Nicolas Krell, a senior at Arcata's Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy, was recently invited to be one of just 90 outstanding student artists and scholars from across the country to attend Princeton University's Creative Arts and Humanities Symposium.
The goal of the symposium, which runs September 27-29, is to “reinforce interest in the creative arts and humanities amongst the nationʼs best students.”
The all-expenses-paid weekend gives students an opportunity to get a taste of a Princeton education while exploring dance, theater, film, music, writing and visual arts at a university level. Participants will work closely with Princetonʼs accomplished, prizewinning professors (think Grammy and Pulitzer) in cross-disciplinary workshops.
Attendees must be nominated, and not all nominees are invited to the symposium. High school officials, counselors and faculty members are encouraged to recommend an exceptional senior with a strong talent or interest in the arts and humanities. When Northcoast Prep founder and principal Dr. Jean Bazemore received Princetonʼs nominee invitation letter, Krell promptly came to mind.Krell is a gracious, approachable student with a compelling history. Born in his fatherʼs native Uruguay, he lived on three continents and attended eight schools in his first 16 years. His family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when he was 3 and has since lived in Nevada, Tennessee and, most recently, Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.
He attended the American Community School in Abu Dhabi through his sophomore year. Then, he explains, “Due to a few factors, we decided just as an exercise to explore other schools online." He and his family wanted to find another International Baccalaureate school, and one with a strong performing arts program. "We found NPA and it was a perfect match,” he said.
Krellʼs sights are set high. Princeton is the top school on his college application list, which also includes Brown, Yale, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, Vassar, NYU, Wesleyan, Bard and Sarah Lawrence.
When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Krell said he's still exploring his options. “At some point, I will definitely be acting in New York City, and possibly trying to direct as well," he said. "Recently I've also become really interested in scenic design. My parents are both architects, so I guess it's in my blood. So possibly a mix of the three for a while. But I also love mathematics, music and design, so I have a range of options for my career. If everything goes well, I might one day want to get into teaching and even open a school of my own.”
In addition to the Princeton symposium, Krell was recently selected as a 2013-2014 National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, which is awarded by the SATʼs College Board. Of the pool of 259,000 Hispanic/Latino students, only 5,300 are selected based on their PSAT scores and cumulative GPA.
As a senior at NPA, Krellʼs schedule includes high-level IB classes ranging from philosophy to theater. Heʼs also taking independent study courses in mathematics and scenic design and seeking an artists diploma in vocal performance and composition.