Bronwen McEvoy-Morie, 16, came to BrainBoost so she could pursue her passion in dance. She had been accepted into Arts Umbrella and needed a place she could organize her academic schedule and keep up with the demands of the program. Recently she was awarded a generous scholarship from Quest University to work towards her Bachelor in Liberal Arts and Science. BrainBoost caught up with her to see how she measures her success and what advice she’d give to fellow students.

Have you always known what you wanted to do?

I’ve wanted to be a dancer for a very long time. People would always tell me, ‘Oh yeah, you don’t really make much money being a dancer.’ But dancing is my passion. I don’t care if I don’t make a lot of money. I want to do what I love.

So how much should what your friends and family think influence your attitude to education?
Unless it’s positive, don’t listen. I think it’s really important to follow your dreams and what you want to do. Other people’s opinions shouldn’t be a part of that. Unless of course, you are making some ridiculously stupid decision and they’re trying to talk you out of it. [laughs]

Apart from following your dream, what’s your secret to success?
I work really hard. I struggle a lot with academic work and keeping my focus because I’d rather be off making art. What gets me through is, I realize, that to get to where you want to be, you’ve got to push through. In order to go to Quest and have a good time there, I have to finish math. There’s no way around it. I’ve got to. The way I look at it is, the sooner I get it over with, the sooner I’m done and I can move on to bigger and better things.

So would you say that pushing through academics is the toughest part of being a high school student?
Honestly, I don’t think it’s the academics; I think it’s the social thing. A lot of people get really worked up about the way they act, how they look, who their friends are, what they’re up to. In normal schools it’s a lot about fitting in with your clique and peer pressure.

Compared with a ‘normal school’ what was the first thing you noticed was different about BrainBoost?
The space itself. Definitely. Having the kitchen there to take breaks whenever you want and the lounge too. A few months ago. I was sitting in the lounge. I don’t know how this came up, but I think I was talking to Lilly about The Little Mermaid. And Matt came in and started singing almost the entire Little Mermaid, word-for-word. I mean, that was pretty great.

If you could give other students any advice before entering high-school, what would it be?
Don’t worry about what other people think. Stick to what you know is true. Don’t let other people get you down. Love yourself. And don’t make too many bad decisions. [laughs]

I remember the first time I came to BrainBoost and I’d never really been to school before. I was kinda worried about what people would think about me. But when I started going here I started to see that it doesn’t matter. I can be who I want to be, and if someone else has a problem with that, that’s their problem, not mine.