Joella '22

Freshman Class Vice President
Additional Activities: Winter Track, Black Women's Society, Cinematography Club, Spanish Club

What is your favorite thing about Visi?

Everyone is willing to help each other, and that is just who they are. This may sound a little cheesy, but it is like sisters.

Why did you choose the school?

My mom went to an all-girls school, so I felt like, “Why not give it a try?” Visitation is also super strong in academics, and I want to go to a good college when I graduate. But really, it’s because of the feeling I get when I’m here. Visi is homey; it’s comfortable. People are inviting; the campus is beautiful; and everyone tries to lift you up.

Which class has been your favorite so far?

Spanish. I’m Tanzanian-American, so I already speak two languages, and I love learning another one. Mr. Martinez’ class is engaging. It is not just reading from the textbook. It’s read, then tell me what you think. It’s about how you learn to speak the language, to write it. We have mini fiestas, and we learn Spanish beyond the textbook definitions – we practice speaking as if we were just talking to a friend.

What is your favorite tradition?

Gold-White. I’m on White Team, and I can’t dance, but I loved watching the cheers. The gentle roasting of each other’s themes, how choreographed they were. They put in a lot of effort. People really care. They want to put in the time, and presenting it in front of everyone – that’s courageous. After the game, I went home and couldn’t wait to tell my mom about it. I thought it was epic.

How would you describe the school’s classroom environment?

One of my favorite things that we do in class is moving all the desks into a circle, whether it’s for a seminar in Global Patterns or discussing "The Odyssey" in English. You’re actually facing your classmates when you’re talking together and you can see what they’re interested in or what confuses them, and when questions are asked, the whole class has an opportunity to answer them. People here are really engaged and want to share their opinions.

How do Visitation’s teachers make learning exciting?

Like I said, people here are really engaged, and that’s because the classroom is engaging. Teachers ask thought-provoking questions. There will always clear-cut yes or no answers, like in math, but in every other classroom, teachers want to know your point of view, or they push you to see the world from a different perspective.

Which is your favorite Salesian Little Virtue?

I want to say cheerful optimism. I like how everyone is open here; they talk to each other and form friendships easily. Even in the first week of school, though I might have seen a teacher once or twice, they already knew my name. The community is here for you and you’re there for everyone else.

Why did you decide to get involved in student government?

I wanted to do something for Visi because Visi has already shown me that it’s a place where you want to be involved. I tried out for a sport. I tried out for the play. It’s an environment that makes you want to be your best self, and better yourself. Even just one week after elections, I’ve been talking with Maia [Morell, the Freshman Class President] and we’ve been planning what we want to do for the year because we want to make it an awesome one for our class.

Joella answered these questions in the fall of her freshman year.