Nicholas Smith

Hometown: Miami, FL

high school: North Miami Beach Senior

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Biochemical Sciences

GRAD. PROGRAM: Vanderbilt University Medical School (MD Candidate)

Born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Nicholas migrated to the U.S. at the age of one. His mother remembers him showing early signs of leadership when he played all of the leading roles in his kindergarten activities and led his graduating kindergarten class to the stage, carrying the American Flag.

Nicholas’ attitude towards life and adversity is to fear nothing and challenge everything. Realizing that no limitations apply to him, he strives for his dreams with confidence. Last year he applied to the MITE2S program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He tackled the most difficult classes they had to offer with endless perseverance. His inability to turn away from a challenge made MITE2S one of the most rewarding experiences of his life.

Convinced that the path to improving society lies in children, Nicholas has centered his community service efforts around the education of the youth in his community. Last year he began a chess teaching program with a local elementary school in order to train students in the game of chess, a game that is solely dependant on the arts of logic and reason. Chess, for Nicholas, is a symbol of a game that we are all too familiar with, life. The most important lesson heard from him every session is that in defeat, closely analyze your mistakes and learn from them. He hopes that they will also apply these lessons to life.

At age fifteen, Nicholas was faced with a disease known as Spondyloarthropathy, which threatened with the possibility of paralysis and left him bed-bound for two months. Often alone, immobile and lost inside of his own head for hours, Nicholas began to value the solace that the hospital room granted him. Experimenting and evaluating with the new (and old) ideas inside of the deepest laboratories of his mind taught him valuable lessons about life and about himself. Nicholas followed many trains of thought to the end of their tracks…and then took the long route back. These tireless journeys within himself brought an awesome clarity of mind and tranquility of heart that remain even now.

Nicholas emerged with a renewed motivation to make the most of life. He is now salutatorian of his class of 550 students at North Miami Beach Sr. High and is a leading student in the BEAM science magnet. Some of his many accomplishments include being named a National Merit Finalist, National Achievement Scholar, MIT-Lemelson Finalist, AP Scholar with Distinction and National Venture Scholar. He has recently been accepted to Harvard and it is there where he will persue his passion for science and discovery.

Nicholas was raised solely by his mother. Through faith and determination she was able to raise a successful and respectable human being. Nicholas, of all things, is most thankful that he can bring pride and honor to his mother, the most important figure in his life.

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