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Roycemore Student Nico Ipijian Awarded the 2023 Fritzie's Promise Award

Upper School Friday, 14 Apr 2023

Roycemore 11th-grader Nico Ipjian is the recipient of the 2023 Fritzie’s Promise Award, presented by the Illinois Holocaust Museum to recognize students who embody Fritzie Fritzshall’s indomitable spirit. Nico was nominated for their leadership in a variety of student organizations and clubs, as well as for their peer leadership and spirit of collaboration.

Nico currently serves in leadership positions for Roycemore’s literary magazine, Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), and the Upper School Dungeons and Dragons club. They describe themselves as someone whose goal is to lead with kindness across all of these organizations, creating space for education and creativity to flourish. As Editor of the literary magazine, their vision is to allow students to demonstrate their talents in a safe way. They also work to make sure that every student has the chance to share their art, whether it’s investigative journalism, poetry, or painting. Nico also gets to flex their creative muscles when they act as the dungeon master for their D&D campaigns. D&D offers a different way for them to be a leader amongst their peers, especially because running a campaign requires a lot of trust between players. As their player characters work through problems and fight monsters, Nico has learned to navigate conflict and practice leading with empathy.

As GSA president, Nico has expanded the purview of the club beyond just a safe space for Roycemore’s LGBTQ+ students. They recognized that the club had a chance to educate the larger Roycemore community about issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, and transitioned the club’s mission to be more education-focused. Now, Nico recognizes that move as reflecting two of their core values as a leader: empathy and kindness. Their goal is to lead through service, identifying the needs of their community or peer group and figuring out how best to meet them.

Roycemore’s small size has helped Nico grow as a leader. They reflected that having teachers who see them as an individual and trust them when they want to do their own thing has been a huge part of their development. Nico says that “Roycemore is a place where everyone gets to stick out in their own way and find a place to be,” especially because our small school environment allows teachers to cultivate leadership potential in students and honor whatever path a student wants to take. Nico is truly an indomitable spirit, and we are so proud to see how their work and leadership potential has been recognized!

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