Nelvin Rodriguez-Paz – Sharing his musical talents to energize his community.
High School Graduation Series
Nelvin Rodriguez-Paz - Student U Class of 2019 and Durham musician
Nelvin Rodriguez-Paz is a senior at Jordan High School and a talented instrumentalist who uses his gift of music to energize the Durham community. He is graduating this May and will attend UNC Charlotte to pursue an Electrical Engineering major. He hopes to one day be a well-known musician and travel the world sharing his talents and the brilliance of Durham.
What is your brilliance?
I’m a multi instrumentalist. I’ve gone around Durham playing piano, trumpet, drum set, and tenor saxophone at various events. I’ve played at the top of the Durham hotel. I'm going to be traveling to New Jersey to play piano at a wedding. I got the chance to play along students at Berklee college of music. I’ve won awards at the annual jazz festival at UNC Chapel Hill. I’ve been the special guest for the graduation of a music academy in Durham. I’ve played piano on television twice. There are many other things I’ve done in the music scene.
What is your vision for the world and Durham?
I want Durham to grow as a community, I want Durham to be a place of opportunity and city where people dream of moving to.
What is your role in that vision?
I will represent Durham in the best way possible wherever I go.
What challenges/obstacles have you or must you overcome on your journey to realizing your vision?
I have to travel around and talk to people and talk to them about the city of Durham.
What values guide/drive you on your journey?
My teacher gave me a chance to express my musical self to the world in various ways and I want to someday do the same for someone else.
In the grand scheme of things, why do you believe it is important you succeed?
My success will benefit at-least one other person in a positive way. My success will not just help me, but it will also help others.
Who has/is helping you on your journey?
My parents, my teachers, and Student U
How has Student U been part of your journey?
Student U has helped me through middle and high school and they have helped me through the college application process.
What is your plan to achieve your vision? What steps have you already taken and what ones are next?
I will continue to chase my dream of being a well-known musician. I will represent Durham in the best way possible. I will ask my teacher to find me ways to travel outside of the US and play music for people.
When you succeed how do you hope your life will be different? How will other's lives be different?
I want my life to have meaning. I want to be successful for my parents. I want others to know that they can do anything they want to do as long as they don’t give up on chasing whatever it is they want to do.
What is one piece of advice you would give your younger peers? How will you help them succeed?
Don’t give up, don’t let go of whatever your dream is. Don’t let other people’s opinions affect your dreams.