Claire Haynes’ motto for life is YOLO, and she believes that even though it sounds corny, it is true.
“I’m a strong believer in doing whatever makes you happy,” Claire said. “Before I die, I want to be able to say I did everything that I ever wanted to do.”
Friend and classmate Terrionna “TeeTee” Reed said that she and Claire enjoyed laughing together, studying together, and watching “Criminal Minds” in their free time. And also talking about life with their friends, manifesting, shopping, and traveling.
Claire stands out to her friends for her kindness and caring toward others.
One of the first memories that springs to mind for Teetee is of the first time they went to Kimberly’s house during the summer. Claire “made me feel comfortable and just open to making new relationships with people,” Teetee said.
One of the people who has influenced Claire’s kindness has been her uncle Steve.
“He’s honestly the most genuine person I’ve ever met,” Claire said, “and I love the way he loves and cares for people.”
Claire’s kindness extended to her teachers as well. Residential Faculty Amy Cummings first met Claire when she was interviewing to be an RF and she came to shadow in the 9th grade girls dorm tutorial, Claire offered her some snacks, chocolate-covered acai berries. Amy recalls that Claire was one of the first people to make Amy feel welcome at Eastside.
“I always think of Claire being goofy and giggling in my apartment in the dorms,” Amy said. “Even though we have tough and important conversations about big issues in the world or in our lives, I think of Claire as a ray of sunshine.”
For Christmas last year, Claire organized the Oregon hallway to give Amy a surprise — a pair of Crocs and a nice video saying why they appreciated her.
Even when Claire was going through difficult times her friends and teachers say that she never failed to be there for her friends and family. Claire is the type of person who makes others feel cared for and appreciated and she is generous with her kindness.
One of Claire’s biggest accomplishments was that she kept moving forward even when she wanted to give up. Now, she is excited to start a new chapter of her life at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, as a Biology major on a pre-med track.
“I think Claire has grown in her ability to advocate for herself and others and lead by example to address issues of inequality or unfairness,” Amy said. “She is community-minded and attuned to the dynamics at play in her environment that other people might not notice, and she will use those skills to better any community she becomes a part of.”