Getting to Know Natalie Plaia '24
Natalie Plaia ’24 isn’t sure how it happened, but the 18-year-old from Parker, Colo. not only finds herself attending her parents’ alma mater, she’s also majoring in math, just like Joseph Plaia ’91 and Lara Courtice Plaia ’94.
“I didn’t expect to go to Santa Clara, or to follow in their footsteps, but I am,” says Plaia, who was born in Walnut Creek and raised in Yuba City before moving with her family to the Centennial State six years ago.
During her California years, Plaia’s parents would often take Natalie and her two brothers back to campus for different events; just last year, she attended her mother’s 25th Grand Reunion.
“So it’s kind of like going home for me,” says Plaia, who like her fellow Broncos is excited to move into the dorms as soon as possible.
When she lands, the talented first-chair violinist at her local high school will also be part of SCU’s student orchestra, where she hopes Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, one of her favorite orchestral pieces, might someday be part of the music program.
“I like it because it’s a little bit challenging, and it’s also pretty,” says Plaia, whose COVID-19 summer lockdown was brightened after the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” premiered on the Disney+ channel.
“I was one of those people who was so excited when that came out,” she says.
But Plaia has also been paying attention to the pandemic of racism in America, and recently took advantage of a SCU freshman Bronco Exchange event on the ideals surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.
The 90-minute Zoom program focused on “how to be an ally,” and discussed various films, books as well as local resources and events in the students’ communities they could take advantage of to learn more about the issue, and how to counteract racism.
“It was really cool for me,” says Plaia, whose family heritage is Sicilian and Hispanic/Latinx.
“I realized how dedicated a lot of students are to focusing on being allies. I’d never seen something like it, or done anything like that.”
Written by Tracy Seipel