Seeking her success in science

Jessica Annonio’s love of science and an invitation from a friend led her to spend hours of her free time volunteering at the Birmingham zoo. She logged 350 hours at the zoo from the 9th-11th grades working with summer camps and visitors.

“I gave biofact presentations and took animal handling classes. Sometimes I’d be with the reptiles and other days with sea lions,” Annonio said.

She completed the first two out of three levels of classes for volunteers, which taught her how to handle animals such as guinea pigs, chickens, screech owls and even large snakes.

“Snakes don’t faze me,” she said.

Neither does a large load of extracurricular activities or the multiple chances she’s had to be a leader.

Annonio is the editor-in-chief of Chelsea’s yearbook staff of 16, which means she’s involved with layout, design, writing, photography and the overall planning of the yearbook. She is also an avid pianist and often sits down to play pieces by her favorite composers Chopin and Copeland after a busy day of editing pages of the yearbook. On top of school, the yearbook and her music, Annonio serves as the president of Council on Youth Ministries as the “face of the youth” to various organizations within the North Alabama Methodist Church.

“I’ve always wanted to do it all. I wouldn’t do anything if I didn’t absolutely love it,” she said.

But it’s her appreciation for the sciences that has determined her future plans. Annonio will major in chemistry at Davidson College in North Carolina and hopes to do research after college to explore the physical components of chemistry.

“I love chemistry because if you know a couple basic principles you can deduce your way through other problems. It’s very logical,” she said.