Fear Boldly


To those of you seeking sagely, pre-graduation advice, I grant you this: Listen, please, to that which your heart begs of you to do. I'm a firm believer in signs and fate, for there have been many instances in my life in which either divine providence or gracious circumstance has thrust me into my perfect place, into my destined slot in the jigsaw of life. Such an instance occurred earlier this month when, with a lump in my throat and fear in my heart, I agreed to speak at Vespers with less than 24 hours to prepare.

Since my arrival at Stevenson, I dreamt of the opportunity to deliver a Vespers speech. At times I would close my eyes and imagine myself bathed in light, standing at the pulpit, my voice ringing in the ears of my fellow boarders and my thoughts causing the foundation of the chapel to tremble. My ideas were to rattle in their brains and sit unsettled in their souls. I wanted them to hear my voice. I wanted to reach them. Only recently have I discovered my love and passion for public speaking. Oddly enough, I feel not only calm, but powerful when people's eyes are on me, for I know the influence that words hold. How do I want to influence these people? How can I reach them?

These were questions I was forced to answer on very late notice. At noon the day before, I received an email asking me to deliver a Vespers the following night. Being me, I had not yet done my homework for that weekend and was unsure of my ability to complete it. Then again, being me, I still accepted. I was overjoyed, anxious, and afraid; of course, I wrote my speech about fear.

Fearful hearts are what give us butterflies; both when we're scared and when we talk about and experience something we love, something that fills our souls and tells us, "Yes, this is what you are meant to do". Listen to it, let it motivate you, let it guide you, for fear is our greatest obstacle, yet it is also our greatest motivator. It was fear that cast me into shadows, yet it was fear that delivered me to the light of the chapel pulpit. I listened, and my heart led me to my perfect place.


My name is Nikki and I am a junior boarder. For me, the question "Where are you from?" is a tough one to answer. Sometimes, I just say Louisiana, where my father is from. However, it's more complicated than that. My mother is Filipina, but her family currently lives in California. My father's family lives in Louisiana, but they have French and Spanish heritage. Also, I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia so that adds even more to the confusion!

I love sailing and I'm at the highest rank for Girl Scouts. One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is selling more cookies than any other Girl Scout in the entire country of Saudi Arabia! I have also visited 33 countries and have done community service work in South Korea and South Africa.

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Fun Facts...

Favorite on campus activity:Going to bonfires at the Senior Firepit
I chose Stevenson because...Before visiting Stevenson, I visited four other schools all across the US, yet none of them gave me that "I want to be here" feeling the way that Stevenson did. Walking around campus during Open House, the friendly students and faculty really made me feel welcome, and by the end of the day I knew that Stevenson was the school that I was looking for.
Favorite food at Café Louie Louie:Grilled cheese (reminds me of home!)
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