(Photo used by permission of Turnbull)
Freshman Naomi Turnbull (right) eats with her mother Moraima (left), brother, Dominic, and cousin, Alan Cabeza, at Luciernaga, a restaurant in Salento, Colombia. Luciernaga offers salsa dancing, which Turnbull’s family took part in.

In the “New Kids on the Block” series, new students will be interviewed on their life outside of SCDS.

Freshman Naomi Turnbull hails from California Middle School. She came to Country Day after applying for a scholarship through Breakthrough, which she attended for three summers. Next will be Savannah Rosenzweig.

Q: What was California Middle School like?

A: It was really big, and the teachers weren’t really supportive like at Country Day. I didn’t really like the people. It wasn’t that great because they didn’t really prepare me for high school.

Q: What was the Breakthrough application process like?

A: Basically, I had to write about my family and who I looked up to, write essays on places I wanted to visit and have good grades. I was really nervous, especially for the interview because former Breakthrough director, Mr. Adolfo (Mercado) said to have a firm handshake, and my parents had to come.

Q: What did you do in Breakthrough?

A: It lasted six weeks at Country Day.  It was like school, and they told us about college – we had field trips and stuff, too.

Q: Why did you decide to apply for Breakthrough?

A: I wanted to learn more about college because they said we could get scholarships.

Q: Why did you decide to come Country Day?

A: Breakthrough offers a scholarship to Country Day, and I got picked along with other top students who applied for the scholarship. They picked the people who they thought would be best suited for Country Day.

Q: How do you like the school so far?

A: It’s very small, but I’m really digging it. There are good teacher-student interactions. All the students and teachers are very nice and supportive, especially compared to my old school.

Q: Do you play any sports?

A: I played softball, but I’m not this season because I want to focus on school. I’m playing volleyball and am going to try lacrosse.

(Photo used by permission of Turnbull)
Freshman Naomi Turnbull (second from right) with her extended family camping in Tayrona National Natural Park in Santa Marta, Colombia.

Q: Are you planning on joining or starting any clubs?

A: I was thinking about joining the LatinX club, but I’m still undecided.

Q: Do you have any siblings or pets?

A: I have three cats and two dogs at my dad’s house and none at my mom’s.

I have an older brother, Dominic, who’s a junior at McClatchy High School. He didn’t want to do Breakthrough, but he was part of a program at McClatchy about law and public policy over the summer.

Q: Do you have any favorite classes so far?

A: Physics. I usually don’t like physics, but I really like the teacher, Mr. (Glenn) Mangold. He makes it good.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: I kind of want to be a psychology teacher at a university or something. Or maybe an environmental lawyer?

Q: What did you do over the summer?

A: I went to Colombia to visit my family. And I did my summer reading and watched Netflix.

Q: What is Colombia like?

A: My mom was born in Venezuela, and all my family is over there. It’s way different there. Nobody follows rules; there are block parties every night, and everyone’s crazy.

Q: What do you like to do in Colombia?

A: It’s really humid and hot there, so I like to go to the beach. I spend time with my family, and my grandma lives in a complex. There are girls my age there, so I hang out with them.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I love watching Netflix. My favorite show is “American Horror Story.” I like the first season, “Murder House.” I like the characters because my two favorite characters got together. I also watch “The Fosters,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Glee.”

Q: What’s your favorite type of music?

A: I like hip-hop. My favorite singers are Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, Drake and Beyoncé.

By Emma Boersma

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