Nikki Steinberg

Named salutatorian of the Class of 2022, Nikki Steinberg is a proud NSU University School lifer who immersed herself in opportunity and excelled both in and out of the classroom throughout her academic career. Having an early start at USchool, Nikki was exposed to a plethora of diverse courses and programs that helped her realize her love for writing and text analysis. Following her passion, she participated in the NSU Law Fellowship and worked closely with law professors and students. Her experiences competing in a mock trial competition, which she won, and interning at a law office steered her to work toward a career in the legal profession.  

Growing up, Nikki’s family taught her the value of kindness and compassion and inspired her to always act with empathy. As a dancer who has won multiple first-place national titles, she learned to be resilient and persevere through adversity. Nikki applied these values in her everyday life, which served as the key to her success. Among her many achievements, Nikki was selected as a National Merit Scholarship recipient, semifinalist in the Coca-Cola Scholarship program, AP Scholar with Distinction, and Outstanding Scholar in Math and Social Studies. She also earned the University of Pennsylvania Book Award and Dance Excellence Award.  

Nikki developed and demonstrated her leadership skills while serving as president of Debbie’s Dream, a club supporting patients with stomach cancer, and the National Honor Society of the Dance Arts. She was also a member of seven honor societies, the Diversity Club, No Kid Hungry, Writing Fellows, .Edu, and Tilted Dance Company. Outside of school, Nikki devotes her time inspiring the next generation of dancers as a children’s dance instructor.  

Although she will miss the familiar faces she has grown up with and the school that has become her second home, Nikki is excited to be heading to Vanderbilt University. She aspires to practice family law and one day open her own law firm, helping better the lives of those who were wronged and fighting for what is right.  

Q&A with Nikki:  

Tell me about the benefits of having an early start at NSU University School.  

Starting USchool in kindergarten allowed me to begin my specialized education right from the beginning. In the Lower School, there were various ways that different learning styles and paces were facilitated. I began learning advanced math topics in second grade and participated in unique programs including a stock exchange program in fourth grade. My early start helped me gain important experiences that served as building blocks for the rest of my academic career at USchool.  

What factors outside of school have shaped you into the person you are today?  

My family has played a significant role in shaping me into who I am. My mom always taught me to be strong, fight for what I believe in, and find the positive in every situation. Growing up as a dancer also contributed to the person I am today. I learned that without commitment, it is impossible to improve or succeed in your endeavors.  

What are the top three reasons you love USchool and being a part of the Shark family?  

One of the things I love most about USchool is the community it provides. The bonds I have formed here have had strong impacts on who I have grown up to be. With the countless opportunities available, each student can travel a unique path and grow into their own individual person. I received a balance between academic rigor and immersion into my community, helping me obtain new knowledge and apply it to the real world.  

What is the most important life lesson you have learned in Upper School?  

I have learned that there is so much more to life beyond a proper academic education. While USchool provided me with an extensive academic career, it also helped me realize that there is value in having empathy and understanding for those around us. Learning about perspectives or concepts that I had never considered before opened my eyes to what it means to be a productive member of society.  

How do you feel USchool has prepared you for life after graduation? 

USchool has provided me many opportunities to form a bridge between what I have learned in the classroom to what I plan to pursue in the future. Between the fellowships and internships offered, I have had real-world experiences right at my fingertips, giving me a taste of what life after graduation will be like before I have even graduated.  

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