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Senior Spotlight: Ava Astilla

Senior Spotlight: Ava Astilla

Ava Astilla poses for a senior portrait.

What activities/teams are you involved in at Gibbons?
Women's Tennis Team, Mock Trial, Gibbons Leadership Institute (GLI), Admissions Ambassadors

What is your favorite Gibbons memory?
My favorite Gibbons memory was going on the Western Europe trip with all my friends this year! A fantastic group of Gibbons educators led it, and I visited countries I had never seen before. The amazing memories I made on the Western Europe trip will stick with me forever.

How have you integrated the values of faith, service, and leadership into your life?
I have used my time in leadership organizations to grow my confidence and interpersonal savvy, and I am grateful that Gibbons taught me the value of authenticity. These qualities helped me to become a servant leader, and experiences like retreats reinforced my faith and allowed me to offer up my time to lead others.

Have you encountered a challenging situation that Gibbons helped you navigate it?
As a freshman, I was struggling to find a place where I could develop my leadership skills and grow my connections in the Gibbons community. I cherished the gratification I experienced from serving and organizing middle school student government events but felt lost in my search for belonging once the pandemic hit. 

Relationships were hard to build, and connections among my peers felt minimal. I found my footing once I began to connect with my teachers more, and this was because they believed in me and recommended me to help with 8th-grade touring. I developed a love for interacting with prospective families, and Gibbons showed me how being authentic with educators allowed them to get to know me and guide me on the right path. 

Any advice for the Class of 2024?
Grow relationships with your teachers because they love getting to know their students. Teachers want students to have a successful high school careers!

What’s next?
I will attend UNC Chapel Hill next year, where I intend to study nutrition.