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Meet Summit Country Day Graduate Nick Nazzaro

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Summit grad advocates for mental health issues

Nick Nazzaro used his faith and personal experience to touch the lives of other students during his time at The Summit Country Day School.

Nazzaro, who hails from All Saints Parish, came to Summit at the encouragement of select baseball teammates. Over the course of his high school years, he admits that “I felt like I saw the lowest of lows and went through a lot of hardship while trying to maintain the rigorous academic schedule, as well as baseball. I think during my senior year, I realized all that pain and struggle wasn’t just about mental illness. It was about how coping with problems is just a story of life as a whole.”

His battle with depression and anxiety led Nazzaro to become an outspoken advocate for bringing mental health issues into the open and he developed a strong desire to help others coping with the same issues. Earlier this year, Upper School Counselor Mike Fee conducted a question and answer session with Nazzaro at an assembly for grades nine through 11, during which the young man encouraged his fellow students to ask for help.

“What I really admire about Nick is that once he figured out this is part of who he is, he owned it and wanted to find solutions,” Fee said. “When he shared his struggles, the younger kids were able to see this young guy who seemingly has it all together. He’s well liked, was a good student and athlete. Because he was able to seek help, I think it left them more open to finding someone they can connect with in a time of need. I’m very proud of Nick.”

Sharing his experience was helpful for Nazzaro, as well. “It helped me to understand I’m not the only one going through my situation and that there are countless people experiencing a similar scenario,” he said.

Also significant was serving as a Kairos leader last November, Nazzaro added. “That was the moment where it went from me needing help, to now me being able to directly help others. That has to be one of the most meaningful times in my whole life. The Summit really emphasizes one’s spiritual journey. I think that, along with the great leaders that are there (students, teachers, etc.), helped me direct myself towards a more faith-driven future.”

For now, the future is at the University of Cincinnati. Nazzaro is undecided on a major, but is considering psychology.

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