Arianne Amparo, College Freshman
Arianne is a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley. She plans on majoring in English with hopes of either pursuing a career in writing or editing, or attending law school after completing her undergraduate education.
She is looking forward to living in Berkeley and immersing herself in the rich cultural history of the Bay Area. While in college, she wishes to get involved with as many clubs and organizations as she can, as well as get the opportunity to spend a semester abroad.
Arianne has a passion for writing, art, and politics, and currently spends most of her free time either catching up on world news or reading and writing. A few of the things she loves doing include journaling, swimming (both competitively and recreationally), browsing through used bookstores, spending time with friends and family, and watching stand-up comedy.
Ashley Cheak, High School Senior
Ashley is a senior at Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton, Ohio. She enjoys writing, as well as performing. While studying Creative Writing there, Ashley is also working on her Associate's in Communication at Sinclair Community College.
In the future, she would like publish a poetry and/or fiction book.
On top of writing, Ashley also has a strong interest in photography, and would like to do photo journalism to help get involved with the media. Over the summer, she attended Interlochen Center of the Arts and developed an even fonder love of the editing process. In the past, she has helped host and organize art events, and has also collaborated with fellow artists. She has an array of interests, but definitely sees writing and communication there.
Nanda Dyssou, Grad Student
Nanda Dyssou is a first year MFA candidate at the University of California in Riverside. She is completing the Masters in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts program, specializing in fiction. She is of Congolese and Hungarian origin and grew up in Budapest. In the spring of 2016 she graduated summa cum laude from UCR with a BA in Creative Writing and decided to return to her alma mater to complete work on her first novel and a short story collection. She works as a regular contributor to Locale Magazine and a number of her essays are forthcoming in The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Cinema (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017).
When she is not on campus, writing, or reading Nanda enjoys going to the theatre, attending food festivals, planning parties, and baking healthy treats for her family and friends. She occasionally blogs at www.nandadyssou.com.
Coggin Galbreath, High School Senior
Coggin Galbreath is a senior at the Geneva School in Boerne, Texas, where he does a lot of things, ranging from national debate to community theater (and also some stuff in between, like macaronage, costume design, illustration, and orchid cultivation). He is a novelist, short-story, writer, and essayist, published in multiple literary journals and recognized by the San Antonio and Texas Book Festivals. In his free time, he teaches Shakespeare and art to kids, leads worship at his church's youth group, and hosts a Bad Book Club for disgraceful works of YA fiction that would never be read otherwise
Hailie Higgins, High School Junior
Hailie is from 1800s-esque Doylestown, Pennsylvania where she is a junior at Central Bucks High School West. Her hands down favorite thing to do is perform, which she does plenty of as a part of her school's marching band, specifically the color guard. If she's not practicing, watching, or talking about color guard, you can find her thinking about it while she's engaged in one of her other activities.
She is in her school's world affairs club, class council and Interact club. She likes uniqueness, and tends to avoid joining major clubs and organizations at her school, instead finding her own opportunities. For example, last summer she coordinated a blood drive with the Red Cross, and collected 34 pints of blood, independent of any club.
She also writes for her county's newspaper, The Intelligencer, in their student section.
Hailie is a self-proclaimed language enthusiast, studying French and Spanish at the moment. She hopes to become fluent by the end of high school, in order to start learning more as soon as possible.
India Miraglia, High School Senior
India is a senior at Paul V. Moore High School. She is dedicated to academics and loves learning, especially about politics, history, and social issues. Her favorite way to spend her free time is reading and writing. She plans to study journalism in college and is interested in being a political journalist or analyst.
India believes that writing can have a huge impact on the world while making lives better. She wants to develop her skills so her writing can help create a strong future.
One cause she feels passionate about is animal welfare. She has worked with various rescues, promoted petitions, and wrote to the White House to stop wolf killings. Her family owned a rescue which saved hundreds of dogs. She has many pets at home, including her own dog Sammi, a lab mix.
When not busy India is baking, cooking (she’s a vegetarian!), running, or watching her favorite shows (fandoms for life!).
She is in National Honors Society, DECA, Character Education, and Foreign Language Club. As a member of her school’s exchange program, she has worked with other districts to end racism and promote diversity. India is an editor for her school’s newspaper, the Crimson Talon.
McKenzie Nevins, College Sophomore
Kenzi Nevins is a small-town Kentucky native and a sophomore at Taylor University. She's a professional writing major and theatre minor with a dream of becoming a novelist someday.
For the first semester of her freshman year she studied abroad in Ireland, which was definitely a life-long dream come true!
Kenzi has accidentally become something of a tea connoisseur - she blames it on Ireland and her job in a tea parlor last summer. And we all know what useful skill that is...right?
When she isn't acting, singing, drinking tea or going without shoes (seriously), she writes pretty much all the time. She's just begun to get her first taste of the professional publishing world - and she couldn't be more excited!
One of the biggest lessons she's learned in college so far is that she'll always want travel to be a huge part of her life.
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Tunika Onnekikami, College Freshman
Tunika is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. She enjoys writing and meeting new people. Though she is not yet sure what she wants to study, she knows that she wants to be able to write and work with others after graduation.
Though she enjoys many sports, Tunika is a runner and sprints for Penn’s track and field team. She is excited to explore all of the clubs and activities of university and is sure that they will all keep her busy during her first year.
When she does have free time, Tunika can be found writing or spending time with her friends.
Ashley Paskill, College Senior
Ashley Paskill is a (super) senior at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, majoring in journalism. She earned her associate degree in music from Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Ashley hopes to use her passions for both music and writing to be a music journalist. Her dream job is writing for Rolling Stone magazine!
In her free time, Ashley likes spending time with her friends and family, singing in her church choir, and doing crafts. Her favorite musicians include Hall and Oates and Chris Tomlin. Ashley's favorite TV show is "Live From Daryl's House," but she has to watch it online since she does not get the channel it is on.
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