Ayanna Martin is a senior at St. Mary’s Episcopal School, a collegiate all-girls school in Memphis, TN. She was born in Greenwood, MS where she was raised in a single-parent home. From the age of six, Ayanna has demonstrated leadership in various aspects of her life. In elementary school, she managed to coordinate an annual children’s program at her church. During this program, speakers of her choice would come to expound on her belief that God has a purpose for each person’s life regardless of his or her age. Indeed, Ayanna still carries this same belief dear to her heart. She has flourished in many different leadership roles since, including being president of various honor societies, presiding in student government organizations, and spearheading clubs centered on art and culture. She demonstrates academic excellence as a member of the National Honor Society, the National Beta Club, the National French Honor Society, and Cliosophic society.
Ayanna is a dedicated artist and has already taken her first steps toward becoming a world traveler. She is a firm believer in being “well-versed”, as amid her challenging course load her favorite subjects include Global Issues, French, and Art History. Her interest in foreign cultures emerged when she was ten and decided to enroll in a summer language institute at a nearby university where she studied French, Arabic, and Chinese. She has continued her studies in French and has had the pleasure of traveling abroad to London, Paris, Normandy, and the Island of Jersey to study biodiversity conservation.
Above all else, Ayanna is extremely passionate about people and societal advancement. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony award, which is awarded to students who are dedicated to addressing social issues that are often ignored by society. She is also a member of the Urban League of Greater Madison, which she became a member of during her time spent in Madison, WI. For the past few years, Ayanna has felt that her greatest contributions to society have been on a microscopic scale within a local all girls’ abstinence and chastity program called Build A Wall Memphis that she feels has given her a chance to “avail [herself] on a more individual basis” with her peers.
In the fall of 2015, Ayanna will be matriculating at Vanderbilt University, where she plans to study Economics and European Studies. She plans to further her education and become an attorney and eventually a judge as she hopes to become the change she wants to see in the world.