Firstie Focus: Iyana Alleyne ’22

Photo of Iyana Alleyne ’22

Name: Iyana Alleyne

High school: United World College Changshu China

Home: Barbados

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Major/possible major: gender studies

Why Mount Holyoke: The idea of being surrounded by powerful women all working together to achieve their goals really struck a chord with me. Also, seeing all of the colours and smiles at convocation really tipped the scales. I wanted to be surrounded by people with that kind of energy.

In 10 years: Hopefully I’ve completed all my schooling and I’m settled into a field that advocates for people who can’t do it for themselves.

Career aspirations: I’m still making up my mind, but possibly a women’s or human rights lawyer.

About volleyball: My career on the national youth volleyball team was short-lived but really impactful. I’d never done organized sport before I started seriously training for volleyball when I was 14. I worked for a year competing to gain a spot on the team representing Barbados at a regional competition. That process of collaborating with people to reach a common goal was a priceless experience. Unfortunately, I could not continue to represent Barbados because I left the island for school at 16.

Proudest moment: Finally having a full conversation with a cab driver in Shanghai. It took me forever to grasp basic Mandarin. I also learned how to play the violin completely by ear when I was little.

How I spent the summer: I travelled to Kenya and to the Bahamas to spend time with my friends after graduation because I know it will be a while before I see them again, the downside to international high school. The rest of the summer was spent volunteering at a camp for differently-abled kids and relaxing with my friends at home.

The most important thing in my residence hall room: My HUGE Barbadian flag!

Favorite book: “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

TV show, music: I love “The Good Wife” and “Grey's Anatomy.” I listen to too many types of music to have favourites but right now I’m really loving The Lumineers, King Princess, Chronixx and some of Drake’s stuff.

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