At what grade level did you start at The First Academy?
I started at The First Academy in Kindergarten (so I am a proud 13-year senior!).
What were the reasons you or your parents chose The First Academy?
My parents originally enrolled me at TFA for a sound education in a Christian environment. I continue to choose TFA not only for the quality of education but for the quality of the teachers and faculty; the significant Christian influence has been a tremendous blessing as well.
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)
I row for Orlando Area Rowing Society (OARS for short) in Windermere. In rowing, I have found success on the state, regional, and national levels: I am a silver state medalist and a silver and gold regional medalist, I have earned gold and bronze medals at the Head of the Hooch in Tennessee, and I have twice gone to the US Rowing Youth National Championships.
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 am applying to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, University of Florida, and Florida State University. While I have not yet completed the application processes nor by any means made an official decision, I am currently in correspondence with and receiving support from the women’s lightweight crew coaches at MIT (as a recruited athlete).
What do you plan to study in college and what are your long-term career goals?
I plan to study biomedical engineering in college because I’m fascinated with the technological advances that are being made in areas such as prosthetics and other anatomical devices. As of now, the plan is to study biomedical engineering through graduate school and work in the development of artificial organs and advanced prosthetics.
Have you received any college scholarships? If so, which ones? (Or, which ones are your currently nominated for)
I am currently designated as a National Merit Semifinalist, and I’m in the process of applying for Finalist standing. If I attend college in Florida, I expect to receive Bright Futures.
Who is/are your favorite TFA teacher(s), and why? (Teachers can be K4-12)
I’ve had so many excellent teachers at TFA throughout my time here, and I give credit and thanks to every one of them. The teachers coming to the forefront of my mind are my English teachers from the past three years: Mrs. Patton, Mr. Kowars, and Dr. Holter. All three have inspired me to write and read in greater abundance and with more prowess than I already purposed to upon entering their classes. All three have invested an exceptional amount of time and thought into me, my well-being, and my future. I must also mention the extensive knowledge and understanding I’ve learned from Mr. Harrison and the great deal of encouragement I’ve received from Mrs. de la Fe and Mr. and Mrs. Harvey! It is clear that they, and every teacher of mine since Kindergarten, have had my best interests at heart.
How has TFA made a difference in, or impacted your life?
Having the Christ-centered education that TFA has provided has definitely impacted my life in a positive way. I appreciate the time set aside for prayer in every class and chapel every week. The opportunities for worship that TFA provides have also helped me develop my relationship with Christ. The optional all-worship chapel sessions are always moving, and specifically, the optional worship session on Friday night of the senior retreat was one of the highlights of my TFA experience.
How do you feel that The First Academy has prepared you for life after graduation?
I feel that the education I have received has prepared me well for life beyond high school. I will have completed several college-level (AP) classes at the time of graduation, which will have served as good preparation for university coursework. Additionally, the Bible classes I have taken throughout my time here have helped to fortify me spiritually — and, I am especially hopeful that Apologetics will prepare me well for “the world” ahead at college.
What does it mean to you to be a The First Academy alumni?
I am honored to be graduating from The First Academy. I am blessed that my parents found this school, and I am blessed to have been able to remain here for 13 years. Most of my life has been spent at TFA, and this school has become a part of who I am; the education and the experience overall has given me a solid foundation for continuing through life. I hope to make the school proud and bring glory to God through whatever I do in the future, thanks to what TFA has done for me while I’ve been here.
To view our previous spotlight article on Nicole Cyr, click HERE