Our View: Nevada County’s young people prove passion, persistence pay off | TheUnion.com

Our View: Nevada County’s young people prove passion, persistence pay off

When the green flag flies at the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas Sunday, one of Nevada County’s own will be behind the wheel among the world’s elite drivers at Circuit of the Americas.

But no matter where his name lands on the finishing grid, Alexander Rossi, a 24-year-old Nevada City native, is already a winner with a worthy message to share with the young people in his community back home:

Dare to dream big and pursue your passion.

Last month, Rossi realized his lifelong dream of racing among the world’s finest in Formula 1. It’s a dream he first shared with The Union and its readers in 2004, at the age of 12.

But such a dream doesn’t become reality by accident. As those who have followed his career, regularly reported on the pages of this newspaper and at TheUnion.com for more than a decade, Alexander Rossi is relentless in the pursuit of his goals.

His passion, persistence and patience has paid off, something the western Nevada County community should celebrate and share with our young people who are right now plotting their own paths ahead.

Rossi’s racing success is just one of many examples of the talent and tenacity to come out of our community. Two other young people hailing from these hills recently shared stories that also should serve as inspiration to the rest of us to recognize that dreams can, in fact, come true.

Tom Plumley has been plugging away at an acting career ever since he studied drama with his teacher and mentor Rob Metcalfe at Nevada Union High School, from where he graduated 2011.

Whether in NU’s Comedy Sportz program, local theater or college performances, Plumley applied what he learned from each experience to continue pressing forward toward his own dream. He recently played a featured role in a Taco Bell and Sony Entertainment commercial which began airing Sept. 24.

“You have to make things happen and always be open for opportunities and continue to build your skills and relationships,” he said. “This business is like running a marathon — the work is neverending but the rewards are definitely worth it.”

For Colleen Noud, a Bear River High School grad, the pursuit of her passion required a substantial shift in her studies. Already in her second year of studying biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Noud began to consider seriously pursuing fashion as a career. Noud’s path into the fashion world started at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where she enrolled after graduating from UCSB.

“You only get one life, try to use it how you want,” Noud remembers thinking at the time.

Now 28 years old, Noud is a designer for Manhattan Beachwear, based in Cypress, California — and her line, Green Dragon, is set to debut in Dillard’s and Nordstrom, among other retailers, in December.

Of course, through the years, western Nevada County has seen so many similar success stories from our young people, excelling in a wide array of endeavors. Whether artists and musicians like Joanna Newsom, who released a new album “Divers” on Friday, or athletes like Tanner Vallejo, a star linebacker for Boise State’s football team, long ago they were also just a western Nevada County kid with a dream.

They also had the support of family, friends, classmates and their community, which no doubt takes pride in their accomplishments and should encourage others to likewise dream big and pursue their own passions.

The weekly Our View column represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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