Ariana Torres

Class of 2021: Relentless Drive Brings $1M in Scholarship Offers to Ariana Torres
Posted on 05/20/2021
A. Torres
Ariana Torres has taken her own advice throughout her four years at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School: “Always shoot for that A.”

“I like to tell freshmen and eighth-graders, high school is not like ‘High School Musical’ at all,” Ariana says. “Your GPA during freshman year makes or breaks you. Don’t slack off. Do not play with your GPA, because it won’t play with you at all.”

Ariana’s ambition and work ethic while enrolled in Pearl-Cohn's Academy of Health Science and Personal Care have paid off. She’ll graduate Friday as Pearl-Cohn's valedictorian, she has a summer job lined up at TriStar Skyline Medical Center, and she has had plenty of colleges to choose from after earning admission to 30 schools and more than $1 million in scholarship opportunities.

She said some of the offers came after she completed the Common Black College Application, which allows students to pay just one fee to apply to up to 61 historically Black colleges and universities. A. Torres

“A lot of schools picked up my application,” she said. “I would get a bunch of different emails.”

After spending a lot of time going through the binder and spreadsheets that she used to compile, compare, and contrast all those opportunities, Ariana recently made her decision: She’ll attend Belmont University on the Bridges to Belmont scholarship, one of three full scholarships she was offered.

Ariana said she chose Belmont for its strong nursing program and the supportive environment there. She has spent time in hospitals with both of her parents and has seen the impact nurses can have with their technical skills as well as their ability to “keep you sane.”

“I want to give back,” she said.

Her summer job at Skyline comes through the patient care technician certification program MNPS recently launched with TriStar Health and Nashville State Community College. Ariana was part of the inaugural cohort of students from Pearl-Cohn and Maplewood High School.

Patient care technicians work directly with patients and nurses and typically assist with managing food and liquid intake, monitoring vital signs, drawing blood, serving meals, and administering IVs, to name a few of their responsibilities. Ariana, like many others in the field, sees it as a good first step toward becoming a nurse.

“We’re the first person that patient is going to be around most of the time,” she said. “There’s a lot of room to communicate with patients. Giving them hope when there’s no hope is what I want to do.”

Ariana, who attended MNPS’s Lillard Elementary School and Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School of the Arts before Pearl-Cohn, has been active as a student ambassador, Student Government Association president, National Honor Society chapter president, Youth Court member, flag girl in the marching band, and more. She loves drawing and painting and has a small business making cups.

Brittany Edmondson, an academy coach at Pearl-Cohn, credits Ariana with “your choice to invest in you, believe in your worth, and to rise above by always showing up in your incomparable leadership, your perseverance in the patient care tech and certified clinical medical assistant programs, and your unwavering determination to be an innovative voice on behalf of your fellow woman.”

“I count it a privilege to consider Ariana Torres a mentee, my lead Academy Ambassador, and my ‘school child,’ ” Edmondson said. “She was the first student to greet me the summer I started at Pearl-Cohn. I have the most amazing job that allows me to connect students with people across Nashville, and Ariana has unknowingly left a lasting impression on all of them just by sharing her gifts.”
Archive News
Class of 2021,Students