By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager, photo by Amy Cho '21
Get to know one of our graduating seniors and LJCDS lifer.
Inspiring Greatness for a Better World is the promise of La Jolla Country Day School, and Amanda Nance ’19 is actively living it. If there is a community service project on or off campus, Amanda is likely involved. As a member of the community service board, she has supported and led nearly 40 different events in her senior year alone.
Amanda started LJCDS at three years old, making her a lifer. Over the years, she has participated in various community service projects. She remembers volunteering in Middle School with the Giving Tree, a community service project that brings joy to children during the holidays. For the last 20 years, LJCDS has partnered with San Diego County social workers to provide children in need with gifts for the holidays, some years fulfilling up to 500 wishlists.
The Nance family gave Amanda a unique exposure to philanthropy as well. Her parents started A Bridge for Kids, a nonprofit that helps underprivileged teens in need. The inspiration for the family’s nonprofit emerged when volunteering for the Giving Tree one year. In talking with the social workers, they learned that teens make up the majority of the foster system yet have less funding than younger children. The Nance family decided to fill that need by creating an organization that helps teens with tutoring, SAT/ACT prep, college tours, applying for scholarships, college application fees, and even basic necessities like food, clothing and toiletries.
“I’ve gained a level of maturity from participating in so many projects,” shares Amanda. “I feel when you complete a community service event, even if it's just an hour, you have a greater appreciation of what you have and more awareness of the world. It’s hard to empathize and really get passionate about a cause if you’re just reading about it or hearing about it. When you’re actually going and helping the cause, it definitely takes on a whole other meaning.”
Amanda has also taken advantage of the other opportunities at LJCDS, including playing a variety of sports, being inducted into the Spanish Honor Society and leading the Science Olympiad Club.
Community service is always on her mind, though. It was her guiding principle when selecting a college. She will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in fall 2019.
“I’m not sure exactly what path I want to take with community service, but I know that it’s definitely something in the end goal,” shares Amanda. “I don’t think I’d be happy in a job that wasn’t directly helping people. If I wanted to go into marketing to help a nonprofit raise more funds, or if I wanted to become a nutritionist and work in public health, I could try that out at Penn. The goal is to go to college and develop some sort of skill that I can bring to the table that is more than just volunteering my time.”