[EVERYONE HAS A STORY]: Introducing Devyani Nelson


SUBMITTED BY: Deviyani Nelson

Deviyani Nelson smiles for the camera in her Hawaiian shirt, showing off her smile and style.

From swimming to school, everyone has a story, and Devyani Nelson took on the challenge of sharing bits of her daily life to what her inspirations are. She is a 9th grader who is part of the swim team and tries to be an active community member in the SPA community.

Nelson starts her day by waking up at 7 a.m. on weekdays: “I eat breakfast around 7:30 and leave the house at 7:45. After school, I have swim practice until 5:30 p.m. I walk home from Highland and get home around 5:50,” she said. “I shower, again, and then do my homework, eat dinner, and then go to bed.”

SPARKS, the co-Highland and SPA swim team, is a big part of her routine.

Nelson tells a story that helped her overcome school jitters with a little humor in it. “On my first day of aftercare in 3rd grade, I arrived late because my bus was running late. When I got there, they gave me a snack, and I ate the Chex Mix on the table while all the other kids were sitting on the ground listening to a story. I got up to go to the other room, the one for the older kids, and I tripped and spilled my Chex Mix all over the floor. I was so embarrassed. Everyone turned and looked at me! I felt like crying, but everyone forgot about it by the next day. Plenty of embarrassing things have happened to me since that, but I don’t let it affect me as much because I know that nobody actually cares.” Having this expense helped her grow as a person and become more comfortable in school and in public in general.

Emotionally, I want to be more outgoing amongst new people and become more self-aware… [A]cademically, I want to get better at studying effectively and focusing on my schoolwork.

— Deviyani Nelson

Nelson has both emotional and academic aspirations for herself. “Emotionally, I want to be more outgoing amongst new people and become more self-aware… academically, I want to get better at studying effectively and focusing on my schoolwork.”

As a new student in the 8th grade Nelson was forced to adjust at a more awkward time than most SPA students but overall feels SPA has worked for her. “I think that SPA is a good fit for me. Even though it was hard moving here last year, in the 8th grade, people were very welcoming, and I adjusted pretty quickly and soon got used to the new environment. High school took some adjusting at first, I’m sure it did for everyone, but I got the hang of it quickly. The teachers are very helpful, and the community here is so kind.”

Having the SPA community also helps her achieve her emotional and academic goals. SPA has brought her new opportunities to express those skills.