Alumni Profile – Carly Lappas ’13

Alumni Profile

Lappas_Carly_NYACarly Lappas ’13
Chapel Hill, NC
Pursuing master’s degree in public administration at the UNC School of Government

When Carly Lappas graduated from NYA, she was a proud “lifer,” having enrolled as an 11-year-old entering the sixth grade.  

Carly vividly remembers her shadow visit day as a young kid applying to NYA. “I came from my hometown, Durhamto spend the day at NYA, and enjoyed myself so muchThe teachers and students were friendly and welcoming. I knew NYA was for me,” she said. 

 At NYA, Carly immersed herself in sports, clubsand activities. She sang in the chorus and played field hockey for all seven of her years at the Academy, while also trying lacrosse and tennis, serving as a member of the Judiciary Committee, MakeAWish club, GISA, and many more.   

While her favorite class of all-time at NYA was Lynn Sullivan’s course Current Political Events, she says the sciences were where she excelled. By her senior year, Carly was motivated to pursue a year-long independent study in neuroscience with a Colby College professor. “I was very interested in the sciences and planned to be a pre-med major in college. To have the flexibility and opportunity to work closely with a college professor during my senior year of Upper School was very cool, says Carly.   

Carly says that NYA made her a strong writer and really prepared her for success in college, both at Bowdoin and UNC. 

After NYA, Carly enrolled at Bowdoin College with plans to pursue a degree in the hard sciences, in preparation for a career as a medical doctor. After a short time, she realized it wasn’t for her“I wanted to be a doctor so I could help people, but I quickly found my passion for social and political policy and realized I could help people by making policy changes,” remembers Carly. 

In 2017, she graduated from Bowdoin with a bachelor’s degree, double majoring in psychology and in government and legal studies. During her undergraduate years, Carly was a member of the equestrian and rowing teams, the student assistant for the Psychology Departmentand an Admissions Office senior interviewer

Following her college graduation, Carly headed to Boston to work with the non-profit Year Up, where she spent two years helping young adults from under-resourced communities establish corporate careers through a workforce development program. Her time at Year Up was transformative and led her to pursue a master’s degree in public administration at the UNC School of Government

“NYA made me a strong writer and really prepared me for success in college, both at Bowdoin and UNC,” said Carly. 

After she graduates from UNC in 2022, she intends to continue her work in the nonprofit sector and to focus on education and workforce development. Her long-term goal is to lead a non-profit organization 

While much has changed for Carly since her first days on the NYA campus, one thing has not. “I still have many of the same friends I did in the sixth grade,” says Carly. “The friendships I gained from NYA are such an important part of my life. I regularly talk to a dozen or so of my NYA classmates. I am forever thankful to NYA for those relationships.”  


Alumni are invited and encouraged to share their stories and updates with the Academy by reaching out to alumni@nya.org.