IB Spotlight: Tiya Ayele

Khadija Ahmed, Academics Editor

Q: What did you do this summer?

A: I spent time with my brother at Virginia Tech.


Q: What clubs are you in?

A: I’m in four honor societies (Science, Social Studies, English and Spanish), Black Cultural Awareness Association, Mission Possible and Key Club.


Q: What is your favorite IB subject?

A: My favorite IB subject was Anthropology which I took last year. I really enjoyed learning about how different cultures have developed throughout time and the creative projects we were given.


Q: What skills do you think the IB program has taught you that can help you later in life?

A: I think the most important thing IB solidified in my brain is that at a certain point natural smarts are essentially futile if they are not paired with hard work. In programs like GT, it was easy to skate through by hardly putting time into the work but now hard work is what makes a standout student, not how “smart” they are. I think transitioning from relying on natural smarts to hard work can be very difficult so I am glad I became aware before college.


Q: What is your extended essay topic?

A: My topic for the extended essay is comparing how the three types of kinship (consanguineal, affinal and fictive) create a functional community for the drug dealers of El Barrio, New York and the Ju’hoansi of Botswana. When choosing two ethnographies, I wanted one of them to focus on an underprivileged community and reading about the drug dealers of El Barrio gave me exactly what I was looking for.


Q: How are you preparing for IB exams?

A: Since school just started I haven’t really been focusing on the IB exams, but I will most definitely study later on in the year.


Q: What colleges are you applying to?

A: I’m pretty sure the typical response from Annandale students is UVA and Virginia Tech which applies to me. I think they are very good in-state schools and I have heard they have good biology departments which is something that I am interested in.


Q: What advice do you have for future IB candidates?

A: Probably just do your homework. Once you become complacent in not doing homework once or twice, it’s easier to justify not doing other important things and that snowballs into a situation you do not want and could have prevented.


Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

A: I honestly don’t know where I see myself in ten years. Probably in a lot of debt. Hopefully, I’ve secured a good job after college and feel some sense of fulfillment.