Earning yet another US Presidential Scholar in the Arts this year, New World School of the Arts once again brings the coveted distinction home. Adriana de la Torre, from the visual arts division at NWSA, submitted two YoungArts portfolios in two disciplines and was a Visual Arts Finalist. Adriana will have the opportunity to invite a professor from New World School of the Arts to join her as she travels to Washington D.C., June 18-20, 2017, to receive her award on behalf of the President of the United States. She will have her artwork displayed in the Hall of Nations in an exhibition created by this year’s recognized visual artists and writers during the impressive ceremony. “I am just grateful to be a part of this amazing recognition, and owe it all to the incredible support and guidance I've received from my teachers at New World School of the Arts,” said Adriana.
With an impressive resume that boasts an exceptional Grade Point Average, more than 1000 volunteer hours, involvement in myriad organizations and clubs, and remarkable leadership skills, Adriana was offered more than $2,000,000 in scholarships over four years to attend respected colleges and universities around the nation, including Maryland Institute College of Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Parsons, Tufts, and California Institute of the Arts, among others. After careful consideration, she decided to attend New York City’s The Cooper Union, ranked by US News and World Report in 2017 as #1 in Regional Colleges North. Adriana, who plans to major in Fine Arts explains, “I want to analyze the jointly constructed understandings of the world we live in, break them down to their constituents, and rebuild them. Cooper will mercilessly challenge me, and has historically pushed their students onto a higher plane of thought. I was immediately attracted to their professionalism and the quality of work of their alumni.”
An academically and artistically accomplished student, Adriana’s merits include much more than her remarkable GPA of 5.9, which places her among the top 5% of her class, or the numerous artistic accomplishments she has achieved, or the noteworthy distinctions she has received through the years – including this prestigious Presidential Scholar award. Adriana is also the recipient of the Scholastic Gold Key Portfolio award for two different portfolios and has taken dual enrollment, AP and Online AP courses, attended a summer pre-college, art program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City before her junior year and had an internship with a photography studio last summer in Amsterdam, Holland. A daughter of an immigrant father from Mexico and grandparents from Japan, she speaks fluent English, Spanish and French and cooks with gourmet flair. In addition, she is a high platform diver (30 ft.), has her boat captain’s license, skippered a Boston Whaler in Key Biscayne, was a boat deckhand on a 26’ Flats Boat, used to run 6 miles a day and taught arts and crafts to pediatric oncology patients. Adriana reads 18th Century Russian Philosophy and loves abstract Dutch photography.
“Everything Adriana does, she does with passion, commitment, care and kindness,” said NWSA visual arts teacher Jennifer Gifford. “She has an incredible work ethic and tremendous self-discipline. Her artistic works range from sophisticated illustrations and photo-collages to conceptual sculptures. Adriana raises the level of discourse in studio critiques, always lends a helping hand to our department, and has a wonderfully ironic sense of humor. Adriana credits art with helping her overcome challenges in her life.”
With 1,050 registered hours of community service, Adriana has successfully included the art of volunteering in every stage of her life by volunteering at the Silver Bluff Animal Clinic where she makes soft sculptures for the lobby and for animal cages that visitors can take home, while also painting murals on the clinic walls. She is active at the Aquatic Camp where she learned to high platform dive and where she volunteers in the summer. As the Vice President of the French Honors Society, Adriana has organized food and clothing collections for Haiti and has participated in Black History and Hispanic Heritage Month at NWSA. She has been a member of the Key Club and has an internship with Gonzalo Fuenmayor, a Colombian artist located in nearby Wynwood, Miami, while also tutoring students at NWSA during her lunch hour and after school.
Priscilla Baetty, a NWSA high school counselor who worked closely with the young artist, in preparation for her college applications highlighted, “Adriana is not a one-dimensional academic achiever. She is blessed with something even greater: the love and respect of everyone who knows her. She possesses the ability to get along with a wide range of people, generations, backgrounds, and cultures - demonstrating an innate kindness, and an emotional maturity that is rare among teens today.”
About her leadership skills, her teacher Jennifer Gifford highlights, “Adriana’s principal strength is her ability to be objective, fair and willing to speak up for her beliefs and for the good of the group. Her incredible work ethic makes her a natural leader of her peers. They respect her and know that she is driven to be her best. She is very hard on herself but very supportive of others.” Likewise, this aspect of Adriana’s life is also quite impressive. She was selected by the NWSA guidance office to be in the Future Business Leaders of America and was elected as the Secretary for the Student Government Association. Adriana was a founding member of the school’s Literary Magazine and is Vice President of the French Honors Club, as well as a member of the Gay/Straight Alliance Club. This year Adriana helped lead tours for visiting middle school classes to New World School of the Arts’ visual arts division and has been instrumental in encouraging other NWSA students to become involved in Beach Clean Up days and Walks for Autism.
Added to the notable list of US Presidential Scholar in the Arts awards received by New World School of the Arts students, this recognition is bestowed upon a handful of promising students in the nation each year. For the institution that forms and nurtures them, the reward comes in the form prestige and distinction. Including the 2017 scholar, NWSA has garnered a total of 19 Presidential Scholar in the Arts awards since 1988. The U.S. Presidential Scholars award—one of the nation's highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic excellence is presented on behalf of the President of the United States, and honors up to 161 graduating high school seniors of great potential each year. The 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts are all YoungArts Winners, nominated by the organization to The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and selected based on academic and artistic distinction, leadership qualities and community service.
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, New World School of the Arts opened its doors to the first high school class in 1986-1987, and in 1987-1988 for the first college class. Established in 1984 by the Florida State Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, NWSA provides artistically talented high school and college students the means to achieve both an academic education and artistic training. The four audition-based arts programs offered at New World School of the Arts are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. New World School of the Arts offers the high school diploma as well as a four-year BFA or BM college degree though its educational partnerships with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and the University of Florida.
With a comprehensive curriculum designed to train and nurture aspiring artists, the visual arts division at New World School of the Arts provides an environment for creative discovery. While students are encouraged to explore new paths, they are also exposed to works of classical and contemporary masters, providing them with a richly diverse and well-rounded perspective. Areas of visual arts concentrations include electronic media, graphic design, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
For information about New World School of the Arts, please call at 305-237-3135 or visit nwsa.mdc.edu.