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Portrait of an NSA Graduate

For more than 50 years, NSA has partnered with families to prepare graduates to lead productive, informed and principled lives. Our graduates are effective communicators who think independently, globally and collaboratively to take on challenges and uncover innovative solutions. They demonstrate integrity and character, value diversity and strive to understand, cooperate and empathize with others. NSA graduates have learned how to seek and embrace opportunities for personal as well as professional growth to lead a life of passion and purpose. The diverse career paths of our alumni show the numerous possibilities of where an NSA education can lead.

List of 4 items.

  • Anna Cait Wade '11

    Anna Cait Wade '11 has always wanted to give back what she as received — love, support and an excellent education. She is a self-proclaimed girl champion who began working with the Mariposa DR Foundation as a summer volunteer after completing her third year at the University of Virginia. Located in the Dominican Republic, the foundation is a non-governmental organization working to end generational poverty by empowering adolescent girls. After her life-changing summer, her heart never really left the Dominican Republic. In her fourth year at UVA, she was awarded a Davis Projects for Peace Award and was able to return to the Mariposa Center in the summer of 2015 to implement a leadership and development component for the foundation's day program for girls. Today, she is working to integrate mindfulness and social-emotional wellness programs into the curriculum, as well as building and cultivating relationships with key supporters of the foundation. Anna Cait credits her time at NSA for better preparing her for this role. 

    "Community, fostering important relationships and staying connected are at the center of everything NSA stands for. Learning all of the girls' names at the Mariposa Center and knowing their mothers and fathers is important to me. I hope that wherever I find myself in life, I maintain this value for appreciating others."  
  • Chuck Culpepper '80

    Loving, nurturing and evolving is how Chuck Culpepper ’80 would describe NSA if he were limited to only three words. The many authentic and memorable teachers that he encountered provided him with an invaluable sense of foundational support. “I have never been a person rich in confidence, yet I knew that my journalism teacher believed in me even then.” 

    Chuck became a member of the NSA family in the fourth grade and at the age of 10, stated in an interview for a student newsletter that he would like to become a sportswriter or announcer. While at NSA and at the University of Virginia, he walked the sidelines and wrote about sports for the student newspaper, an activity that he continues to do today as a sportswriter for The Washington Post. In the autumn months, Chuck covers college football, producing a weekly Sunday wrap-up of Saturday events and also visits college campuses to profile players or coaches. In the off-season, he writes about tennis, horse racing and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, as well as various foreign projects. His work has enabled him to travel all over the world, covering events such as Wimbledon, the French Open and the 2014 Olympics in Russia, while also writing features from destinations such as Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya and Egypt. He has been nominated for numerous awards and “loves the horrible burden of choosing words.” 
  • Mary Shaffer Gill '04

    Mary Shaffer Gill ’04 still remembers being told in the tenth grade that success is relative. “There is no right or wrong path, no ultimate achievement. We can all contribute, make an impact and be successful.” She credits NSA with instilling confidence in her and providing her with the opportunity to develop leadership skills through roles and responsibilities beyond the classroom. Today, she is definitely making an impact. At 26, she founded a renewable energy business in Tennessee and began advocating for favorable solar policy. The business was successfully acquired just three short years later, allowing her to explore other opportunities and markets. She is currently living in San Francisco, California, where she manages the marketing team at CivicSolar, an innovative solar distributor that provides equipment and services to meet the unique needs of solar installers and developers.

    “NSA gave me a strong foundation to pursue entrepreneurship and opportunities outside of my comfort zone. I enjoy knowing that what I do is making a positive impact for all.”
  • Sudipta "Nila" Devanath '06

    A lifelong learner, Nila believes that community and public service is the driving force in her life. After graduating from NSA in 2006, Nila earned degrees in neuroscience, psychology and sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was actively involved in student government and received numerous accolades and scholarships. After completing two years of medical school, she decided to pursue a law degree from Harvard University to bridge the gap between medicine, law and epidemiology. Her goal is to enhance policies to provide comprehensive medical care to low-income patients, including representation in cases where legal issues can determine medical outcomes. She is currently licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and New York and recently returned to medical school to finish her clinical years. 

    Nila described NSA as her “second home” and said that her years here not only prepared her for the rigor of higher education, but they also gave her the confidence to lead, prepared her for the art of presentation and taught her how to think critically. 
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy is a coeducational, college preparatory private school located in Suffolk, VA. Pre-kindergarten - Grade 12.