What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
I once camped out on a beach in Venezuela that is known for being haunted. The first night we were there, no one told me that it was known for being haunted, so when my family ran out of room in the tents, I volunteered to sleep outside. The next day, everyone was shocked that I actually followed through with it, but I didn’t understand what the big deal was. They then told me about all of the spooky legends about the beach. I can reassure you that was the last night I slept outside of the tents.
Please list any Honors/Awards you have received in the past 2 years.
Coca-Cola National Scholarship
Gates Millennium Scholar
Rotary District Speech Competition Winner
Head Coach of YMCA Gymnastics Team
USA Funds Access to Education Scholarship
"All-Regional" - Cross Country
"Mental Attitude" - Cross Country
Knox County Superstar Singing Contest Winner
American Legion Cross Country Award
Member of "State Finalist" Competition Government Team
List any other Achievements/Accomplishments
Two Gold Medals at the Jr. Olympics in tumbling
"Most Valuable Underclassman" - Cross Country
Gymnastics Coach of the Year
"Best Newcomer" OTP Theater
High Honor Roll
"All-Conference" (4 years) - Cross Country
"Most Valuable Jumper" - Track
AAU and USTA State Champion in tumbling Please list any other jobs and/or unique occupations you have held in the past.
Turning vines in the watermelon fields, Picking cantaloupe, Mowing Lawns, Cleaning and sterilizing dental equipment
What are your strongest talents?
Singing, Running and Tumbling
Name one person, family, friend, celebrity, who has had the most influence on your life.
Grafilia Ellis. The person who has had the most influence on my life is my mom, who also happens to be my best friend. My father passed away due to a cancerous brain tumor when I was seven. Many people encouraged my mother to return to be with her family in Venezuela, but she knew that my brother and I had just been through a traumatic time, and she didn’t want to create another big change in our lives. She stood strong on her own and dedicated her life to helping my brother and me reach our goals and dreams. She has taught me how to be strong no matter what obstacles cross my path and to never give up on my dreams, regardless of how big or far out of reach they may seem. She has stood by my side through everything, and I will be forever thankful for the many blessings that she has given me.
Describe how you envision yourself in five years?
I see myself completing my degrees in Economics and Communication from Vanderbilt University and beginning to work towards my MBA. I also hope to pursue acting and modeling opportunities.
What else do you want the judges to know about you?
I have several goals and dreams for myself, my family and the people of Venezuela and Haiti that I am determined to achieve. I’m very excited to begin the next step in my life this fall as a freshman at Vanderbilt University. I will be majoring in Economics and Communications and plan to continue on to earn my MBA. I hope to one day be able to help my family in Venezuela financially and allow them to have opportunities that they have never had. I also am very determined to be able to return to Haiti several more times. After seeing the heartache they live with and experience everyday, I will always have them on my mind and in my heart. I plan on doing everything in my power to make life easier and better for them. With my education, continual love and support of my family and friends and desire to continue missionary work, I look forward to the challenges the future holds.