FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - A Fort Wayne native will sing opera at her Chicago school's graduation ceremony.
Sarah Stevenson sings opera and is a junior at The Chicago Academy for the Arts.
Stevenson told Fort Wayne's NBC News that her love for opera blossomed three years ago. She said she decided to pursue her passion last summer, and she applied to The Chicago Academy for the Arts.
"It made me feel like I had purpose," Stevenson said.
Stevenson said she loves opera because it helps her connect with her father who passed away when she was 9-years-old.
"It (singing opera) expresses the struggle of losing my father, and staying connected with him," said Stevenson.
Stevenson said her father, Kenneth Stevenson, was a dean at IPFW. She said her father died from cancer.
"I had to grow up at that moment, when I realized that, I kind of had to become an adult, and learn to become independent, which was really hard," Stevenson said.
Stevenson told Fort Wayne's NBC News that singing opera made her feel better. She said when she's performing on stage, she feels like her dad is with her.
"There's the world of the audience, but I feel like they're not really there," said Stevenson. "I just feel like it's just me and my father on stage."
School leaders recently selected Stevenson to perform at her school's graduation on Thursday.
"Eager to perform, but does an outstanding job, Sarah is the obvious candidate for this opportunity," said Rachel Brown, Acting Chair of the School's Music Department.
The school's graduation begins on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
To learn more about The Chicago Academy for the Arts, please click here.