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Upper School News

Audi Ellis

Chadwick Sophomore Audi Ellis is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. After living in Chicago, Illinois for the past 14 years, she moved halfway around the world and has adeptly immersed herself in the Chadwick community since arriving this fall. 

Passionate about music, Audi has set and achieved numerous personal goals for the cello, piano and voice. Most recently, she decided to pursue her dream of earning an online certificate in general music studies from Berklee College of Music, a premiere college for the study of music. 

Like many students, Audi has persisted through all of these endeavours with hard work, a positive attitude, and grit. But unlike most students, she has done so with the added challenge of being visually impaired. While Audi kept this part of herself private for many years, she now recognizes the value that comes with sharing her full self.

“Throughout my life, my vision has always been something I hid; however, through the past few years, I have learned and realized the power that my story has,” shared Audi. “Though it has taken me a few years, I am lucky enough to have discovered how much of an impact my voice can make, and that is something that truly makes me happy.”

She was recently featured in Berklee Online’s publication Take Note where she shared her perspective as a visually impaired creator. In addition to the joy Berklee’s program brings her, she hopes that the musical knowledge she is gaining will help her to achieve her future college and career goals.

Audi has mostly adjusted to her new life at Chadwick, and while leaving her hometown was difficult, she feels that her ability to be optimistic and appreciate the “small moments of happiness” with family and new friends has made the process easier. She is grateful for the welcoming, accepting and supportive community that greeted her at Chadwick and the list of teachers, administrators and staff who she expressed her gratitude for was long. 

“Though I am the first visually impaired student at Chadwick, I certainly won't be the last,” said Audi. “To know that a school will be supportive and accepting is a feeling that just can't be put into words.”

Audi has taken it upon herself to pave the way for other students who are facing challenges, both similar and different, as she pursues her own goals. Her advice to others is to “keep getting back up” when life’s struggles are bringing you down. She can tell you from experience, “Every time you do, you will be stronger.”