Photo: Nicole Hamel
Senior at Montverde Academy
- Born in Eustis, grew up in Mount Dora and Alabama.
- Father, Tom, is an abstract artist in Mount Dora and professor at Full Sail University.
- Mother, Linda, is a nurse practitioner with Aspire Health in Alabama.
- Siblings: Two sisters, Avery and Katie.
- GPA: 4.33, graduating with 14 AP classes, while serving as Prefect Student Leader.
- Served over 500 volunteer hours.
- In National, Science, Math, and Spanish honors societies, Honor Council, and Key Club.
- Produced three student movies on social issues with Molly Smith Productions; won two awards.
Who do you admire? My sister, Katie, a former Marine raising my fantastic 6-year-old niece. I admire her strength of character.
Why attend Montverde Academy? The diversity of students is a very stimulating atmosphere, and the school will help me reach my goals.
What are your goals? I’m going to Duke University for biomedical engineering with a focus in pre-med, then on to medical school to become a cardiovascular surgeon.
How did you decide? A cardiac surgeon is right in the chest, actually solving a problem. I want to help others in the best way possible.
Why Duke? Duke is in the top 5 in my chosen field, and they’re rated No. 1 for best nutrition in student cafeteria food.
How do you handle tough times? I try to communicate and talk about whatever it is, and also improve nutrition and exercise until I feel better.
Relaxation: I spend time at a certain Florida beach where I remember honoring my grandmother when I was little. It’s a place that holds good memories.
What’s important to you? Acceptance, tolerance, learning to love each other.
Best advice received: Sometimes you have to make decisions that will help yourself.
Best advice to give: Everyone is different, unique. You can’t be someone else. Our path is to learn to love ourselves.
What’s ahead? In a few months, I’ll be 18. To me, that means adulthood. I can hardly wait.