Senior Kalie Oku


Photo by Rachel Lu.

Senior Kalie Oku runs track. Kalie is the founder and president of the poetry club Divulgence. Kalie describes herself as a friend to anyone. To her, her role at the school seems, even more so than her work as an athlete or artist, to be that of a leader for inclusion.

Since she was a freshman, Kalie noticed a certain division between peers, socially, culturally and creatively. This observation prompted her to start Divulgence in her junior year.

“Feeling talentless or out of place is an unfortunate but also somewhat typical feeling for students in general,” Kalie said. “This can be fixed with clubs who have leaders that can break through people’s shells and expose them to new activities.”

Kalie aims for her club to be a place for students interested in humanities and creativity to express themselves. It is the confluence of a gradient of student culture and a zeal for creative expression, which Kalie believes is vital to self-growth.

“I feel very fortunate to live in an area wealthy enough to add specialized math and science courses to the curriculum, but I also feel that it is important to remember the other side,” Kalie said. “Many students feel pressured to go into computer science or engineering, but these fields are not for everybody.”

Kalie’s own trials with dyslexia, as well as her growing experience as a leader and as a cultivator of student talent, are what attracted her to teaching.
“I’ve wanted to be a teacher for some time now, and with such a positive experience as the leader of Divulgence, I’m certain that teaching is my passion,” Kalie said.

By leading the creatively-inclined, Kalie is helping to make external, the internal, one student at a time. One could say that Kalie’s identity at the school has been defined by her recognition of a void and her efforts to fill it. Her high school identity bears the image of what she hopes to become: a teacher.

“My freshman year English teacher, Mrs. Herrera, has helped me overcome my dyslexia and see the beauty of learning and teaching,” Kalie said. “She sparked the idea of becoming a teacher in my mind, and since then, I feel sure that it’s the profession I want to pursue. I hope that I can make an impact on students’ lives the way Mrs. Herrera did on mine, and be a positive role model for any student that may be struggling.”