Ioanna Svarnas from Year 7 spoke at the recent Arrowsmith Information Session about her experience with the program. Her speech (you can read it here) was so eloquent and inspiring, we just had to find out more about her.
What is your passion?
I really like reading a good book, and I love cooking as well.
What career path do you want to take?
I’m thinking something to do with business. I have a lot of knowledge about it because my Dad knows a lot, so he teaches me about it.
How do you think the Arrowsmith Program has helped you on your path so far?
It’s helped me with a lot of things. I’m not that strong with maths, so it’s helped me with that. And this year I learned to read a clock, which is useful! I’ve started to understand things more and more as time goes by.
You mentioned your progress with clocks – I’ve heard you can read a clock with 6 hands now!
Yeah, and it’s never been done in one year before! I’ve achieved lots of things this year so I feel quite proud of myself.
Have you had any other wins that you can share with us?
I do karate outside of school and I’m going for my black belt this year as well. But I’ve achieved a lot this year because of Arrowsmith.
It’s important that you pat yourself on the back. How do you celebrate your wins?
I tell my parents straight away and they’re really proud of me. Sometimes we go to dinner to celebrate.
Have you faced any challenges so far since you started the program?
I have. This is my first year at Oakleigh Grammar and it’s been a big year for me with Arrowsmith and also friends. The teachers are lovely and they help me on my way. But mostly making new friends and starting at a new school- it’s always hard, starting at a new school.
How do you think those challenges helped you? Did you learn anything?
I’ve learnt to always be resilient and not let other people bring you down.
What drives you?
Definitely my parents. They always tell me to work hard and never give up. My teachers also say the same thing to me, which is motivating.
Do you have any advice for students just starting out on their Arrowsmith journey?
Arrowsmith is a great way to start a new year at this school. Some people may think of it as a game but it’s really not. It’s about stimulating your brain. And it’s all you- it’s not your teachers or your parents. They can help you but you put in all the work. You need to be motivated and have a positive mindset about it.
Ioanna received the Arrowsmith Award at the Middle and Senior School awards evening on Thursday night for all her hard work and enthusiasm. We wish her congratulations and all the best for the future.