Top of the Class
Spotlight Date:April 24, 2015
Jacqueline Chen, the Class of 2015 Valedictorian, is currently trying to narrow down her college choices. Between acceptances at Duke University, Wellesley College, and the University of Southern California, she has her work cut out for her.
A piano major at Dreyfoos, Jackie began playing at the age of 6. During the summer of 2012, she was able to attend The Florida State University Honors Piano Camp with a merit scholarship.
“The very fact I have gotten to continue studying piano at such a comprehensive level has made for a truly unique high school experience I could not receive elsewhere. The Piano Department at Dreyfoos has provided me with numerous performance, master class, and concert opportunities that I'd never have access to on my own. Being amongst and learning from so many talented pianists has definitely made me a better musician. I would also say that the collaborative nature of the Piano Department ‘family’ has helped me to become a more independent and driven individual.”
Although she hopes to continue playing music, Jackie plans to major in chemistry, and counts various topics within the STEM fields, the physical applications of biology and chemistry, bioethics, and bowling as some of her interests. All of which she has been able to pursue during her time here at Dreyfoos.
“Dreyfoos has provided me with countless opportunities in both the arts and academics that I would never have received at my home school. I get to be surrounded by students who are passionate about their art, which is a constant source of inspiration for me. Academically, I've been fortunate to be able to challenge myself with the many competitive classes offered here and do so in a supportive environment.”
The summer before her senior year, Jackie attended the Young Scholars Program, which is a state-funded STEM summer program at FSU offered to 40 top students across Florida. There she studied math, programming, and science under the direction of FSU faculty as well as independent research for her project on X-Ray crystallography.
Jackie hopes to combine her love of science and art with a career in medicine, hopefully as a doctor, although she is waiting to decide on a specialty.
“As cliche as it might sound, Dreyfoos means home to me because it is the place where I have grown as a musician and individual for the past four years, amidst a community I have genuinely come to think of as family.”