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP exams by their junior year. To qualify, they must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
She also has been recognized as an AP Scholar with Honor, an award given to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
Antonella is one of a handful of students who have studied both Spanish and Chinese in upper school. She completed the University of Mississippi StarTalk program
, a summer intensive for studying the Chinese language.
“Hutchison’s language program and classes helped expand my thinking and everything I know. They helped me immerse myself in other cultures and have a bigger perspective of the world,” she said.
Antonella has a variety of interests and is unsure what exactly she will pursue as a career path. She is considering studying psychology, business, or criminal justice. Whether it’s in or beyond the classroom, one of the most important skills she has learned at Hutchison is to be an active participant and a respectful leader.
“I feel prepared to stand up for myself and make sure that I’m present in whatever situation I’m in. Not just to listen but to talk and engage in what is going on,” Antonella said. “I learned to take risks but also when to step back and let others lead.”