"To me, Lausanne means Gibson's donuts during zero hour chem labs, taboo games for new Spanish vocabulary for dulces, afterschool conversations about life with the best teachers, getting candy from college counseling, and growing as a student and a person to reach my goals," Damla Onder '20 explains.
Her passion for creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome is evident in her day-to-day life. She's a leader within the Sisters of Salaam Shalom's Memphis chapter, an organization dedicated to growing relationships between Muslim and Jewish women and teens to build bridges and fight hate, negative stereotyping and prejudice. As a Lausanne Ambassador, Damla welcomes prospective students to Lausanne's campus. As the archivist for the upper school's senior mentorship program, the Senior Class Vice President freely gives her time to help others. As a sophomore, she volunteered at Promise Academy, helping a first-grade teacher with her math lessons. The National Honor Society member also regularly tutors her fellow students and helping them find success.
Her passion extends to athletics, too. An accomplished tennis player, Damla took first place in the 18s division of the 2019 Snowden Grove Junior Spring Classic last April. As a two-sport varsity athlete, she has spent her high school years racing for the Varsity Cross Country team in the fall and competing for Lausanne on the tennis court in the spring.
Throughout her time in high school, Damla has shown a keen interest in Spanish, a subject that she has won multiple class awards for such as the Spanish II SL Class Award, Spanish III HL Class Award, and the IB Spanish SL Class Award. Her interest in foreign languages is not just limited to the classroom. Damla is the president of the Language and Culture Club, a group of Lausanne students who use food and other cultural elements to learn about different parts of the world.
In addition to being inducted into the La Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica for her Spanish skills, she has been awarded membership into the Science National Honor Society and the mathematics orientated Sigma Society. As she looks to the future, Damla looks back on her time at Lausanne with pride.
"I came to Lausanne in the middle of my eighth-grade year and four years later, I'm leaving knowing I've left my mark."
This senior profile was written by communications intern Phillip Kulubya '20.