Meet Sara, a former pageant participant and accomplished pianist. Sara was one of the winners of American Eagle Outfitters Project Live Your Life and is currently featured in our Spring Break 2014 campaign. Lean more about Sara and be sure to follow her on Instagram for more insight into who she is!
You were born and raised in Maryland. What do you heart about your state?
I heart that Maryland is “America in miniature”. I can see the beautiful landscapes from the beach to the mountains all within a few hours!
You’ve been playing the piano since you were five years old. Tell us about how you got your start.
I have always loved music. When my sister started taking piano lessons I was inspired to as well and have been playing ever since.
What motivates you to play the piano?
I listen to other great pianists which motivates me to practice and get better and whenever I get a really strong emotion that I can’t express, I play it out on the piano.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to face while playing the piano?
Playing in front of large audiences is always a nerve racking experience, but I’ve learned through countless performances that even when I make a mistake, I just keep playing.
Where do you volunteer?
I play the piano at nursing homes, hospitals, and fundraising events. It gives me the opportunity to share my time and talents with my community through the gift of music.
I also volunteer at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters in Maryland. It’s something I care strongly about because every human being deserves the necessities of food, shelter and clothing in order to pursue a happy life.
Who inspires you to volunteer?
All the people that have made a positive impact on my life inspire me because that has shown me that I can make a difference in others’ lives as well.
How do you feel when you volunteer?
I feel humble and happy knowing I am putting a smile on someone’s face and helping them overcome their struggles.
What makes you stand out from the crowd? What characteristics help tell your story?
I am compassionate. It has always been in my nature to be kind and caring which motivates me to help people as a volunteer, a friend and one day, a music teacher.
We also hear that you’ve done pageants. What have you learned from them?
Competing in pageants has given me the opportunity to express my opinions, showcase my talent, and has taught me leadership, the importance of service and most of all, confidence in myself.
What are some of your aspirations?
I aspire to be a music teacher, to master the piano and to be Miss America.
Tell us about your part of the mural. What inspired you to create what you did?
On one side I drew about a dozen stars. Watching the stars in the night sky is something I enjoy and find absolutely beautiful. Stars are the light in the darkness and whenever my life seems bleak I always try to find that positive light that can overcome it.
On the other side I wrote my Chinese name in Mandarin. My grandparents gave me that name and it reminds me how important the Chinese culture is to me and how it is a part of me and I hope to become fluent in the language and travel to China once again to experience its beauty.