And The Oracle Person of the Year is…
February 22, 2017
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This year we honor the Third Annual Oracle “Person of the Year;” an award that seeks to discover and recognize a student who betters the community with his or her dedication and persistent expressions of service.
Having a “Person of the Year” at a high school is more than a frivolous superlative for an accomplished, popular individual. There is a myriad of talent at our school, so to pick one student and name him or her “Person of the Year,” The Oracle must have tangible reasons that can be acknowledged by every Spartan in or outside of the building.
The 2016-2017 Oracle “Person of the Year” award is being given to a senior who has spent the majority of her high school career giving back to others.
Recently, she worked with an Alexandria middle school to put on a poetry slam, during which she spoke to students about the power of creativity and words. After she articulated how self-expression can energize people to advocate for themselves and overcome their challenges, the middle-schoolers were given time to share their poetry. By providing these younger students with a safe space to verbalize their feelings and share their poetry, she gave them an outlet they can continue using as they grow into adults.
She has also founded her own nonprofit, Project Aquarelle, which finds and provides educational materials to needy communities around the world. Through her nonprofit and the National Geographic Student Expeditions, she collected school supplies and brought them to Thailand where she led English classes for locals.
If you go downtown to the Smithsonian Museums, you can often find her advising and guiding visitors to different exhibits. Furthermore, she has worked with local shelters to organize day events of fun learning activities for abused and homeless children.
She makes time to serve the community while balancing being a Varsity athlete and a member of multiple clubs. She serves as President of the French Honor Society, Officer of the UNICEF Club, Editor of The Oracle and she is a member of the French Club, Environmental Club, and FCA.
Constanza Hasselmann is the Third Annual Oracle “Person of the Year.”
“Constanza is wise beyond her years,” said Journalism teacher Brooke Nelson, who has taught Constanza in Journalism and AP Lang. “I would turn over the entire production of The Oracle to her in a heartbeat. And I so much enjoyed her analysis and her thoughts and her deep respect for language that I observed when she was my AP Lang student. I miss those days.”
Constanza is determined to continue helping as many people as she can because she burns with the desire to give as much back to her community as she can.
“She is respectful, passionate and very dedicated to Project Aquarelle,” said Alexa Romano, NHS sponsor, who had the honor society collaborate with Project Aquarelle last year. “You can tell that Constanza is genuinely interested in bettering the world—this isn’t just a way for her to build her resume.”
Because of all the ways Constanza works to help other people and better the community, The Oracle staff voted for her to be the “Person of the Year.”
Constanza was not informed of her award until a surprise Oracle celebration event. She received a plaque (and cake) to commemorate her service. Constanza stands out for her desire to not only help people who live close to her, but on the other side of the planet. We consider ourselves lucky to have gotten to know her through The Oracle, and we know that she will continue to make a difference in other peoples’ lives after graduation.
Congratulations, Constanza and thank you for all you do to make a difference in people’s lives.