Hometown: Tampa, FL
high school: HW Blake High School
college: Washington and Lee University
MAJOR: Chemical Engineering
Though born in Miami, July 12, 1996, Nancy was raised in Tampa for most of her life. During middle school, Nancy found the defining pieces of herself. All in sixth grade, she became a vegetarian, picked up the cello, and began practicing Taekwondo. Her experience consisted of balancing extracurricular activities and schoolwork, but this only prepared her for the multiplying effect high school would create for her responsibilities.
In eighth grade, Nancy made a tremendous decision in choosing where to attend high school. Rather than take the easy route and go to her zone school, a mere five−minute walk away from her house, she picked Howard W. Blake, a performing arts magnet school, an hour−and−a−half away by school bus. However, the three hours she sacrificed daily in transportation seemed inconsequential compared to her amazing high school experience. As a cellist her “major” in the school was orchestra, a department that facilitated a dedication to excellence and close relationships with other musicians. She made lifelong friends, and developed a passion for classical music that would have been difficult to foster in any other environment.
Nancy fondly remembers watching a concert by the Florida Orchestra with a few of her classmates, an event that inspired her to broaden her musical palette and come to appreciate the differing opinions people held in regards to art. There, she said she “fell in love” with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. After that experience she began seeking out music beyond the romantic era, all too familiar from the literature she reads with her orchestra, especially by listening to 20th century composers: Copland, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Ives, and Prokofiev, to name just a few. Their works exposed her to a fascinating faction of classical music. At the same time, though, she realized that others may not understand how she could tolerate atonal music, but she believes beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The revolutionary composers reinforced her belief that everyone’s interpretation of what is beautiful is different, and for that reason she avoids judging people for their specific preferences.
Despite all of the time she needed to allocate to her studies and cello, Nancy still managed to keep Taekwondo an integral part of her life. In late 2012 she earned her first−degree black belt, and in early 2013 certification as an assistant instructor. Towards the end of her Junior year she spent nearly eight hours a week working with younger students and leading classes, to her an unbeatable way to volunteer time.
Nancy plans to continue with both orchestra and martial arts once in college, not to mention pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and minor in Environmental Studies.