Ruben Salazar 8th grader Ayana Martin loves science - especially when she gets to dissect animals. She recently worked on rats to explore how they are similar to humans. An interest fact that Ayana has to share: the small intestine is actually longer than the large intestine. It gets its name from its smaller diameter.
Ayana also loves basketball. Her favorite team is the Chicago Bulls and her favorite players are Point Guard Derrick Rose and Center-Forward Joakim Noah. Ayana learned about what it's like to be on a team last year when she played center for her school's team. "Teammates don't talk to you as much as you think they would," she says. "You have to know each other." She makes a great observation. Often times the best teams have players who know each so well, that, on the court, it's as if they know what each other is thinking.
Ayana lives in Westhaven Park in the Near West Side neighborhood of Chicago. She has liked growing up in the city, but eventually she wants to move to a more rural area. Actually, she wants to move to Iowa (a very rural area). When I ask her why, she says, "It's quiet and there's not much to do." It appears Ayana is a very simple girl. I guess that's why her mother nicknamed her "Plain Jane."
Before settling in wide-open spaces, Ayana has big plans for her education. For high school, she would like to attend UIC College Prep, the LSV campus of Noble Street Charter School, and, in college, she would like to study veterinary medicine. "I love animals and learning new things about them," she says. Maybe one day she will save the life of her favorite animal - the panda.
We look forward to seeing Ayana around Cabrini Connections for the next few years. She and her mentor, Cathrine Lynnerup, have been an asset to the program and we wish them the best!