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Student Spotlight

Student: Emily Nagel. School: The Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, where she is a senior. Achievement: The 18-year-old from Ridley Park recently received a $4,000 Leonore Annenberg Scholarship from the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania Foundation Inc.


Emily Nagel.


The Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, where she is a senior.


The 18-year-old from Ridley Park recently received a $4,000 Leonore Annenberg Scholarship from the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania Foundation Inc.

Since her freshman year, Nagel has been involved with the organization's Founders Award Program. Each year the program honors about 20 ninth-grade women in the Philadelphia area. The criteria is based on a written essay, recommendations and involvement in extracurricular activities. Awardees become candidates for scholarships their senior year.

Nagel has excelled in numerous activities, including community service, theater, sports and academics. In May, she helped Agnes Irwin's softball team capture the Inter-Ac championship. She also earned the senior female critic award in the Greater Philadelphia Cappies, also known as the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theater and Journalism.

She'll attend Columbia University in New York City in the fall.

Founders Award Program:

"There are seminars in leadership, and applying to college and things like that, that we attend. It's sort of like a mentoring program. The group also does a lot of community service . . . I got to go to the Ronald McDonald House [in Philadelphia], and a couple of us served dinners to the families there."


"I really liked the community service aspect of it. They do a lot of really great things. And it was nice to be around other girls who were really interested in making a difference in the community and helping out."

Future plans:

"I was considering studying political science and theater. Recently, I think I want to study English and theater. I saw a show in New York which was just fabulous and really inspired me to want to become a playwright. That sort of shifted my focus a little bit."

The show:

Joe Iconis. He's an up and coming composer and he writes just brilliant stuff. It's sort of like a mixture of rock 'n roll and musical theater. It's just absolutely brilliant stuff. He did a show at NYU and these kids just come out on stage in the opening number and you can feel the theater - it's a pretty small theater - and you can feel the theater shaking. And they're getting so into it, and you can feel the energy and passion that's there. I just thought, 'That's what I want to do.'"

Her writing:

"I'm working on a play. I just sort of write things down when they come to me, and hopefully, I'll have a notebook full of, you know, a lot of different ideas to draw from in the future. I had this crazy idea that I would have the play finished by the time finals were over. That was ridiculous. So I have bits and pieces of scenes, but it all needs to be hashed out and fleshed out."

The theater:

"Being [at Agnes Irwin] has given me an opportunity to participate in a lot of the different aspects. I've done hair and makeup; I've acted; I've assistant directed. During theater class, my friend and I actually directed and choreographed a children's show."

Blending different activities:

"A lot of things get to blend together. The teamwork and commitment that you learn in sports blends into work on a production and collaborating in that sense. And the poise that you learn when you're doing theater works when I'm on the mound and things are going crazy. I mean for me, it's been great. I just love a lot of things, and so I do a lot of things."

Finding time:

"With theater and sports, they schedule it so that theater rehearsals generally go on later. And in the off-season, like in the fall when we're able to do musicals, I can take a larger role because I have that free time. We have club time scheduled during the day. So they give you an opportunity to be involved with everything. And then a lot of the time, I just go home when I can get home, which can be at six, or it can be eight or nine. And then I do my homework and go to bed."

Favorite subject:

"We have such dynamic teachers that it's always a difficult call. There's always, or normally, something to look forward to when you get to class, because you never know what's going to happen. Because there have been days in math, where I've laughed hysterically, which is not normal. But, overall, I tend towards the humanities, English, theater and Spanish."

What a teacher says:

"She is an excellent student. She's intelligent. She's extremely well read. She's perceptive. She's actually every wonderful adjective you can think of in terms of being a student," said Edward "Wigs" Frank, a history teacher who's taught Nagel for the past two years. "She's really the epitome of the type of kid who a teacher would like to teach, because she's so interested in learning, and she's so interested in finding out how the world works."

- Ed Mahon