Spending a few hours with Rebecca “Bex” Nelson might make you feel bad about your own relative lack of energy — except Nelson is too positive to make anyone feel bad. The rising high school senior from Mebane, NC, has spent the past three years as a student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, where she juggles academic studies with advanced clarinet studies and frequent performances. This past year, seeking more challenging math and science studies, she added NCSSM Online classes to her plate.

“Yes! I’m a Uni-Pickle!,” Nelson cheered when she learned in April 2015 that she’d been accepted to NCSSM Online. She is the second School of the Arts Fighting Pickle to also become a Unicorn through NCSSM Online.

The petite redhead is happy to sing the praises and value of both of her high schools and to pitch in where needed. Her extracurriculars include serving as a student government leader at School of the Arts, trying to determine the best discipline consequences for a student body that includes both commuter and resident students and ages from high school freshmen to graduate students. Nelson also served as an online ambassador at NCSSM, talking with prospective students about the program.

And then there’s the schoolwork. Nelson’s course load this year included AP English, statistics, U.S. history, music theory, wind ensemble, Shakespeare club (for fun), orchestra, chamber quintet, AP Calculus, research process, and multivariable calculus.

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