Ms. Velliotis on the Illinois campus in downstate Champaign.
Fenwick Graduation: 2016
Hometown: Western Springs, IL
Grade School: LaGrange Highlands Middle School
Current School: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (Gies College of Business)
Current Major: Marketing and Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship
Career Aspirations: I want to start my own company. I want to develop my own brand.
Fenwick achievements/activities: Soccer, Captain of Debate, Best Buddies, NHS, Student Ambassador, Italian Honors Award
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: I don’t think that I can pinpoint one specific person. However, one teacher that I really loved having was Ms. Schulte (Mrs. Holmberg now). She really helped me see my true potential and helped me understand what my strengths were. She instilled a lot of confidence in me and always believed in my ability to be something great, and for that I am truly thankful and grateful. Another teacher that I truly adored was Father Joe [Ekpo]. He taught me some of the greatest life lessons. His stories really had an impact on me. He taught me to always see the good in everyone even when it might be incredibly difficult.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: As a Fenwick alum, this might seem like a very basic and classic answer, but Mr. Arellano’s speech class really influenced me. I always loved public speaking, but after taking his class I am so much more confident when presenting in front of an audience. Public speaking is one of the most important life skills. Being able to feel comfortable in this area prior to college really gave me an advantage in some of my college classes as well as job interviews.
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: I had so many memorable experiences at Fenwick, but the one I would like to live again is prom. I absolutely had a blast at prom. The actual prom was fun as well as the after party at Fenwick. It was a great way to end senior year.
What Fenwick experience changed you the most? I find this question to be difficult, not because there isn’t an experience that has changed me but because there are so many. One of the experiences that changed me the most was being on the Debate Team and working with Ms. Logas. I was able to meet so many extraordinary people and learned valuable skills such as researching, presenting and public speaking. Another experience that changed me the most was Kairos. I absolutely loved Kairos because I feel that is when our class really connected the most. Being able to hear everyone’s story was incredibly inspirational and something that I will truly cherish and remember forever.
Editor’s note: Anastasia, a sophomore at the University of Illinois, was a Student Ambassador at Fenwick and has continued that role for the St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at U of I. She recently was nominated for and awarded the Joshua I. Grafton Scholarship Award, a leadership award that recognizes undergraduate sophomores who have demonstrated creativity, initiative and potential in their extracurricular activities.
“I do believe the Fenwick Mission that inspires excellence and educates each student to lead, achieve and serve resonates with Fenwick Friars long after they graduate,” says Lina Velliotis, Anastasia’s mother. “Fenwick should be proud!”
Fenwick Graduation: 2017
Grade School: Immaculate Conception School (Chicago)
Current School: Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Current Major: Computer Science with Spanish minor
Career aspirations: software development and possibly research
Fenwick achievements/activities: Received the Evans Scholarship /Chess Club
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: I think Fr. Monco had the most influence on me. He was the coach of the Chess Team as well as my Theology Teacher sophomore year. He and I had really good conversations during and after school, and he was always a good listener. He helped me to consider things from a different perspective, which continues to be beneficial.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: AP Computer Science A taught by Mr. Kotty had the most influence on me. It really helped me to develop my problem-solving skills and think about problems in a different way. After taking AP CS I was able to discern that I wanted to continue my education in computer science and study it in college. This course has proved to be helpful in my two introductory courses in computer science, so I am very thankful for having had the opportunity to take it.
Fenwick experience that changed you the most: I am very thankful for having taken four years of Spanish at Fenwick. I felt that I was prepared enough to continue on to college-level Spanish courses, and the foreign-language education I received at Fenwick really put me ahead of many of my classmates. Learning a foreign language is a gift, and one that I will always be thankful for.