The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

“Magnetizing” leader: Julie Apagya-Bonney and her image as a student

in ARS News/Features by

On Thursday afternoons, Julie Apagya-Bonney (12) can be found in Ms. Jill DiCuffa’s classroom leading the senior class in their prom committee meeting. As class president, Apagya-Bonney has worked hard to communicate with her peers to make the school year more significant. Her commitment to student council has been prominent to her high school career – as she likes reminding herself, she does it to give back to her class.

“The reason I wanted to join student council was to talk to my classmates and tell them something that could make their day better than it was before,” Apagya-Bonney said. “As Class President, it’s really important to me to be good to my class, because they’re what helped me get here.”

Often seen with a smile on her face while walking the halls, Apagya-Bonney is known for her kindness toward all students.

“I always want to make sure I leave a positive effect on others,” Apagya-Bonney said. “Times can get tough and everyone is going through something different. I hope that my smile in the hall makes at least one person feel better despite whatever happens to them that day.”

Not only do her peers see her shining personality, it is just as evident to her teachers. Ms. Shireen Dadmehr has Apagya-Bonney in her Digital Electronics and AP Calculus class.

“She has a cheerful attitude of ‘alright, I got this,’” Ms. Dadmehr said. “She’s not a negative person and she self-advocates. She works hard to be a better student and classmate.”

 

Through her work on student council and her perseverance in class, she has made a name for herself on campus as someone who never backs down from a challenge. Her friends see her dedication in and out of school.  Whether it’s a difficult math problem or needing to solve a prom committee issue, Julie gets the job done.

“She’s always working hard even if she doesn’t really want to,” Ash Pellette (12), Apagya-Bonney’s best friend, said. “She inspires me to be a better student, but also be a good person. I see her kindness and I want to be kind. I see her do a hard homework and she encourages me to do it too.”

Being a senior in band and one of the two drum line captains, Julie hopes to encourage the underclassman. As section leader, she wants to be a positive influence on the other students as well as remind them that they’re all talented and important to the band as a whole. She hopes to be a role model and a source of positivity to younger students, the same way she had when she first started

“I always want to encourage the younger band kids that they’re doing incredible,” Apagya-Bonney said. “I hope they know that they’re doing some stuff I couldn’t even come close to doing as a freshman.”

The energy Julie has during the day is contagious to those around her. Many not only see her as a leader or a positive student, but also a good person to have around. As her senior year wraps up, there are many qualities she will be remembered for.

“I feel like she has the magnetic personality, where people want to do what Julie says,”  Ms. Dadmehr said.

Keyla Blanco’s perfect moment in time is when she is curled up on her bed, with her favorite food, and a superhero movie playing. Keyla is an indecisive, comic loving, superhero obsessed, fangirl. She wants to create movies that reflect the real world and its people. More diversity, whether that be people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, differently abled people, or any other underrepresented people, in films, is her biggest passion. Keyla grew up with her family and comic books and spends time with them constantly. Movies are her main escape, and they help her see the world. Keyla is shy at first but opens up after some time. Fitting to her personality, Keyla is the Entertainment Editor for the Polaris Press.

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