About me

Picture of Andrea in Spain

I was born and raised in Winter Springs, Fla., a small suburb located outside of Orlando. Although it was a great place to spend my childhood, it didn't have much entertainment for kids, so I kept busy by joining clubs and finding hobbies. These activities--plus others I picked up in college and on family vacations--define several key aspects of my personality.

Journalism

I wrote my first newspaper article senior year of high school. Up to that point, I was determined to become an actress or to train Shamu. However, my desire for food (which starving artists don't always get) and my distaste for science quickly led me to my true passion--writing.

When I started college, I found that journalism is much more than writing. It's a perfect balance of finding story ideas, interviewing sources, gathering information and telling a story. This balance of interacting with people and writing articles is what I love about journalism. It allows me to meet new people every day and fulfill my passion in writing. Not to be cliche, but it's truly the best of both worlds.

Fencing

Picture of Andrea at a fencing competition in Tennessee

I started fencing my freshman year at UF and immediately fell in love with the sport's beauty and power. However, I soon found that this beauty and power is accompanied by a combination of high and low moments.

Fencing rewards you with complete satisfaction when you win a perfectly executed point. But it also crushes your spirit when you lose several points in a row. This constant dynamic of highs and lows has revealed my stubborn determination. Although losing competitions is disheartening, I keep practicing and competing. I'm not a person who gives up, and fencing has strengthened this determination and made me a strong competitor and a stronger person.

Theater

Theater has been my life-long passion. It began in elementary school when I was a stilt walker for the first-grade circus. Using coffee-can stilts attached to strings, I clunked my way across the stage for the first time and fell in love with performance. I've found that it gives society a much-needed outlet for personal expression, social protest and creativity.

Although I don't have time to act or direct anymore, I still see plays on a regular basis and will support the arts for the rest of my life.

Traveling

Picture of Andrea and her sister at the Grand Canyon

My final passion is traveling. I love learning about different cultures and want to visit as many places as possible, including Antarctica. So far I've only been on two continents--Europe and North America by default-- but I plan to visit more after college.

I went to Europe as a graduation trip in the summer of 2008 and stayed at my friend's summer house in Cunit, Spain. We spent two weeks enjoying the beaches, museums and architecture of Cunit and its surrounding cities, including Barcelona, Sitges and Calafell.

I've also visited several places in North America. These include Jamaica, Mexico, New York City, Chicago, The Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone National Park and other cities and states in between.