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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Paola Cruz as the 2022-2023 Presidential Scholar

Photo+courtesy+of+Paola+Cruz+-+Paola+Cruz+and+her+father%2C+the+inspiration+behind+her+work.+Cruz+is+the+new+Presidential+Scholar
Photo courtesy of Paola Cruz – Paola Cruz and her father, the inspiration behind her work. Cruz is the new Presidential Scholar

Paola Cruz ‘23, a Wofford College student singer and songwriter, has been awarded the prestigious Presidential Scholar award. This honor is awarded to one student each year and recognizes their exceptional academic achievements and contributions to their community. 

The award also provides recipients with an opportunity to study abroad to pursue their academic and professional goals, which Cruz completed the previous year.

Cruz, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, has always had a passion for music. She began singing at a young age, and quickly discovered her talent for songwriting. When she enrolled at Wofford College, she knew that she wanted to pursue a degree in music and continue honing her skills as a songwriter and performer.

During her time at Wofford, Cruz has been an active member of the music community on campus. She has performed in numerous concerts and events. Her dedication to her craft and her commitment to giving back to her community have not gone unnoticed.

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In addition to her musical accomplishments, Cruz has also excelled academically. She has maintained a high GPA throughout her college career  and has been recognized for her achievements in the classroom. 

She has also been involved in several extracurricular activities, including membership in the Organization of Latin American Students and serving as a delegate on Campus Union. 

When Cruz found out that she had been awarded the Presidential Scholar award, she was overjoyed. 

As part of the Presidential Scholar program, Cruz had the opportunity to study abroad last year. She used this experience to further enhance her music career and gain exposure to different cultures and musical styles. 

“I realized the importance of music and how it forms personal identity and activism,”Cruz said.. “I never thought that I would want to pursue music, but now I am going to NYU for my masters.”

Cruz used her time abroad to write and record new music and to perform at local venues and events. In her experience she gained new fans and followers, and established herself as a talented and versatile musician.

“My Presidential Scholar music is dedicated to my family and our journey as a community as people who do not have a family story,” Cruz said. “I slowly learned that I want music to be in my life forever.”

Cruz plans to continue pursuing her passion for music. She hopes to record and release an album of her original music and to perform at larger venues and festivals. She also plans to use her music to raise awareness and support for important causes.

Cruz’s journey as a musician and scholar is just beginning, but she has already accomplished so much. Cruz just released her new single “Taxicab,” now available on all streaming platforms. 

Her dedication to her craft and her commitment to making a positive impact on the world are an inspiration to us all. The Wofford community cannot wait to see what the future holds for this talented young artist. 

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