My Expat Life
Daniel Tirado, From Miami to Winchester
Our My Expat Life and Profiles pieces (articles about interesting Americans who have chosen to live in the UK) have featured businesspeople, musicians, actors ...a variety of occupations, but all with one thing in common. They've all been adults. Until now.
Daniel A. Tirado is an American 12 year old who has been awarded a scholarship to the prestigious English school Winchester College.
Danny was born in Miami Beach on July 12, 2003 and attended L'Atelier, a preschool based on the Reggio Emilia learning method. He came to the UK at the age of 5, joining TASIS England, the American School in England in Thorpe, Surrey and at 10 he passed a rigorous IQ/aptitude test and transferred to Sunningdale School where he was placed in their elite/gifted program called the "scholars' form".
Danny's Winchester College scholarship is one of only 14 competitive academic awards made in 2016 from hundreds of applicants. The school was founded in the late 14th century by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor to Edward III and Richard II. (William also founded New College, Oxford and his schools became the model for Eton and King's College, Cambridge later in the 15th century.) All pupils were Scholars, living together in College. They had to go through a process of Election in which examiners would assess whether they were of "good character and sound learning". It was not until the middle of the 19th century that written papers became the means of Election.
Proud parents Virginia and Armando Tirado told The American that Danny's favorite subject was "Science by far, but at the same time he excels in the humanities side (languages, geography, English, history), he is a skilled debater (his last assignment was to argue the case for leaving the UK, while supporting the stay position). While he enjoys team sports played in England like soccer, rugby and cricket, he is also a Taekwondo black belt, trained by Master Lawrence Lindsey at the LLTKD school, and an accomplished singer. Danny was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 301, Transatlantic Council, Thorpe, England and participated in numerous activities leading to his Arrow of Light ceremony, or graduation into Boy Scout. One of his favorite activities was the BSA 2014 Camporee in Normandy to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and we attended as a family the new bell ceremony"
Danny, what do you like about living in Britain?
"Three things come to mind: I experienced the seasons for the first time in Britain – the weather in Miami was significantly different, I came here when I was 5, and in Britain I had my first contact with snow and real winter! In addition, I enjoy being so close to the European continent and experiencing so many different cultures, and I feel that Britain is closer to Europe and also to the rest of the world in terms of proximity and links of all kinds. But the most important aspect that I enjoy living in Britain is the country itself and all it has to offer – to paraphrase Samuel Johnson – to be tired of Britain is to be tired of life! I love London, and the British countryside is truly like no other – it makes me feel proud to be here. I am an American but this is home to me".
Do you miss anything from the USA?
"From time to time I go back to the US and I get that feeling that is hard to describe – it's like a pull, an attraction that makes me want to stay a little longer there, anytime I visit. It's everything my country of birth stands for. That, and American candy".
Outside of school, what do you enjoy?
"I'm a rabid follower of the US soccer MNT and also a big fan of the WNT and its successes in World Cups."
Will you board at school?
"Yes, Scholars are expected to board at College during their 5 years at Winchester. I switched from being a day student at TASIS to being a boarder at Sunningdale as I thought it would help me focus on my work and benefit from the discipline and structure at the school. It was my own choice much to my parents' perplexity!"
What are your hopes and aspirations for later in life?
"For as long as I can remember I have been captivated by science, and I always thought I could grow to become a scientist or engineer and work for NASA. However, the same is true for my ongoing passion for History and the humanities, so maybe later in life I want to expand and develop this passion.
"I want to be remembered not just having success, but for helping people either directly or through my inventions, creations and work that I may have produced during my life."