[box_light]  by WYNNE LOVE | photos of Soul of Photography [/box_light]

When Nathan Park, a junior at La Costa Canyon High School first joined the Speech and Debate team two years ago, he wasn’t completely sold. “I originally didn’t want to stay in the class, but I stuck with it. After my first tournament, I realized that it’s a great program, and I have dedicated myself to it,” revealed Nathan. This dedication has certainly paid off, as he earned the Novice of the Year award as a freshman and qualified for the state tournament as a sophomore. This year, Nathan hopes to make it all the way to the national tournament.

Nathan not only excels on dry land, but also in the pool. He swims competitively year-round and is an integral part of the LCC swim team, where he was named Most Valuable Freshman during his first year on the team. “Swimming and the friends I’ve made through [the sport] are a huge part of my life,” stated Nathan. He has also been a part of LCC’s Asian Heritage Awareness club and plans to participate in Best Buddies, a program that pairs up a student with special needs and a typically developing peer to attend school activities together.

“Swimming and the friends I’ve made through [the sport] are a huge part of my life,”

~Nathan Young-min Park

Giving back to the local community is important to Nathan, who has lived in La Costa Oaks for seven years. He is the president of a social action youth board at his temple, where he leads other young people in community service endeavors. When asked how he finds time for all his activities, Nathan explained that because he is “truly passionate” about everything he does, he is able to balance all of his commitments. “I can’t imagine my life without each of my activities,” related Nathan.

Spending time with his family is also high on Nathan’s priority list. Along with his parents, brother, Eliott, and sister, Sophie, Nathan enjoys eating at Swami’s Café, Blue Ribbon Pizzeria and Sushi Bar Blue Fin. He also takes advantage of his close proximity to the ocean, frequenting Grandview and Ponto beaches.

Looking to the future, Nathan plans on attending college and graduate school, but hasn’t narrowed down a field of study quite yet. “I still have a lot of options to explore and more to find out about myself,” said Nathan. Given Nathan’s track record thus far, it is safe to assume that he will put his passion and skills to good use.

[box title=”At A Glance” color=”#333333″]

Name:  Nathan Young-min Park
Age:  16
School:  La Costa Canyon
Grade:  11th
Parents:  Jim & Judy
Siblings:  Elliott (13) and Sophie (10)