(This is my first assignment for my Journalism 3190 class, Writing Across Multiple Platforms. It’s terrible. You shouldn’t read it.)
I met Alix Minadeo in August of 2014. She showed up at Savannah Christian Preparatory School the first week of high school, and during lunch one day this short, energetic new girl with long brown hair and bright eyes walked up to my crowded bench of high school freshman girls. Private school was pretty cut-throat, and entering the scene in high school could be dangerous. By then the social hierarchy had been established, friend groups had been formed, and few girls were willing to allow a new member into their cliques.
But Minadeo was different. This sweet girl from Appleton, Wisconsin, wasn’t going to let the societal standards of high school keep her from accomplishing her goals. With determination, hard work, and a little bit of charm, Minadeo managed to swing the system despite the adversaries that came her way.
A step ahead from the very beginning
Minadeo was born in Winnebago county, but moved to Savannah, Georgia during her late elementary school career. Her parents placed her in private school from the very beginning, starting off at Bible Baptist School until her freshman year of high school. When her parents decided to move her to Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Minadeo flourished. “I really liked Savannah Christian,” Minadeo said. “I liked the academics. Freshman and sophomore year [of college] I had this jump ahead.” Despite being the new girl, Minadeo was determined to make herself known. She participated in extracurricular activities, studied hard for her classes, searched for help when she needed it, volunteered at the hospital, worked at the local Cold Stone Creamery, and secured a steady social life within her four short years at the high school. After graduating from Savannah Christian, Minadeo started school at College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, Georgia, where she became even more involved.
Busy bee and hope for the future
Moving beyond high school wasn’t difficult for Minadeo, especially since college meant beach living. Her eyes lit up even more when thinking about her freshman year. “Big groups of people would just bring their textbooks, put a blanket down, and study on the beach for hours. I loved it.” Minadeo’s tan complexion showed how much she enjoyed her old college home; however, she had bigger plans. “I knew within the first week that I wanted to go to a bigger, better school,” Minadeo said, her eyes fixed in determination. “But I also knew I had to do a few things to get there.”
Minadeo’s heart was set on the University of Georgia, and therefore she knew she had to have a competitive GPA and some money saved up.
After a recommendation from a friend, Minadeo became one of the first employees at the new Savannah Bee Company store in Saint Simons Island, Georgia. “We had to know everything about bees, and we had almost no time to learn it.” As she explained the training process, I saw the light in Minadeo’s eyes fade a bit. Her shoulders slouched, and her head tilted downward. “There was no support system for the store. It was exhausting.”
But then she found hope. Well, Hopes.
“I was sitting outside Savannah Bee Company one day during my break when I met Kayla,” Mindaeo said, trying to contain her excitement. Kayla, the store manager at a boutique called Hopes, quickly hired Minadeo to work at her store. “It was the best job I’ve ever had.”
Even though she was working two jobs and balancing a full class schedule, Minadeo breezed past her first year and a half on the coast. “She is so hardworking,” her friend Christina Cortes, second-year student at UGA, commented. “There’s no way I would have been able to handle everything she was doing.”
With money saved up and a 3.6 GPA, Minadeo had secured a spot into the University of Georgia.
Minadeo sipped her IBC Root Beer in Walker’s Coffee Shop & Pub as I interviewed her. Already comfortable in her new surroundings, her buzzing energy seems to brighten the dark, cool corner we were sitting in.
Despite not working this semester Minadeo doesn’t have it easy. The business and pre-law major has a rigorous course load ahead of her for her first semester at UGA, including pre-calculus and microeconomics; however, her support system surrounding her is already strong. Jane Yandel, a second-year student at UGA, met Minadeo last year when she visited campus. “She is so freaking personable,” Yandel commented. “She’s not afraid to reach out, and I love that.”
Minadeo is also looking forward to building more relationships when she goes through formal recruitment this upcoming fall. “I’m really looking forward to being a part of a sisterhood,” Minadeo said.
Minadeo has only been in Athens for a few weeks, but she is already calling it home.