St. Ignatius
Nathalie

Chapter One: Who were you?
Every year of elementary school was special to me. Each teacher was fantastic and I really enjoyed myself, but the best year for me was 5th grade– my last year in elementary school. My 5th-grade teacher was called Mr. Joey and he was one of the greatest teachers I had ever had. He believed in me and saw potential. For that reason, he gave me confidence. 

The first time I went to FSA was when I had to visit to look at how a regular day would be at the school. I remembered when I entered FSA I was so shocked. It was so huge compared to my elementary school, which was small. I was so amazed at everything. It was so exciting to just be there. When I stepped onto the campus, I was greeted with nothing but warm smiles and kindness. It felt good to be there. 

I remember getting my acceptance letter to FSA. My dad had gotten the envelope and my face lit up completely when I saw it. I was in complete bliss. I had been accepted to the school of my choice. When I had told all of my teachers that I had been accepted to FSA, all the teachers congratulated me. They were all so happy for me. They wanted to see me succeed in life. I was so full of joy that I could have just exploded! I couldn’t wait for all of the new opportunities that waited for me. When it came to graduation day I was really happy, but sad at the same time. I didn’t want to leave my friends behind but I knew that I would make new ones at FSA.

Chapter Two: How have you grown as a scholar?
I really struggled with talking, studying habits,  and organization. Talking for me was a major part I needed to improve on. Coming into a new environment is hard to adjust to. I struggled with asking for help since I was very shy and didn’t like asking for help. Study habits for tests or homework were challenging for me to find. In public school, everything was easier to manage, but here at FSA homework and tests were challenging. Even if they were challenging before, I have improved a lot from my struggles and that has made me become even stronger. For organization, I was that type of student that the teachers were not able to read my handwriting. Managing time was difficult too. As time went by, everything that I had to improve on got slightly better. Even with all these challenges that I had in the beginning, FSA has made me stronger and better at these skills that will benefit me when I transition into high school.

Chapter Three: How have you grown as a person?
I have changed a lot since I was in 6th grade. In school, I have always struggled to talk or participate. I was too shy of a person to talk to. I would stutter or mess up while talking. I never had enough courage to speak up. However, I knew I wanted to work on that. I thought to myself near the end of 7th grade: what if I try to run for student council? Would it help me overcome my shyness? I had mixed feelings about it and kept changing my mind about whether I should run or not. I was in a dilemma. I was stuck. I had only a few days to decide on my final answer. The days went by so fast and before I knew it, the decision day had come. After all of the thought, I decided to run for secretary. As we went through the process I have to admit, I was embarrassed when they pulled up our video of why we should be elected. After the video, we were able to vote on who we wanted in each position. At that moment, I felt so worried about who my classmates were going to choose. I had said to myself that no matter what happens, whether I was elected or not, it was a no-lose situation because I had already faced my fears of talking in public. When Mr. G told us that he would send results at the end of the day, I was so nervous. That evening, when I received the email from him, I didn't want to look at it at first, but then I took a deep breath and opened the email and read through it. I had gotten the position of secretary! I was so delighted that I started crying tears of joy. I had finally stepped out of my comfort zone and it had paid off in the end. When I was finally in 8th grade, I continued to do many things trying to step out of my comfort zone. We have done morning assemblies every single Monday and little by little I got accustomed to speaking in public

Chapter Four: What are your talents/passions?
I love watching anime, reading manga, and learning Japanese. I usually do this stuff in my free time. I really get into manga when the story is engaging and enjoyable. Reading manga is something that brings me into another world– a world of fantasy and action. Manga is connected to the anime, which you can watch and dive into very easily as well. If you are up to the challenge, you can watch the whole entire season, even though some of them are long. There have been times when  I have watched 5 seasons in 2 days! My favorite anime are Demon Slayer and My Hero Academia. Those two are very popular and I strongly recommend watching them. When it comes to anime and the culture, it is very interesting and it has made me want to learn more about Japanese culture. I got really invested into the language. It is a difficult language, but it’s fun trying to learn it. At the beginning of this year, I was in an anime and Japanese club and I really enjoyed it. I was really excited to go back to the anime club each Friday when we had it, but then I had to go to volleyball practice while my club season was happening. When I couldn’t go to the club anymore I had to rely on other resources that would help me learn.

Chapter Five: What does it all mean for your family?
I decided to interview my dad for this part of the project. We spoke at my house one evening in April of 2022. He said, “For me it seems my daughter is the first person in our family that will be able to go to high school and this makes me very happy. Not only because she is the first one, but also because she is taking another step of life to be successful and seems her being successful is all I want.”- When I heard my dad saying this, I felt proud that I was going to be the first person in my family to graduate from not only high school, but also college!

Chapter Six: Who do you want to be?
What do I want to be? I always wanted to go to a great college that will provide a good education for me and a place for me to grow. I want to be able to have a place for me to unfold aspects of myself that I have never discovered yet. Now that I am entering SI, I have so many paths to choose from that can help me with exploring myself and getting a high-quality education. Even though I don’t know what I want career-wise, I’m hoping that I can get a job that I will enjoy or a job that will be able to help others in need.