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Changemaker of Our Time: Nzingha Rothmiller

Recently, we had the pleasure of doing an interview with Nzingha Rothmiller, a proud alumnus of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester County and the Boys & Girls Club of America’s 2019 Northeast Regional Youth of the Year. During the interview, she told us about her plans for the future and how the Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester County played a role in her success.

When asked about her first experience at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester County, Nzingha said, “We came here and I was a really quiet kid so looking around at a bunch of other kids usually scared me, but I looked around and saw a group of kids drawing and a group of kids playing dress up and everyone was loud and having fun. The staff was making sure that everyone was okay and that it was controlled chaos. But it was just so beautiful to see that everyone can be together but doing their own thing… From there, I always felt really really comfortable but I remember a very specific moment as to where I felt like I was home and it was then.” Nzingha continued being a Club member at the Paulsboro Club Center until she was nine years old.

After moving on from the Paulsboro Club, Nzingha went to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester County’s Woodbury Teen Center. “That’s where I learned a lot of the multimedia stuff I know. I got into acting at the Woodbury Club. I had extreme stage fright and we would do little skits. Since I was a reader and writer, I would write the scripts and direct everybody. But I would never want to get up on stage and do it by myself! I was more comfortable directing. So the multimedia director challenged me to consider acting instead of just directing. He said it would give me the opportunity to see what it’s like on the other side” This launched Nzingha into her lifelong passion- acting. After a few months of her mentor challenging her, she fell in love with the stage.

This newfound hobby eventually drove Rothmiller to consider an education in acting, though her first dream was to become an attorney. When she first began applying to colleges for law, she wasn’t sure that she was going to go for acting. However, her teacher at Westtown School encouraged her to apply to at least one school with an acting program. She picked to apply to NYU. When she got her acceptance letter, she knew that NYU was the right place for her. Nzingha has fully committed to NYU and is pursuing a degree in the performing arts with plans to one day be an actress and attend law school.

When I asked Nzingha what drove her to success, she said, “The Youth of the Year competition. I wouldn’t be anything that I am without it, just because it pushed me to step out of my shell as far as speaking and networking. It taught me that if you cannot sell yourself, you can’t do anything. You need to be able to advocate for yourself and for other people and if not, you’re not going to make a difference. I think learning that in a very gentle, yet challenging way through Youth of the Year, it definitely has shaped me into the woman that I am.”

We are so proud of Nzingha for her accomplishments and can’t wait to see what she does next!

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