Marissa Amen has made many meaningful contributions to IHA, and her kind heart is exemplified through her service to others. She found herself spending a tremendous amount of time serving the special needs community at Camp Acorn and has inspired many other students to do the same.
Throughout her life, Marissa participated in different volunteer projects, but she was constantly looking for one with which she connected. She loves the service program at IHA, and says that it gave her the opportunity to fall in love with service within her community and beyond. One of her fondest memories of service during her time at IHA is from the Mission Trip she attended after her junior year. On the trip, rather than returning to a service organization that Marissa was comfortable and familiar with, Mrs. Shutrop pushed her to serve at the Nurturing Place. She genuinely admired the program there. Marissa realized that “service at IHA truly pushes you to challenge yourself and make yourself uncomfortable for the benefit of someone else.”
Not only has Marissa received the Presidential Service Award all four years of high school, but she has also been the recipient of the Spirit of Service Award, as well as an award recognizing her exceptional service to individuals with special needs. Due to her devotion to service, Marissa is the Social Justice Coordinator for the Christian Service Board.
Marissa also serves as an example to other IHA students through her academic excellence. As a member of the STEM program, she continuously challenges her academic potential and has been rewarded with membership in several honor societies, including National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and Chinese National Honor Society. She is also involved at IHA as a member of the Executive Board of the Kindness Above Malice Club and a member of the Chinese Culture Club.
One of Marissa’s favorite courses from her time at IHA was AP Chemistry, taught by Mr. Opremcak. Through the information she learned in this college-level course, Marissa felt she was able to expand her knowledge of the sciences, which was one of her goals as a STEM student. She also had Mr. Opremcak the previous year for Chemistry Honors, and he said, with confidence, that “Marissa has a wonderful combination of lots of talents academically, and she is also a really nice person. She helped tutor sophomores and peers throughout the year, and she is incredibly giving.”
This fall, Marissa plans to attend Boston College to complete a degree in applied psychology and human development with a special education concentration. After college, she hopes to continue education and pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy.
The IHA community would like to wish Marissa the best of luck as she begins a new chapter in her life!
By Rebecca Nadler ’19; Staff Writer
Categories: Senior Spotlights!!