Tell us about yourself.

I am a 16 turning 17-year-old high school senior at Greenwich High School. I am a swimmer, rugby player, as well as a musician. I have lived in Greenwich my entire life. I am also lucky enough to have been a member of the Boys and Girls Club for about 12 years. I have a little sister who is 8 years old who is also a member of the club.

Tell us about your experience at the Boys and Girls Club and your history there as a Club Kid.

I first heard about the club when some of my family friends and cousins started attending. Hearing the news, my mother raced to sign me up with them. I was scared at first. I was an introverted, shy kid. I grew to love the happy community and embrace my self-confidence. This lead me to join multiple activities, such as ice skating, soccer, volleyball and swimming. I eventually earned my lifeguard certification and have been on both my school’s swim team as well as the one here at the club, for as long as I can remember.

I wouldn’t be me without the club. I wouldn’t be the girl who is responsible, independent and strives to be a better version of myself that my club and family can be proud of. The kindness and programs offered led me towards greatness and helped me develop valuable characteristics. I am forever grateful that I was raised at BGCG. Coming from the background of an immigrant family, finding a place to rely on financially, with guaranteed security, countless opportunities, and educational support help will forever be UNFORGETTABLE, not just for me, but for my family as well.

What are your interests?

I love to listen to all types of music, swim both non-competitively and competitively, spend quality time with my family. Like most regular teens, I watch Netflix, hang out with my friends, and I’ve always had a passion for science.

We hear that you swim on the Barracuda Swim Team. Tell us about your overall swimming experience.

I was first introduced and gained confidence in my swimming skills here at the club. I was around 7 when I joined the Barracuda Pre-team, which introduced me to the complex swim strokes such as butterfly and backstroke. At eight, I tried out and made the official Barracuda swim team. With the help of the beloved staff, I gained self-assurance that I could swim competitively at that young age.

Tell us about being Youth of the Year and your experiences.

While being Youth of the Year during a Global Pandemic is not quite ideal, I have adapted and am utterly grateful for such an honor and title and to be able to represent my club. I was insanely surprised when I received the news of my win. My parents popped out of nowhere in our club conference room with flowers and tears rolling down their eyes. That was a very proud and surreal moment. I realized that this big honor was not only for me, but for my family as well. Leading into the Youth of the Year dinner, the preparation was a quite a lot of work, with finalizing essays, along with practicing and perfecting moments for the event. It was wonderful to be alongside my peers and competitors, who also ran for Youth of the Year. It made the moment a lot more memorable in the sense that I didn’t do it all by myself, but with the help of my friends and club family. Being titled Youth of the Year in such a tricky year can be tough at times. I strive to fulfill the title by continuing to be linked to my club, form connections with more peers, as well as the club kids, and continue to be the best version of myself that I can be.

What are your plans for senior year?

My senior year has been very unpredictable so far. It started off with a few rough patches. My school’s JV swim team was cut due to Covid-19 protocols and regulations. It was sad to hear that I would not be able to finish my swimming career for the whole 4 years of High School. Though I always knew that I had a safe spot and could still possibly have my last season of swimming at the Boys and Girls Club. As for the rest of school, regulations have been changed with having to go different directions in the school hallways, maintaining social distancing, as well as not being able to spend the year with a majority of my friends due to the altered cohort schedules. It has been hard to adapt and ultimately very upsetting, though I do understand that these are the best conditions possible due to COVID-19 precautions. My senior year may not go as originally planned, but I am making the best of it one step at a time.

Do you want to go to college nearby?

I first intended to go to a school nearby. As I broadened my searches for colleges, the more I realized just how much of the world I still need to explore. I have been looking at schools in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York City. I look forward to exploring and learning and expanding. There’s so much to see in the world!

Here’s our lightning round:

You BGCG Experience in one word:

What’s your favorite TV show?
Grey’s Anatomy

What is your favorite song?
Dynamite by BTS

What are you doing for exercise?
Swimming and go on night runs

What was your favorite part of quarantine?
Spending time with my family

What was your least favorite part of quarantine?
Limitation to see certain friends and family

Do you have any pets?
I used to have a dog – a Havanese named Whitey