Q: Please tell us about your current plans after high school. And what inspired you to choose this path?
A: I will be attending Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH to pursue a Biology major and a double minor in Bioethics & Medical Humanities and Art History on the pre-med track. I chose this path because of my desire to help others and give back to communities through medical research and patient care. When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2018, I saw the profound impact that her physicians and surgeons had on her and knew that I wanted to positively influence others in the same way. They cured her cancer and helped her to have an optimistic attitude through it all, and that is a deep level of care that I aspire to give people someday.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
A: I live with my mother, father, and younger brother on the border of Suwanee and Sugar Hill. My brother is 16 years old and a sophomore at North Gwinnett, and my parents are both such amazing people that have grown me into the young woman I am today. My extended family is rather large- I have 22 cousins, 20 aunts and uncles, 3 half sisters, 2 nieces, and 1 nephew. Most of them live relatively close, so I get to see them often and I love them all so much!
Q: Where do you go to school?
A: North Gwinnett High School
Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
A: When I was in 8th grade at North Gwinnett Middle School, I was selected to have lunch with Ms. Bozenna Gilbride, a Holocaust survivor. I have always been so interested in studying that era of history, so it was incredible to meet someone who lived through that horrible time. She was so sweet and opened my eyes even more with her personal account of her experiences in Poland as a child during World War II. It is one thing to read books about this time period, but it was even better to personally hear about not only Ms. Gilbride’s experiences, but how she truly felt and reacted to her unspeakable circumstances.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
A: If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would travel around Eastern Europe. The architecture there is absolutely beautiful, and there is such rich history associated with these countries that I would love to explore and see for myself.
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
A: My favorite movie is To the Bone (but my favorite franchise has to be Star Wars). My favorite TV shows are You and The Politician.
Q: What’s the best advice you ever received from a teacher? Who was the teacher?
A: The best advice I ever received was from my AP Literature and Philosophy/Speech & Debate teacher, Mr. Weeks. In our speech class, much of what we learn is how to be confident and assert ourselves when we speak to others or give a public speech. He would always tell us to be comfortable with who we are and what we were talking about, so we can be confident and carry ourselves with a sense of poise. As someone who was not very comfortable speaking in front of crowds before this class, his advice completely shifted my mindset and has made me more confident in presentations, speeches, and even when I’m just meeting new people. I know his words will carry me through interviews and research presentations in college and beyond, and I am so grateful for him.
Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
A: When I can’t decide what to listen to, I usually go to Kaleo or Bad Suns. They both produce a good mix of alternative rock and mellow songs which are great for any mood I’m in!
Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
A: I would love to have lunch with Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye! I love cooking, and he is an amazing chef who has such a strong desire to help people improve their lifestyles. His recipes are amazing, and he seems like a lovely guy with a passion for helping others. I would love to meet him at Tropical Smoothie Cafe since he is a strong supporter of clean eating!
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
A: I have always thought that it was really cool that Suwanee has a piece of the Berlin Wall in Suwanee Town Center! I have always loved history, specifically 20th century history, so to have a piece of the Cold War in my hometown is so incredible to me. It is mind-boggling to have such a rich, monumental piece of history 10 minutes from my house!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
A: In 5 years, I can see myself as a medical student working hard to become a licensed doctor and earn my MD. I aspire to be a published researcher at this point it my life, hopefully in the field of medical microbiology. In 10 years, I will still be pursuing my medical career, most likely as a resident or fellow learning the ropes and completing my training to be a licensed physician.
Q: What show are you binge watching right now?
A: Currently I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube, but the most recent show I binge watched was Unorthodox on Netflix. It was an incredible show!
Q: Favorite month? holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
A: My favorite month is December because it includes my birthday, Christmas, and the end of the first semester of school! The best single day on the calendar is probably December 25tj because it is Christmas Day, and it is right in the middle of my family’s 3-day celebration with my dad’s side on the 24th, my mom’s side on the 25th, and my half sisters and their families on the 26th. My birthday is December 22nd, so the 25th is right in the wake of that as well!
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
A: My peers have always inspired me to be better. I always have been very proud of myself and what I have accomplished, but surrounding myself with so many smart people has shown me that there is always more to be done. My peers’ accomplishments don’t necessarily make me aspire to be exactly like them, but they show me that there is always room for improvement, and there is always another way to expand your mind or to give back to the community. Without them, I would be stuck settling for the status quo, and not truly pushing to reach my full potential like I am now.
Q: If you could go back over your entire school career what is one thing you would do different?
A: One thing I would do differently is I would fix my study habits. During high school, I often got so wrapped up in my studies that I ran out of time to do fun things. If I had more effective study habits, I could have gotten through my homework quicker and had more time for my friends!
Q: Who or what do you miss the most right now?
A: I miss being able to see my friends and I miss school. I never thought I would say that I miss waking up at 5:30am to go to NGHS for 7 hours a day, but I really do miss it and I’m incredibly upset that we can’t go back. I never realized how much I had taken for granted, such as going over to my friends’ houses on random Saturdays or even just eating lunch with my friends at school. Not to mention the missed prom, graduation, and all of the “lasts” that seniors usually get to experience before we head off to college.
Q: Were you involved in any sports or extra curricular activities?
A: I was a varsity swimmer for NGHS all four years, as well as swimming for Swim Atlanta and Spartans Aquatics year-round (I’ve been swimming since I was 7 years old). I was an officer in Relay for Life, as well as a member of Beta Club, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Freshman Mentoring, North Gwinnett’s Symphonic Winds Ensemble (flute), and peer tutoring. Outside of school, I am a Team Member at Chick-fil-A Moore Road, and since 10th grade I have volunteered every Sunday in the elementary school ministry, UpStreet, at Gwinnett Church. In UpStreet, I started with a group of 3rd graders when I was in 10th grade, and I have moved up with them every year since then. As I graduate high school, they are graduating elementary school!
Q: What’s the first thing you want to do when this quarantine is over?
A: The first thing I will do is go out to eat with my friends. I miss my friends terribly, and I miss being able to go to a restaurant and sit down to eat. I can’t wait to be able to see them and hug them in person again!