Meet Annika

Grade 12

Affinity group leader.
Classically-trained vocalist.
Ellisian Journal editor.

There's courage in her convictions.

Senior Annika’s radical empathy informs every move she makes. An intrepid organizer who leads three affinity groups at Ellis, Annika uses her voice to speak up for herself and others. Guided by a sturdy moral compass, Annika has a clear sense of what is right and a natural ability to connect with all sorts of different people in an authentic and purposeful way.

Whether she’s building relationships in the Multiracial Student Union or building harmonies in the Junior Mendelssohn Choir, Annika leaves every space better than she found it.

See how Annika's story is unfolding at Ellis

List of 6 items.

  • A vocal vocalist:

    “I’ve been singing since the third grade. I’ve sung in choirs, operas, and with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. At Ellis, I sing in the Glee Club, and outside of school, I sing with the Junior Mendelssohn Choir Of Pittsburgh. Last year, I had the opportunity to sing in classical Indian style with choir and do a lot of overtone singing which is quite technical.”
  • How Ellis builds her confidence:

    Through an unwavering support system. “My self-confidence comes from the army of people behind me. I know if I have an issue with anything, I can turn to my teachers, my classmates, my friends who’ve graduated already, and my advisors to back me up. That kind of support has helped me push myself. We’re all each other’s number one fans.”
  • On her horizon:

    College, potentially at an international university. “I’m really interested in an interdisciplinary major called PPE, which stands for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. I’m not exactly sure what I want to do in the future, but the more I learn about different careers, the more I realize that this multifaceted approach to what I learned at Ellis is something I want to continue to pursue.”
  • How she builds bridges:

    Through affinity groups. She is Founder and President of the Multiracial Student Union and Co-President of the Asian Student Union and Student Diversity League. “I’ve found that affinity groups are so powerful because you are surrounded by a group of people who understand you and your lived experiences. I started the Multiracial Student Union at Ellis after attending SDLC (The National Association of Independent School’s Student Diversity Leadership Conference), and being in a multiracial one there.”
  • Sharing her story:

    Annika is an editor of the School’s literary publication, The Ellisian Journal. “I love writing. Mostly, I do it for myself, but last year, I won an award for my poetry. I’d love to work at Bon Appétit when I’m older because I love writing and food, and then potentially start my own publication. I’d love to create a platform for people with diverse voices to tell their stories through food.”
  • Passion project:

    Her junior year research paper on The National Negro Opera Company, the first African-American opera company in the United States. “I love to sing, so realizing how influential this opera company was really inspired me. I did my own research at the Archives and connected with former students of the founder Mary Cardwell Dawson.”

Inspired by Annika's story?

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