Summer on the Hill Class of 2009
High School Attended: Saint Barnabas High School
Undergraduate College/University: Iona College with a BA in Psychology and Minors in Criminal Justice and Mass Communications
Graduate College/University: Iona College, pursuing an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
Annamika currently works at Summer on the Hill as a Junior Administrator. Some of her interests are taking care of her mind and body, social justice, poetry, animal welfare. She’s also an avid concert goer.
Read her interview below!
What was your admissions process to Summer on the Hill like?
I was testing for admission into the 7th grade. I remember coming in for the ARS and doing the Bear Problem. I was interviewed by Julia Velez-Baez and I remember how inviting and warm her personality was. I remember thinking that she cared a lot about SOH and what it stood for and this was something I wanted to be a part of.
Was there a particular teacher or administrator who stands out for you?
Claudia Mendez, who was the former Director of the HS Program, had helped me and many others through the college process so much. Coming from an immigrant family, I didn’t know a lot about the college process and it was difficult for me to figure out on my own, but she guided me through it. She was also a cheerleader for me; she always believed in me and pushed me to do my best even when I doubted myself. I can’t thank her enough for that.
What would your adult self tell your young self about taking a leap of faith with Summer on the Hill?
Like most kids, I wouldn’t want to give up my Saturday/summer for more school. It was really hard to pull myself out of bed on those mornings, but I would tell young Anna that it was totally worth it! The opportunities that SOH has opened for me are incredible, and I would not be in the position I am now without the support of SOH.
What is your favorite memory at Summer on the Hill?
Going to John Dorr was by far my favorite! I remember staying up almost all night in the cabin with the rest of the girls in my grade and singing along to popular songs at the time and dancing. We had a lot of fun there and thinking about it makes me nostalgic.
What advice would you give current Summer on the Hill students?
Make the most of your time at SOH. It sounds like a corny and almost obvious thing to say, but it’s 100% true. You come to SOH not only to better yourself academically, but to make memories that last a lifetime. Years from now, you’ll think back to your time here and realize how lucky you were to have this opportunity that many other people don’t have. You are exemplary and intelligent, which is why you are at Summer on the Hill, and you will carry those qualities with you for the rest of your life academically, socially, and eventually professionally. You all are destined for greatness.
Anything else you would like to tell us?
I am grateful for all of the opportunities that SOH has brought me from the 7th grade until now and the future. Working at SOH for over 4 years has showed me the other side of what foes on in the organization with admissions, the HS Program, and all the other moving parts. I have learned so many skills here that I can use in my future career and have had countless amazing colleagues over the years, teachers and administration alike, that have made working here enjoyable and that is something that can’t be matched. I look forward to whatever else I will gain with my time here at SOH.