• Julia Lancaster,  junior
  • Atlanta International School
Julia Lancaster

Julia Lancaster has lived her life by two key principles: collaboration and competition.

So far, they’ve worked well for her.

Lancaster’s competitive nature comes out both on the academic and athletic fields–or, in Lancaster’s case, athletic fields and courts. In her three years of high school, Lancaster has participated in five varsity sports. She starts for the volleyball, basketball and soccer teams and steps in for the track and cross-country teams when they need more athletes.

“The great thing about attending a small school is that there are no limits to what you can do,” said Lancaster. “We may not be the greatest at sports, but what other school can you manage to be a part of five teams?”

Should Lancaster not get her competitive fill participating in the International School’s athletic program, she can always turn to her elite Tophat Soccer Club, which she participates in nearly year-round.

“It’s the greatest feeling to just run down the field, beat the opponents, let out the stress of the day and be with your teammates,” Lancaster said. “Soccer is my favorite sport, and one which I hope to pursue.”

Her competitiveness in sports is balanced by her love of collaboration–whether that be her joy of being part of a sports team or her involvement in the school’s yearbook.

Lancaster, editor of the yearbook, cites her favorite parts of being on the yearbook staff to be a tie between working together with her fellow members to put together a product capable of storing memories and being able to practice her love of photography.

“Photography is a hobby for me, and I wish I had more time to pursue it,” said Lancaster. “But I love how working on the yearbook and taking pictures enable me to capture the essence of school life, meet so many students I would have never talked to–from sixth graders to seniors–and contribute to something that people will be able to look back on.”

Whether she’s playing on the field or taking pictures from the sidelines, one thing is for certain: Lancaster is a busy girl. In her spare time she volunteers at the Atlanta Food Bank (both to fill her service requirement and because she enjoys it) and maintains impressive grades while participating in the International School’s rigorous International Baccalaureate program.

For Lancaster, however, nothing joins together her competitive and collaborative sides quite like being a delegate to The Hague Model United Nations. In this program, which Lancaster considers to be her most academically challenging and stimulating activity, high school participants from around her school, community, state, nation and world mimic the activities of the United Nations, discussing civics, current events and multilateral diplomacy.

“Model UN has been a great way for me to meet people from outside of school and outside of the country,” said Lancaster. “It’s helped me to understand more about other cultures and to become more aware of global current events.”

What’s Next:

Lancaster still has time to decide on a college, but she has two criteria for choosing a school: First, it should be academically rigorous. Second, she has to be able to play competitive soccer.

She is currently interested in several Division III schools, including Amherst College, Washington and Lee University, Haverford College and Emory University.

While she is still undecided as to what she will study and what her career path will be, she stresses that no matter where she ends up, she will always be extremely involved in the community.

“Meeting others and getting to collaborate with them is what I love to do, both in sports and in class,” said Lancaster. “I have no idea what I’ll be doing in the future, but I never want to stop doing that.”

–Amanda Wolkin