Nyla Haynie – California Nomination & Photography by Alicia Crosson Photography Issue 65 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: It is my pleasure to nominate Nyla Haynie! Since 2021, she has been a prime participant in my spokesmodel program, earning the award of ACP Model of the Year last year. Nyla is also a competitive dancer, is on her high school’s tennis team, and plays multiple instruments. She has a passion for writing, using this to achieve multiple awards for Speech and Debate, all while flourishing academically. She is active in her church’s ministry, and loves being involved in charity work both locally and on mission trips! Nyla’s kindness towards others is matched with her dedication, loyalty and faithfulness.
Photography by Alicia Crosson Photography
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I love volunteering to serve others as well. Helping people makes me happy, so I've loved making sack lunches for our homeless community, and going on a mission with my church. Last October, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to a village in Mexico, where I taught and looked after local children, and helped build a roof for a pastor's home. I'm also headed to Camp Barnabas, a week-long ministry for campers with special needs or chronic illnesses, and I was proud to be a buddy at Night to Shine, a prom-style dance for special needs guests.
What else would you like to talk about? I would like to express the importance and excitement brought by leaving your comfort zone. Seizing opportunities like mission trips, or just trying to do something new and little is so exciting, and maybe even life-changing! I want to encourage others that everyone in this magazine has taken a little step, or a leap, that brought them to where they are. We should encourage others, and ourselves to do the same. Lastly, it doesn't take a million medals to be inspiring, just a little smile or compliment can inspire someone. Spread kindness!
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be? Growing up, I have a constant feeling that my childhood is slipping away. I find comfort in the constants of my life; my busy routine, my city, and the people I’ve grown up with. Now college is approaching, and soon I have to leave everything I love. I’m terrified to be entirely on my own and decide what my path is. I know I’m not alone in my fear of change, so I want to advocate that it’s okay to be anxious about the future, and that things will turn out just the way that they are meant to.
How did you find and why did you choose Alicia Crosson Photography for your photographer? She has been such an amazing part of so many young girls' lives, and a lot of the girls she has impacted and inspired I know well through dance or tennis.
What has your experience been like on her team? She has been the absolute sweetest these last couple of years. She is so open to creativity and individuality in her photoshoots, and I love that she encourages us to express ourselves in our clothing choices and themes. Every one of her spokesmodels is so supportive and loving toward one another, which is a perfect team dynamic.
How did you earn the award of ACP Model of the Year last year and what did it mean to you to win? Alicia's company is all about supporting one another and loving each other, and I think that I won because of just that. I love to compliment the other girls and build them up for their beautiful photos, and I connect easily with others. It meant the absolute world to me to win, because it just proves that a little kindness and support is never little, even if it seems to go unnoticed.
What things about dance do you love the most? I adore the way that dance connects people. The way that you can feel someone's emotions through their movement, be it excited, anxious, or heartbroken; it's contagious. I think it's extremely beautiful to watch and so much fun to perform. I also absolutely love the friends I've made through dance, and the memories we've made practicing and competing together :)
Image by Sharette Haynie
What has been a favorite memory from tennis? I am so blessed to have such a sweet and inclusive coach, and she's created so many amazing memories. She always made us yummy little quinoa bowls and juice before our matches and gave little pep talks. When a little boy in our town was battling cancer, she inspired the whole team to go to his house to cheer him up and make him feel special. One of my teammates dressed as our school mascot, and my friend and I were asked to play a Star Wars song on our violins for him, which was such a special memory.
What instruments do you play and how long have you been playing? I play the violin and the flute, and I've been playing them both for around 7 years.
What is your favorite go-to crowd-pleasing song when people ask you to play? When people ask me to play for them it's usually around Christmas time, when my family visits and wants to hear me play. I have an entire binder dedicated to Christmas songs, and I have them pick their favorites for me to play. We also have a group of families that go Christmas caroling to the homes of struggling families, and they always request songs like "Joy to the World", "Jingle Bells", and "Silent Night," which is super fun. Why do you love to write? I find so much comfort in my writing, watching as letters turn into words, and words into sentences, then pages. Words and thoughts that I didn't understand before I could take a step back and see parts of myself that go unseen unless on paper. I love having the ability to make others feel something with my writing, and make them think in a different way. I've watched them laugh or cry, or both, and it's the most beautiful and rewarding thing in the world.
What has been the most rewarding speech you've won? Every speech I've written has been extremely close to my heart. I won my first competition with a speech inspired by my mixed-race family, focusing on aspects of racial stereotypes that go undiscussed. I was proud to speak about my heritage, even when others thought it didn't belong to me. I won my second with another original, about the struggles of change and growing up that are often invalidated. It was empowering to speak about things that mattered to me and connected me to the people that inspired them. The biggest reward was seeing others inspired by them too.
Why is religion important to you? I see God in everything. I see Him in the warm little sun spots from windows, I see Him in sunflowers on the highway. I see Him in colorful striped sweaters and the lyrics of my favorite songs. I see Him when I see a person and a dog equally excited to see each other. I see Him when I see love and joy, I see his comfort in pain and sadness. I see Him in everything, and this love and hope saved my life. Jesus saved you, and He loves you! You are never alone :)
Look for Nyla in issue 65 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!