Nia Drayton '21 Is a Testament to Personal Excellence

She has a full plate of academics, volunteer work, leadership responsibilities, and extracurriculars, and she has the work ethic to succeed in anything she puts her mind to. She credits Hutchison for instilling in her that anything is possible.
Nia Drayton '21 has a busy schedule, but it’s not just about being busy. She is a testament to personal excellence. Nia came to Hutchison as a freshman and has consistently proven herself in everything she commits to. She works hard in the classroom, pushes herself on Hutchison’s varsity track team, serves as a passionate leader in several capacities, and is a dedicated mentor to younger children outside of school. She has a vision for one day becoming an attorney and is already planning the steps to get there. She credits Hutchison for giving her the confidence to pursue big dreams.

About leadership, in particular, Nia said: “Running for student council vice president was the best decision I’ve made since I’ve been at Hutchison. It is one of the most rewarding things I have been a part of and has allowed me to develop stronger relationships with my teachers and girls in my class. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I weren’t serving in this position.”

As student council vice president, she works alongside the other upper school leaders to foster an atmosphere of unity, respect, and pride in the upper school. A school-wide leadership position is always a major undertaking; yet, during a global pandemic and navigating the changes it has brought, Nia is leading with ease. Her class schedule is rigorous, filled with advanced honors and AP classes, but she says her favorite classes are those rooted in humanities.

“I like studying women’s history and AP human geography because the material is relevant to what I hope to do in the future. I know I want to major in political science in college and pursue a career as a lawyer, so learning about different cultures and places in the world and their policies and governments really appeals to me. As a student at an all-girls school, it makes learning about women’s history that much more interesting.”

One of the classes that sparked Nia’s desire to one day become a lawyer was debate, which she took during her junior year. Having to form arguments or take a stance on an issue that differed from her own opinion is something that she says is an important skill to possess.

 “The most rewarding part of debate class was continuing to be open-minded and respectful while listening to other people’s opinions, especially if they are not the same as my own. It is so important to be civil and considerate during difficult conversations.”

In addition to being a gifted student, Nia is also a dedicated mentor. She is a member of the Imani Youth Foundation’s advisory council. The foundation seeks to enrich the lives of children in Memphis through community service and leadership and educational activities that prepare them for success in the future. Nia connects with third- and fourth-grade girls locally and intentionally builds relationships by leading activities, where she herself has had to learn the best tactics to manage the group and still have fun. She says her work with the girls is just as rewarding for her as it is for them.

“I’ve always had a passion for working with children, and I love working with the girls at Imani Youth. Even though I am there to volunteer my time, I personally gain so much by working with them.”

At Hutchison, Nia is a student leader of Facing History, vice president of the Memphis Medical Awareness Club, and a member of Crest Society and Rogers Scholars. She has a full plate of academics, volunteer work, and extracurriculars, and she has the work ethic to succeed in anything she puts her mind to. She credits Hutchison for instilling in her that anything is possible.

“Coming to Hutchison my freshman year was a great decision. The sense of community is so special. We really are a family. All the teachers are so helpful and genuinely want us to succeed. I am confident that I am now prepared to succeed at anything I set my mind to in the future.”

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Hutchison is the leading private girls school in Memphis for ages 2 years old through twelfth grade.