New Castle News

June 5, 2012

Super Grads 1: Meet Nolan Duncan of Ellwood

Tory Irwin
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — (First in a series spotlighting graduates of Lawrence County high schools).

Facing the end of high school is tough. Facing it from a hospital bed is even tougher.

For Lincoln High School graduate Nolan Duncan, it’s just reality.

After sustaining a lower back injury in a fall from a bridge, Duncan found himself stuck in a hospital bed on the night of commencement. Instead of letting it get him down, he chooses to face the situation with hope.

“My Dad has always told me to live faithfully,” he said. “God has given me this chance. Without that, I wouldn’t be so optimistic. I just say to myself, keep on pushing to live another day.”

Though his injury may have kept Duncan from walking to “Pomp and Circumstance,” he did Skype into his graduation ceremony Thursday.

Duncan’s positive outlook is something that helped him manage his time during his high school years. He was involved both in school and in his community, participating in football, cross country, band, and the school’s video team. He also served as a mentor on student council, helping students in need of guidance, and a co-treasurer of French Club for a year. Duncan organized a 5K race to benefit breast cancer research, has been a part of food drives and volunteered at a restaurant fair held at Ewing Park.

“(Volunteering was) a very fortunate experience,” he said. “Most kids don’t want to get involved, but it’s a way to get out and show humanitarian support without benefits for yourself.”

This year, Duncan’s peers voted for him as the recipient of the Leadership Award at Lincoln. Duncan, who doesn’t see himself as a leader, was humbled by the nomination.

“I try to get to know people and help people out,” he said. “I do something because it is best for the community to benefit from.”

As for the future, Duncan will be attending Point Park University to study cinema production.

Film has been a passion for him ever since he saw a presentation given by a Point Park film student. Duncan has made two, full-length documentaries about cross-country runner and classmate Eric McCall on his journey to the PIAA Finals. Duncan also has made several short videos using Final Cut Pro software. His videos are posted on his YouTube channel, 25nole25.

After college, he hopes to advance his film career by becoming a movie maker and director and maybe one day travel to Hollywood, though the independent films are much more his scene.

Duncan looks forward to his future, and encourages others to share his passion and perseverance.

“Always follow your dreams. Don’t let anybody stop you,” he said. “Always help those in need because they appreciate it so much. Be selfless, not selfish.”

Duncan will still miss his time at Lincoln and the relationships forged there. He says his favorite memory from the school is happening right now as he watches in awe the support he is getting from his peers.

“I’m getting so much support from the entire school,” he said. “I feel so proud to be a part of this community. It’s the greatest moment, even though I’m in so much pain.”

(Email: t_irwin@ncnewsonline.com)