At what grade level did you start at The First Academy?
I started as a TKer at TFA–a Transitional Kindergartener, so I’m actually a 14-year Senior! My parents wanted TK for me, so I would be a bit older when I entered Kindergarten.
What were the reasons you or your parents chose The First Academy?
My parents chose TFA for my older brother, Daniel, 4 years before I enrolled. Their reason was because it is a Christian school that had strong teachers, academics, arts, and sports. It also seemed like a community to them. They were new to Orlando and were looking to connect.
Are you involved in extracurricular activities? If so, what are they and have you received awards in these activities? (These can be affiliated with TFA or outside of school)
Extracurriculars have played an important part of my life at TFA–in Middle School, I was able to play sports–soccer and lacrosse–in addition to being involved in several theater productions. In High School, I have been a captain of the Varsity Soccer Team for 2 years, played on 3 District Championship teams and have been chosen for the All-District First Team. I was a Captain of the inaugural Varsity Lacrosse Team in my Sophomore year, and have received the Best Defender Award and the Coach’s Award. I was also named a Scholar-Athlete as a Freshman.
Which colleges have you applied to and which ones have you been accepted to thus far? (Please include if you have made a decision to attend a certain college next year)
I’ve applied to a bunch of schools!–I’ve been accepted to Baylor, Auburn, Samford, Clemson and the University of Tennessee. I am still waiting to hear from James Madison, William & Mary, FSU, and UF. My first choice is the University of Florida which notifies applicants on February 10th at 6:00.
What do you plan to study in college and what are your long-term career goals?
I would love to study History because I’ve really enjoyed all my history classes, but I’m also learning to code in AP Computer Science and I love that too! And I’m also thinking about Law School and a career in law enforcement or the intelligence services. So I guess I’ll be ‘undecided’ when I enter college in the fall!
Have you received any college scholarships? If so, which ones? (Or, which ones are your currently nominated for)
I have received scholarship offers from Baylor, Samford, and Auburn and I have been nominated for a Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools Scholarship. I am still waiting to hear from others for which I have applied.
Who is/are your favorite TFA teacher(s), and why? (Teachers can be K4-12)
I have been fortunate in the teachers I have had while at TFA. Many names come to mind–Ms. Damron, Mr. Kowars, Mr. Harrison, Mrs. Malone–but there is one teacher who has ‘traveled’ with our class since the 7th grade and I have been in one of his classes for the past 5 years–Mr. Adams–who is also one of my soccer coaches–would probably be my absolute favorite!
How has TFA made a difference in, or impacted your life?
TFA has been a home to me for a long time–it has shaped me in many ways, but most importantly–it has pointed me to Christ. Discussing and learning academic subjects from a Christian perspective has opened my understanding to God’s work–in the natural world, in relationships, in my everyday life. It has confirmed the solid foundation that my parents have built their life on and has encouraged me to do the same. The strong sense of fairness and justice I have has grown from what I’ve learned and observed while at TFA–both positive and challenging.
How do you feel that The First Academy has prepared you for life after graduation?
Of course, I don’t know for sure, but I hope I am prepared both academically, emotionally and spiritually. Of course, TFA is not solely responsible for any of these, but, along with my family, it has given me opportunities to learn, lead, fall, struggle, and thrive. I’m sure I will experience all these again in college, but knowing I have been successful at TFA gives me confidence and hope–in my Savior– and in the gifts He has given me.
What does it mean to you to be a The First Academy alumni?
It means that, together with my parents and teachers, I have accomplished something significant and have grown into who I am today. I am hopeful that the school will strive to be a light in our community that constantly questions the status quo–both inside the school and outside.
To view our previous spotlight on Chelsea Han, click HERE