- Durham Public Schools
Student of the Month | September 2022 | Zlata Bogdanova De Carvalho
Middle College High School Student’s Mission is to Change the World
Middle College High School student Zlata Bogdanova De Carvalho is a leader who believes in rolling up her sleeves to achieve results. She also believes that education is empowering.
As a Middle College student, she uses that power for good. She believes more students should be made aware of the Middle College opportunity, so she is committed to making a concerted effort through involvement in school recruiting, and she takes her role as a student leader seriously.
“Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ As a School Ambassador, as the Senior Student Council President, as the 2021-2022 Durham County Poetry Out Loud Winner, and as a member of the Speech & Debate Team, attending Middle College High School has not only provided me the opportunity to pursue an Associate Degree, but also the privilege to lead, represent, and contribute to the school community. Because of this, I have not just thrived, I have not just developed critical skills, but I have also honed an attitude that will last a lifetime—an attitude of authenticity, humility, and resilience,” she said.
These traits are shared with her peers during her interactions with them. As a Maverick Ambassador, she supports new student onboarding and induction, building a legacy that will strengthen her school.
Zlata said she is motivated to prevent regret in her life.
“The dread of asking myself “what could’ve been?” is what motivates me to chase every opportunity that comes my way. I’ve learned that the cost of regret—or, in other words, never knowing if you could have attained something extraordinary—outweighs the cost of working hard to discover the answer,” she said.
Her dream to attain the extraordinary includes transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill after earning her Associate degree in Science, being accepted into a nursing program to earn her Bachelor of Science degree, and becoming a pediatric intensive care unit nurse. From here, she’ll head to law school to become a nurse attorney, driven by the knowledge that “in the United States, I see so many disparities in healthcare and would like to help close that gap by being politically involved in its reform.”
Zlata credits her mother for her “hustle”.
“My mom is my best friend. From long conversations at the dinner table to cheering me on over the phone, I can wholeheartedly say that I would not be the same person without her. My mom—a Nurse Anesthetist who inspired me to pursue Nursing—motivates me to be resilient, hustle toward my dreams, and strive to be 1% better than the day before,” she said.
She further says that her biggest accomplishment is pushing herself to do more, “discovering myself through different outlets, whether that be a college class, a school club, or a volunteering experience.”
And that drive is matched by her humility.
“Despite my conscious efforts, I would not be who I am if it were not for the tireless support from my parents, instructors, and counselors, who have made it possible for me to achieve great things. In applying the success tools from Middle College High School to my own life, I am excited to see what my future holds, and discover the ways I, like Mandela, can change the world.”