Realizing early on that she was expected to: dislike science, because she was a girl; hate books, because she was from the hood; and scorn gangsta rap, because she was an honor roll student, AynNichelle Slappy has dedicated her life to controverting the identity that society has restricted her to.
Born in Detroit, MI and raised in cities throughout the Midwest, AynNichelle prides herself in her ability to prosper in any situation. AynNichelle was born to Ebony Slappy, a single mother, who did not attend college but would make sure that her daughter would. By teaching her how to read when she was four, Ebony and her mother Denise, made sure that AynNichelle understood the power of education. AynNichelle is a full-time big sister to five younger siblings. After her stepfather abandoned her family when she was seven, she assumed responsibility as the second in command in her household. Taking care of her siblings has given her leadership skills that far surpass those she could obtain from any extra-curricular. After her grandmother died, AynNichelle, and her family moved often. Despite these challenges, she impacted every community she came in contact with. Amongst the 12 schools she has attended, she has ran track, held positions on multiple student councils, became Vice-President of her Key Club chapter, presided over her National Honors Society chapter, and participated in over 40 theatrical productions. However, AynNichelle believes her proudest accomplishment has come from her volunteer experience. Since middle school, AynNichelle has been a regular volunteer at various soup kitchens, retirement homes, and museums. She spends most of her time working towards one goal: getting underprivileged kids excited about reading and science. She realized this passion at her brother’s elementary school’s open house. After discovering that many of her brother’s classmates were falling behind, AynNichelle began tutoring them at her local library. She found that tough love, patience, and optimism, could help these “delinquents” in her community. AynNichelle lead them to become avid readers. She became interested in exposing kids to science when she founded the her school’s HOSA chapter. She fundraised for various community outreach science initiatives ranging from summer camps to an after school program, called STEMinists: a program aimed at helping young girls envision themselves in male-dominated fields.
AynNichelle is aware that the main reason she is successful is because of her support system. The summer following 11th grade, she spent 7 weeks at Princeton University with the LEDA program: a non-profit helping low-income, high achieving leaders gain access to prestigious institutions. In order to repay the people that have believed in her, AynNichelle plans on studying public policy to one day oversee her own non-profit. As a strong advocate for women, African-Americans, the LGBTQIA+ community, and all other marginalized groups, AynNichelle’s mission is to utilize her voice to encourage all people to defy social constructs, because it is time for us to acknowledge that stereotypes are misconceptions created to confine us.