She followed the passion further and joined a dolphin ecology research program partnership between NOAA and a small selection of Shorecrest students. With NOAA, Aliyah studies the behavior of dolphins in Tampa Bay and tracks their migration, spending time on boats and in a lab. “I am really interested in science, especially animal sciences, and it is an incredible opportunity for a high school student to be involved with government research,” the level-headed scholar explains.
Tracking dolphin migration was merely a springboard for Aliyah, as she rose yet again to the next step.
“I am currently doing a research project in AP Physics II about magnetic navigation and how animals are able to detect and use the earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves and navigate while migrating.”
You might be able to guess what comes next: “I am also considering veterinary school as something that I might be interested in in the future, and I think that having a good understanding of animal behavior would help me in this pursuit,” Aliyah admits.
This may be why, when probed, Aliyah says Upper School biology teacher Dave Hyink is one of her favorite teachers. “I love his class so much. I think he’s such a great teacher. He respects his students and is up front with them. You feel like you actually have a connection with him as a teacher. He helped inspire my interest in biology.”
Aliyah keeps rising, as she puts in research hours during her downtime too. This past summer she spent time in an intensive lab with experiments focusing on fingerprints and DNA and spent a week at Duke in an accelerated STEM program
Two values run deeply through Aliyah’s family: a commitment to service and education. Shorecrest’s Elizabeth Samuelson Community Spirit Award was initiated in 2018 in honor of Aliyah’s mother, a passionate parent volunteer and Past-Chair of the Board of Trustees. It is given to members of the community who best build and support Community Spirit at Shorecrest. Aliyah says she also puts community high on her list of what she loves about the school, particularly when each Upper School grade bonds during Homecoming week.
Aliyah has helped others to rise as well. More than once, she joined the Shorecrest Service Week trip to Pine Ridge, South Dakota. “We worked with the organization Re-member on a Native American Reservation in South Dakota. We made bunk beds, sorted donations, split wood, and delivered firewood to people who lived on the Reservation.” What this Florida girl glosses over is that her team completed this work while in freezing, winter temperatures.
Aliyah’s long list of accolades at Shorecrest include membership in National Honor Society, Cum Laude Society, Spanish Honor Society, International Thespian Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Scholar Thespian award, Outstanding Ensemble Award and Ari Weiss Award in theatre. This member of the Girls STEAM Club won the Dartmouth College Book Award will be rising up to Dartmouth College in the fall.