Danielle Tilford has a different activity for just about every day of the week. Between her commitments to the Darien High School band and jazz band, Tudor Singers, Theatre 308, serving as president of the teen advisory board at the Darien Library and the other various clubs and organizations she's involved in, life can get pretty busy for the DHS junior.
"It does get very busy," she said. "But the mindset helps a lot. If I try to enjoy what I'm doing, then I'll get through it."
Though it's tough at times, and sometimes requires late hours of studying, Tilford manages to balance her extra-curricular interests with her academics and succeed in both realms.
Tilford was recently chosen to be a 2010 Governor's Scholar.
The scholarship is granted annually to 30 high school juniors across the state. Principals from each high school included in the Connecticut Association of Schools is given the opportunity to nominate one student in the top 4 percent of her class; the student then completes an essay to be judged by the panel. The panel also evaluates student based on their class rank, PSAT or SAT scores and CAPT scores.
"I was very happy, surprised and honored that I was picked out of so many amazing students," she said.
Tilford and her family moved to Darien from Plano, Texas in January, 2009.
"I think the school here is so great. We have a great principal, and I like every single one of my teachers a lot," she said. "There are just so many opportunities to do so many things here, especially in the arts."
Back in Texas, she participated in cheerleading, which she chose not to continue upon her move to Connecticut.
"I was just ready for a new thing," she said. "I really wanted to focus on music, and besides, the band plays at the games."
Her wide variety of interests is more than just a list of bullets on her resume; it's part of her essential make up.
"Since she was little, she's always been so curious," said her mother, Tammy Tilford. "She's just loved to learn, and I think that's what keeps her learning."
As the end of her junior year approaches, Tilford is still uncertain about what academic path she hopes to explore after leaving DHS.
"I like all my subjects. If I had to pick a favorite, well, I like all of them," she said with a laugh. She has thought a bit about studying law in college, but hasn't made a final decision on the topic.
"I'm not really sure yet. I'm just interested in so many things," she said. "We're probably going to have to visit more colleges over the summer."
In the mean time, she's preparing for her performance in a one-act play next week and enjoying some spare time now that her AP exams are finished.