Nicholas A. Waltrip
Scholar Class – 2013
Hailing from Miami, Florida, Nicholas Waltrip was born to an Irish father and an immigrant Cuban mother. When he was one year of age, his parents divorced, spurring the series of events that have molded him over the years -- a tumultuous divorce, a bitter relationship with his father, an abusive stepmother, constant economic hardships, etc. This coupled with the struggle of coming to terms with his sexual preference in a macho-centric, homophobic Latino community nearly drove him to suicide. It was his single mothers support, resilience and steadfastness in the face of hardships that gave birth to his strong character and strength and acted as the catalyst to his excellence in academia and extracurricular activities. From writing and cheerleading, to gay rights and animal activism, Nicholas virtually has one foot in every realm of cultural influence. All this combines to create a synergy of activism and progress. A spirit that is all encompassing and will permeate throughout his studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in his endeavor to promote a legacy of change and innovation in the field of medicine, as well as on a local, personal level. In the future, Nicholas hopes to open his own holistic medical practice, as well as constantly be on the forefront of change within the LGBTQ community. He also continues to pursue his passion for writing, already having started a series of fiction novels. Driven by the hardships of his past, and armed with his mother's fighting spirit, Nicholas charges forward into a bright future.