Discus Award Winner
12th Grade, FL
I established my own nonprofit organization AquaAid International, Inc. It started with a debutante invitation; I was honored to be considered by an assemblage of such notable women, however I was drawn to an alternative more in keeping with my spirits. To be a debutante or donate the funds required for debutante participation to a organization serving humanity; for me the decision was clear. In the course of researching possible nonprofits to donate to, the idea of staring my own was born. The cause I decided on was to provide sustainable sources of potable water for communities in developing nations. I expect to receive our 501(c)(3) status in the early winter and have developed a partnership with a grassroots NGO in Samburu, Kenya for our first water project (to be completed by May).
I have never been one to pursue anything typical of someone my age, and my work experience is no different. I have always loved to travel and sail and the summer of 2010 I took my love to the professional level. I got a job as a deckhand and stewardess on a 94-foot yacht Solstice 1 in Puerto Rico. I spent weeks polishing teak, provisions, and translating for the captain. Later that year I joined Solstice 1 in Colón, Panamá for a charter through the Panamá Canal to Quepos, Costa Rica. I continue to work on Solstice 1 in Costa Rica during school vacations. In my time aboard I have acquired almost enough sea time and taken the prerequisite classes to get my 200-ton MOY captains license. I am saving all money earned for university to study public health and tropical medicine.
Many girls have the dream of being a ballerina, for a short time this dream was my reality. Since the age of two I have been dancing classical Cecchetti ballet. For me ballet was more than an art or an afternoon activity, ballet was how I expressed myself and it meant the world to me. I trained anywhere from 2 to 6 days a week with the local ballet company. In 2009 I auditioned for the Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker season, and danced the part of the Spanish doll. Dancing with professional ballerinas, for an immense audience, and the satisfaction of standing ovations was exhilarating. Although I am no longer on the fast track towards the life of a professional ballerina I dance for fun, and attempt to learn the traditional dances of the countries I travel to.