In the eighth grade, I decided to pursue my athletic and academic dreams at the IMG Academy boarding school. Although it was tough living away from home, I am so grateful I had this experience to grow me as a player and a person. It was at IMG where I truly discovered my passion for the sport, but I also developed a new mentality on how I viewed soccer and life in general. I realized that there was a lot more I could do to become a better player, and I was determined to start applying this to my everyday routines. During training, I would consistently push myself to work harder than everyone else even on simple drills, and after training, I would practice on my own because I viewed this time as an opportunity to improve when others were not. I also adjusted my nutritional habits, improved my sleeping patterns, and focused mental conditioning simply so I could provide myself with the best possible chances to play well. After a year of diligence, I saw myself improving more than I ever had before and it definitely paid off when I won our team Coach’s Award. Although I have much to learn, I am so lucky to have developed this mentality and passion for the rest of my soccer career.
This determination I discovered was not something I exclusively applied to the soccer field. I also implemented it into cultivating my character. In a place with little to no daily guidance from parents, it is easy to make irresponsible decisions. Regardless of the situation, I never compromised my values of honesty and integrity and was driven to set a good, moral example on a daily basis. Since character and service have significant meaning in my life, I ran and was elected president of the National Junior Honors Society, or essentially, class president. Through this society, I have organized many service events and fundraisers in which we have served the community and raised thousands of dollars for charity. Also on the topic of charity, my parents founded the Atlanta chapter of the organization, Swim Across America, which raises money to combat pediatric cancer. As a member of the Junior Advisory Board and swimmer in the event for the past seven years, I personally lead a team to raise over $50,000 for Swim Across America because this event has a very significant meaning in my life. On a different note, I had been playing the viola for the past seven years, but I was not ready to give it up upon my arrival at IMG. After practicing in my dorm room for the whole school year, I auditioned for and became a member of the Sarasota Youth Symphony.
Above soccer, academics are the most important to me. Since I enjoy an academic challenge, I take the hardest classes offered including Honors Spanish 3, Honors Algebra 2, Honors World Literature, Honors Biology, and World Geography, and I am pleased to continue earning straight A’s.