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Ridgewood graduate Cettina Nardulli

Cettina Nardulli

Cettina Nardulli

Persistence and focus are the keys that open up the doors to success. Eighteen-year-old Cettina Nardulli has unlocked those doors, and a bright future lies ahead of her. Nardulli graduated with honors from Ridgewood High School in Norridge on May 27, having blossomed into a capable young lady.

During her high school career, Nardulli managed to juggle participation on the pompom squad and soccer team with a leadership role as class council president and still earned a GPA of more than 4.5 along with an honorable mention on the 2013-2014 Illinois High School Association’s All-State Academic Team.

“My parents are big supporters of all my activities,” Nardulli proudly states. Gino and Antoinette Nardulli hail from Bari and Sicily respectively. She also credits them with instilling time management skills in her from an early age. “I keep everything balanced,” she explains. Though she leads the life of a normal teenager, she knows that she must stay focused. “I have discipline,” she says. “I know when to stay at home and study and when to go out with my friends.”

She has been dancing since she was 4 and playing soccer since she was 6. She notes that her dancing and soccer skills go hand in hand. “The coordination and balance really complement each other,” she points out. Nardulli is a center-midfielder on the soccer field. During her high school career, the team has excelled, making it to the regional finals the last three years and winning twice.

As Nardulli wrapped up her career at Ridgewood with four AP classes, she concluded her tenure as Senior Class Council president by planning the event of the year: prom! Her busy summer will include working, traveling to California for a family wedding and assisting the dance team in preparing for next school year. Then it’s off to DePaul University, where she’ll be entering the honors program on a presidential scholarship.

Nardulli has made the pivotal decision to not try out for the soccer team during her undergraduate career. “I don’t want to overwhelm myself going into college,” she explains. “Academics are the key to success.” She hopes to major in business and participate in intramural soccer for fun. And when she arrives on campus, she’ll be carrying her high school experiences with her. “I am very fortunate for what I have learned during my time at Ridgewood,” she says.

Nardulli is a great role model for high school students. She is also very close to her younger sister, Gabriella, who played on the soccer team with her. “Anything can be accomplished if you put your mind to it,” Nardulli says. With the help and support of her family, Nardulli is on the fast lane to success. “Without my parents, it would have been hard to accomplish all that I’ve accomplished,” Nardulli says.

Photo by Anna Chomiak

About Alanna Chiefari

Alanna Chiefari is a 2007 graduate of Saint Mary's college-Notre Dame. She has been writing for Fra Noi since the winter of 2011 and is absolutely thrilled to feature young Italian-American adults who are off to a great start. Alanna has been working as a client associate on a wealth management team for Merrill Lynch since May of 2007. In her spare time, she loves exploring Italian culture by reading books, trying new restaurants and meeting Italian Americans who are benefiting the community. Follow her on Twitter at @LannaDionne.