Phillip and Lisa Billy’s youngest child, Anoli, is aptly named.
Anoli, who turned 18 on Saturday, said her name is Chickasaw and Choctaw and means To Speak.
Indeed, that’s a trait that will serve the Purcell High School senior well if her future plays out like she’s planned.
And based on her past accomplishments, there are few doubts about that future.
This summer Anoli did something no other Purcell girl has accomplished.
She attended Girls State at the University of Oklahoma where she ran for – and was elected to – the office of governor.
“I grew up in politics. That changes the game a whole lot,” she said.
As governor, Anoli had to appoint a 15-member cabinet, sorting through 100 applications to make her selections.
It fell to Anoli to sign or veto bills passed by the Girls State legislature.
It was hard, demanding work. But Anoli said it was also “fun” to go through the process.
Anoli is no stranger to politics. You might say she’s been on that campaign trail since she was 4 years old.
Her mother served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 2004-16.
Anoli shares her mother’s interest in politics.
But she’s also interested in an Air Force career, saying she hopes to become a JAG officer in the service.
Two different goals. Two possible careers.
For now, she’s keeping her options open.
An honor student, Anoli has been accepted by – and has scholarship offers from – the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Oral Roberts University.
There is a strong military tradition in the Billy household.
Masheli, the oldest sibling, is an Army helicopter pilot serving in Afghanistan.
Another brother, Nahinli, is in a field artillery unit with the Oklahoma National Guard.
Phillip Billy served in the Air Force and is now a veteran service officer for the Chickasaw Nation.
Anoli said he is “very excited” by her Air Force plans
“I first dreamed of joining the Air Force in eighth grade,” Anoli said. “Ever since I’ve worked toward that.”
Politics might not be Lisa Billy’s career choice for her daughter, but “she also says it’s my dream and whatever I want, she will support me,” Anoli said.
The teen’s immediate post-high school plans include seeking an Air Force commission and more scholarship money through the branch’s ROTC.
She expects ROTC will be a “good experience leadership wise” and believes it will mold her into a better person and trained leader for the United States.
One dream she’s not pursuing is an appointment to the Air Force Academy.
“It’s probably not my best fit,” she said. “Math and science are not my favorite subjects.”
She may major in political science.
Anoli is earning college credit through concurrent enrollment at Oklahoma City Community College.
Though not a fluent speaker, Anoli can carry on a conversation in Chickasaw and said the family frequently speaks in Chickasaw at home.
Her Chickasaw culture is an important part of Anoli’s life. She plays stickball, a native sport, on a Chickasaw Nation team.
At Purcell High School, she is vice president of the Student Council and senior class. She is also president of FFA. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average.
She plays on the golf and Lady Dragons basketball teams and is on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team.
Her honors outside school include 2019-20 Miss Indian Falls Creek and American Heart Association sweetheart.
Like the rest of the Billy family, Anoli is an active member of Landmark Church.
She went on a mission trip to South Africa and will be joining church members on another mission trip to Costa Rica in the spring.
It’s an exciting prospect to help more people through her faith.
“A lot of my dreams are helping people through the law,” she said.