Fine Arts Student Spotlight: Nicolas Sanchez

Parents: Albert and Vanessa Sanchez

Previous schools: Palmer-Laasko Elementary and Los Cuates Middle School

College: The University of Texas at Austin

Major: Biology

Career plans: Physician or researcher

Inspiration for your academic success: Since I was young, my parents have always rewarded my academic success. I can recall receiving praise for schoolwork as early as pre-kindergarten. My teachers were quick to reward me as well with candy and playtime. I have been fortunate to receive so much positive reinforcement for my pursuit of learning. However, As I grew older, I realized that learning meant so much more to me than what I previously thought. When I discovered the fields of philosophy, ethics, government, history, speech, sociology, public debate, and medicine, I began to understand that the knowledge I attain in school can truly be used for a greater good. I realized that academics are simply a gateway to knowledge, which informs all the decisions I make.

Life challenges: One of the biggest challenges I've been presented with is the transition from youthfulness into young adulthood. Becoming a young adult has brought about many personal responsibilities. It still scares me to acknowledge that I will have to participate in the election of state representatives in two years. In a few more years, I may even need to pay for the car that I drive and pay my own taxes. I haven't conquered this transition yet. While I'm taking college-level courses, I still forget to clean my room sometimes or take out the trash. However, it is my opinion that even adults are still conquering their own transitions through life. Voluntarily accepting responsibility is no easy task, but it has been rewarding.

Favorite sport or activity: Jazz Band, a seemingly a very sophisticated form of music, is my favorite. I was initially disinterested in Jazz when I was first exposed to it in middle school. However, after my best friend showed me the works of Dave Weckyl entering high school, I developed a deep love for what I came to know as people's music. I don't know anyone who doesn't start tapping their foot or moving their body when they hear jazz music. Jazz seems to encompass everything special about music. Jazz is soul, rhythm, feeling, intricate harmony, patterns, and the deviation from patterns. There is nothing truly as beautiful as bridging the gap between our physical bodies and what we know to be pleasant in our souls.

Balance of academics and school activities: Balancing school activities with academic work is incredibly difficult. In my freshman year of high school, I ended up taking two elective courses in one year. Balancing choir, Band, Cross Country, HOSA, Jazz Band, and DECA with school brought my grades down significantly. It was then that I learned that my time must be budgeted and dedicated to what aligns with my priorities. Gaining knowledge is one of my top priorities in life. I think anyone who seeks to manage their time better must truly value that.

Career goal: Both my parents and my grandparents have experience in the medical field. I always heard about the way that they have improved the lives of their patients. Patients who were presented with severe and life-threatening illnesses were saved because of the work my father does. Sometimes, a patient's quality of life was enhanced almost instantaneously. I was truly influenced by the role my family served in showing me what their jobs mean to others.