How does a young woman gain the confidence to rise out of their comfort zone? According to Junior, Nardos Worku, it is by attending Bishop Conaty – Our Lady of Loretto High School. It is here that she found an extended family in the students and faculty that offer support, encouragement and empowerment. This is no small thing for Nardos. She was born in Kenya and then her family moved to Ethiopia. At the age of four she came with her family to Los Angeles. It was all very frightening for a young girl who did not speak English. It was not until first grade when she felt secure enough to be away from her family and attend school that she began to speak English more proficiently. Her family is a source of great encouragement and as she grew up, they supported her wish to be an actress and she even auditioned in a commercial when she was in 5th grade. She attempted additional performance programs in music to help her develop her skills, but in time she withdrew from the pursuit. Her interests remained in the arts, moving to fashion design.
Nardos has worked diligently to maintain good grades. This year English became a favorite class. Nardos indicated that her teacher, Ms. Poe made literature come alive for her. She is working hard to qualify for Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition next year. She also takes advantage of the academic opportunities for visual arts and film production.
Nardos loves the Film Production class, part of the Entertainment Magnet which was launched this year. She said that it has opened up her perspective of entertainment to consider more than acting. She also enjoys the writing, directing and producing aspects of film production and someday may earn those credits as well.
Surrounded by supportive friends, Nardos decided to audition for BCL’s Spring musical production of Annie, Jr. She has been cast in the role of Annie’s best friend Molly. She said that she has always been very shy and never thought that she would be able to perform in front of people. Now she is very excited about the production and is unable to select only one favorite scene. A young girl’s dream to be an actress will become reality on BCL’s main stage in April.
It is with the confidence continually growing in her that she looks forward to making applications to USC, NYU and perhaps The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). She looks to the women who have achieved acclaim in their field who say it’s about not giving up and the need to fight for your dreams. Nardos may be practicing her acceptance speech in the privacy of her home, but she noted that Olivia Colman said in her speech “Any little girl who’s practicing their speech tonight… you never know!”Nardos has the great love and support of her family both at home and here at school. It is with this empowerment that she is on her journey as a woman of faith, learning, responsibility and vision.