Whether it’s serving as Student Council president or being active in her local community, Falan Kifle (‘20) is always looking for ways to help and get involved. And she has found many opportunities to grow as a leader at Oakcrest.
Falan joined Oakcrest in ninth grade. Her two sisters, Faven (‘23) and Faith (‘25), also attend Oakcrest. She has thrived intellectually here and loves how each class, whether it’s math, history, or theology, gives her both practical and speculative wisdom. She feels confident that her course of study is forming her as a whole person and helping her to become the best version of herself. “I love how I am challenged to grow,” she says. “Through the guidance of my mentors, teachers and the Oakcrest curriculum, I have truly developed as a person intellectually and spiritually.” It’s hard for her to choose a most memorable Oakcrest class, but she mentions American history with Ms. Boles and moral theology with Ms. Salls as some favorites. Both teachers brought the subject matter to life in a very vivid, relatable way for her.
Falan has a passion for student leadership. She has been on Oakcrest’s Student Council since her sophomore year. The first two years she was Spirit Captain, in charge of organizing Pep Rallies, Green and White Team competitions, and finding ways to promote school spirit and unity within the student community. Now she’s President of Student Council and has been promoting Student Council’s theme this year of “Building Foundations”—practicing small but important habits and attitudes that will help Oakies be the best students, friends, and people they can be. “I am proud of the extra spirit and life we have woven into the timeless tradition of Oakcrest,” she says. Falan also serves as a Student Ambassador and is the founder of Oakcrest’s environmental awareness club. Last year Falan was selected as a 2019 recipient of the William & Mary Leadership Award. This award is given by The College of William & Mary to one student from each high school in Virginia for inspirational leadership, outstanding scholarship, and unwavering loyalty to school and community.
Faith and service are important to Falan too. Outside of school she’s the head of the Habesha Kids Club Tutoring Program, a leader of a weekly Bible study for teens, a Sunday school teacher, and a worship team leader at her church. She enjoys serving the Ethiopian community and is active in advocating for first generation immigrants like herself within the Ethiopian and Eritrean community. Last year she spearheaded Oakcrest’s schoolwide charity fundraiser, in which students raised over $1,000 for the Love for Children and Mothers Organization, which helps single mothers in Ethiopia gain independence and financial stability.
After she graduates, Falan is headed to William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she hopes to study international business.