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Nirali Igoe

Nirali IgoeNirali Igoe can’t wait to start this fall at Penn State University. “I’m counting down the days I get to go back to the campus. That’s how excited I am. I’m ready to call it home!” At Penn State, Nirali plans on joining the fencing team and competing in épée. She first became interested in fencing after learning about the sport from her cousin, who was on the US National team, and currently travels around the country to compete. She says she loves the sport because of its tactical nature and describes it as more of a contest of mental capacity than physical fitness. “It’s a puzzle figuring out your opponent.” At Penn State, Nirali plans on majoring in environmental engineering with a minor in water sustainability and resources. Her interest in water sustainability traces back to when her family moved to East Timor, an island in Southeast Asia, for several years when she was in elementary school. There, Nirali saw children her own age disposing of waste in open sewers or bathing in ocean water, actions that inspired her passion for equitable access to water resources. During her time at School Without Walls, Nirali says that she has learned to advocate for herself and to communicate with her teachers about what she needs to be successful, especially while navigating a busy fencing schedule and the academic demands of the school. Nirali says she wants to encourage younger students to focus on putting their health and well-being first. “Yes, you want to get into a great college, but don’t sacrifice your mental health, physical health, or emotional health.” #DCPSGoesToCollege

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