Olivia McClendon, Smith College Class of 2014

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Last weekend we cheered as Olivia McClendon, UAP alumni & Nagler Scholar, crossed the stage to become a graduate of Smith College. Olivia has been a vital member of the UAP community since 2005.

In her 2009 UAP Nagler Scholarship acceptance speech, Olivia reflected on her high school career and the impact of UAP on her life saying, “as a freshman in high school, I was not confident enough to stand in front of my class and rarely did I ever raise my hand to share my perspective, or comments in discussions. My lack of communication was due to the fear of speaking up, not realizing that my insight could impact someone else. What I was missing from my life was motivation and a push to lead me through my fear. UAP gave me this push. Urban Arts Partnership has helped me to transform into a person who works to help other people, believes in herself and who is driven to achieve.”

It is now our turn to commend Olivia for shaping our community here at UAP. Although she was a full time student at Smith College in Northampton, MA, Olivia remained an active member of UAP’s alumni community, serving as an iConnect mentor to struggling high school students. Her passion for the arts and giving back to her community is an inspiration to all. To all of her accomplishments we say, congratulations, you deserve it!