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Ava Perona is thriving in leadership role as Union Catholic's Student Council President

In our latest installment of Feature Friday, we shine the spotlight on Union Catholic senior Ava Perona.

Perona, who lives in Garwood, was inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) last week, is the Student Council President, and is a Student Ambassador at Union Catholic. 

Here is our Q and A with Perona -
First off, congrats on your induction into the National Honor Society. That’s such a great accomplishment! What does it mean to you to be a member of the National Honor Society?
It is truly such an honor to be part of such a distinguished organization. 
What did it mean to you to be chosen to speak about leadership at the NHS Induction Ceremony? That must have been such a thrill.
When I got the email that I was selected to speak at the induction ceremony, I was overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment. To even be considered when there's so many qualified students in my grade is such a high honor, let alone to be chosen to have this responsibility. I was super nervous to deliver my speech because I didn’t want to let the administration down. However, writing the speech allowed me to share my opinion on what it means to be a leader. 
How about Student Council, Ava. It is obviously such a huge honor and responsibility to be the Student Council President. Can you describe what it means to you to be the Student Council President and what you enjoy the most about having such an important position?
When I first began my journey at UC, I never could have imagined running for such a high leadership position. I was very timid and not confident in my abilities starting high school. However, putting myself out there and running for student council president was the best decision I have ever made during my high school experience. It is truly such a great privilege to be selected by my peers to represent the student body. Through this position, I have been able to serve the UC community in such a fulfilling way. Student council has allowed me to not only help plan school events but also participate in service activities like our recent breast cancer fundraiser. Overall, my favorite part of the position is to being able to be a voice for the student body and to foster communication between students and faculty. 
What are some of the biggest goals you have as Student Council President for this school year?
My biggest goal for this year is to make sure the student body is happy. My job as president is to represent the students. If the students are not happy with my performance, I’m not doing a good job. I am hoping to achieve this by planning fun, school wide events with the rest of the executive board and Mrs. Donnelly. It has been so long since the school has been together as one since COVID first began, I really want to plan events that promote unity. 
What does it mean to you to be a Student Ambassador, and what do you enjoy the most about representing the school as an Ambassador? 
Being selected to be a student ambassador at the end of my sophomore year was truly such an honor for me. I felt so much pride in being considered a good representative for my school. What I enjoy most about being an ambassador is showing potential new students all that UC has to offer. My time at UC has been such a great experience, I have been able to grow, discover my passions and reach my fullest potential. I want to make sure everyone is able to have my same positive experience by coming to UC.  
You are such a well-rounded student at UC. Can you list everything you are involved in at UC other than Student Council and being a Student Ambassador? Clubs/activities etc?
Sports Livestream 
Operation Smile 
Service Club 
Can you list all the awards/honors you have received at UC. National Honor Society? Honor Roll etc? And what does it mean to you to have achieved so much academic success? 
National Honor Society
Honor Roll freshman, sophomore and junior year
Medallion received freshman, sophomore, junior year 
Finalist for numerous debate NCFL competitions freshman and sophomore year 
Fourth place for Duo forensics junior year 
National Qualifier for Duo 2021 
I have been able to achieve academic excellence because of the encouragement of my teachers and fellow students. At UC, everyone wants you to succeed. Although I am proud of my academic success, I could not have done it without the support of the staff and my peers. 
What did you love the most about being a student at Union Catholic?
My favorite part of being a student at UC is all the opportunities here. Union Catholic really sets you up for success. 
Why and how did you decide that UC was the place for you to be? What was it about UC that made you want to be a student here?
None of the other schools I looked at had that same home feeling like UC did. My two older cousins went to UC and had tremendous success, so I always knew that UC is where I’d end up. 
What kind of advice would you give to younger students who are considering attending UC? Why should they come to UC and what will UC give them that they won’t be able to find at other schools?
UC truly has so much to offer. No matter what kind of student you are, you will find your passions at UC. What I like most about UC is that there are different learning levels from foundations to AP. Some students may thrive in certain subjects more than others, and UC allows you to find the subjects you feel most comfortable with. 
What specifically can you point to as the things that you’ve benefited from the most from your experience as a student at UC?
All my successes while at UC are due to the supportive faculty and students. Everyone wants to help you be the best version of yourself.      
How about the future, Ava. What type of career would you like to pursue, and what are the colleges you are most interested in at the moment?
In the future, I want to become a lawyer. My plan right now is to major in business and minor in journalism, then attend law school after undergrad. My top choices for colleges are Clemson, Rutgers, the University of Florida, and University of Texas-Austin.
What are you looking forward to the most this school year?
All the fun senior activities and privileges like the Christmas tree decorating, having lunch in the courtyard, and prom. 
Favorite class and teacher at UC?
Digital Journalism with Mr. Araneo
Favorite UC memory?
SDSN days 
Favorite UC Core Value and why?
Community because everyone is always trying to help each other reach their fullest potential. 
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