2014 Iowa Award Recipients

Student Readiness Award Recipient: Nathaniel Elliot

Photo of Nathaniel Elliot Thomas Edison once said, “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Nathaniel Elliot, Iowa Student Readiness Winner, never ceases to miss an opportunity, regardless of how much work it may entail. Faced with hardships throughout his life, Nathaniel has not only seized every opportunity presented to him, he has taken it upon himself to create opportunities for success.

“I refuse to let my circumstances define me, and work through my opposition to be good, if not the best, at everything I try,” wrote Nathaniel in his nomination form. He gained confidence by involving himself in various extracurricular activities and rigorous academics.

This past summer, Nathaniel created an opportunity to further his artistic abilities by establishing a sketchbook club. He met with friends and teachers regularly to draw and discuss topics in art. His efforts in the club have helped him win numerous awards for his drawings.

“When I have something that I believe in, I always find a way of working to make it happen,” says Nathaniel.

Despite physical limitations brought on by diabetes, Nathaniel is an avid cross country runner. He’s also a talented and devoted musician, playing the violin, French horn, trumpet, mandolin, guitar, cello, and piano. After diligent practice, Nathaniel achieved a long time aspiration by being selected for All-State orchestra earning the spot of first violin.

Nathaniel understands the benefits of being a well-rounded student, but academics still come first. He challenges himself to take the most demanding coursework his school offers. Truly passionate about learning academic material, Nathaniel is not merely focused on the resulting grade, but strives instead on preparing himself to achieve his education and career goals.

“By enjoying my education and pushing myself to learn more, I build confidence that I will be prepared for anything my future may hold,” says Nathaniel.

Nathaniel would like to be a biological engineer. He is fascinated by the natural world and wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives. There is no doubt he will embrace every opportunity presented to him and create even more for himself along life’s path.