Saaya Sugiyama-Spearman is a student, musician, mentor, daughter, sister, and friend. Her life has been defined by her tenacity to overcome the biggest of obstacles, all with a smile. The love Saaya has for others is the only thing greater than the love she receives from those who know her.
Saaya was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Yukiko Sugiyama-Spearman and Caro Spearman. Saaya grew up in a home speaking two languages, Japanese and English. She focuses on her schoolwork while allotting time for her dance and musical studies.
Saaya has studied piano at Settlement Music School for over thirteen years. She also participates in Ballet at Settlement. Saaya studies violin at Temple University Boyer College’s Community Music Scholar Program (CMSP). In school, she is a first violinist of the High School Orchestra as well as a first saxophone of the Jazz Band. At CMSP, she is the Associate Concertmaster of the String Orchestra. In addition, Saaya is a first violinist of the Philadelphia All City Orchestra.
Saaya is a National Merit Commended Scholar and member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. She is a recipient of the Union League’s Good Citizenship Award. In school, Saaya is an active member of Student Government, the African American Cultural Committee, and Peer Counseling.
After graduating from Julia Reynolds Masterman in June 2017, Saaya will attend Yale University in the fall and plans to study music.