Miranda Gonzalez-Brown, 16
Atlanta Girls’ School, rising senior
When she was 14, Miranda Gonzalez-Brown moved from Los Angeles, Calif., to Los Angeles Avenue in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta. Though the name of her new street offered a degree of familiarity, moving to Atlanta was still a “culture shock.”
“It was everything I expected from the South and nothing I expected,” said Miranda, the daughter of Lourdes Gonzalez of Virginia-Highland and Carl Brown of Columbia, Tenn.
Miranda quickly adjusted to living in Atlanta after enrolling at Atlanta Girls’ School, which boasts a tightknit student community, primarily through its small class sizes.
“It’s a family,” Miranda said. “We’re all really, really close, and it’s just been a good support group to have in Atlanta.”
In addition to many close friends, Atlanta Girls’ School has offered Miranda various opportunities to get involved in the community. She recently completed a four-week internship at Literacy Action, an organization in downtown Atlanta that provides classroom instruction to functionally illiterate adults. As an intern, Miranda primarily served as a math tutor, and upon her completion of the internship, Literacy Action hired her as an employee.
“If I’m going to work, I might as well help people,” Miranda said. “It’s a great environment.”
Miranda works at Literacy Action one to five days a week, depending on her schedule, and she will continue working there in the fall.
In addition, Miranda has worked with Pets Are Loving Support (P.A.L.S.), an organization that provides pet care and support to Atlanta residents who are critically ill or disabled.
Last year Miranda served as prom chair at Atlanta Girls’ School. Next year, using that experience, she hopes to organize a “senior prom” for the women at the St. Anne’s Terrace retirement community, just down the street from the school on Northside Parkway.
Miranda has been active in Model United Nations the past two years, and she hopes to become president of the school group this year.
Outside school, Miranda plays soccer and enjoys painting.
Miranda plans to return home to California for college, with her top choice being Pomona College in Claremont. She also plans to apply to Pitzer College, Loyola Marymount University and the University of California, Los Angeles. While Miranda does not know what she wants to major in, she has considered subjects such as art and education.
“I want to be able to take as many classes as I want, explore as much as I can, really see and learn as much I can before I have to make such an important decision,” she said.
In the meantime, Miranda plans to spend her summer working, visiting Los Angeles and preparing for her senior year.