May 29—AGE: 17
HIGH SCHOOL: Pinkerton Academy
HOMETOWN: Auburn, N.H.
FAMILY: Father, Toby Frank; mother, Carol Merchant-Frank
COLLEGE PLANS: Boston College, majoring in Environmental Geoscience
FAVORITE SUBJECT: My favorite subject currently is psychology because I think it is really interesting to learn about the human mind and why we think the way that we do. It's an AP class so there can be a lot of work, but the subject is engaging which makes it fairly easy when you actually enjoy what you're learning about. I like applying what we've learned in class to my own life, such as thinking about theories of motivation and why I do the things that I do. I also have a very enthusiastic teacher and having her at 7 a.m. definitely wakes me up for the day which is nice to always start my day on a positive note.
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT BEING A HS STUDENT: Going from a school with 80 kids in my class to a school with over three thousand students was extremely intimidating. I was a shy kid coming into high school and I was really nervous that I wouldn't make any friends, but really you can make high school as big or as little as you like. I thought it was going to be impossible to find where I fit in, but, looking back, I can see that I had really nothing to worry about.
Every seems to find there place and surround themselves with great friends. It's possible to have a huge group of friends if that's what you're into, but having just a few really close friends is also completely possible even with a school this size. As you go through high school with the same people, the class of 700 seems to get smaller and it doesn't seem so daunting at the end. I walk into class and I can be confident that's there's going to be at least one friendly face that I know and it can also be a really fun experience being at a school so big because there are so many opportunities to meet so many new people.
BEST ADVICE YOU'D GIVE AN INCOMING FRESHMAN: Get involved! If you want your high school experience to be worthwhile, you really have to take advantage of the opportunities in front of you, whether that be joining a club or a sport, or the school musical. There are some pretty neat things you can do in high school that you might not get the chance to do again, so it's important to try out new things and get involved so you don't miss out on the fun. Participating in extracurriculars is also a great way to make new friends. I've made most of my best friends through the sports I've played and they will definitely be some of my most lasting connections throughout high school. So when the club fair rolls around in the fall, sign up for a bunch of random clubs that look interesting, go to a couple of meetings, see which ones you really like, and get involved in them.
TALK ABOUT THE BALANCE OF BEING A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT-ATHLETE: The only way to balance academics and athletics is to have good time management. While I haven't perfected my time management skills, I've definitely learned that sometimes you just have to do your work efficiently rather than focusing on every minuscule detail. I definitely still procrastinate just as much as the next person but knowing when you can lollygag and when it's crunch time is an essential distinction to make.
I've also had to find what schedule works best for me. Lately, I've found that I can work better in the mornings, so I've been going to bed earlier and getting up earlier in order to have time to finish last-minute assignments in the morning. People talk about the balance between academics and athletics but sometimes it can be hard to juggle and there are going to be sleepless nights filled with homework, so lots and lots of coffee keeps me functioning during the day as well.
WHAT DOES 'SUCCESS' MEAN TO YOU?: To me it means accomplishing something that you can feel proud of. Being successful doesn't mean winning the most games or earning the most money or even getting the best grades. Success can be in the small things and it mostly has to do with how you feel about your accomplishments. Someone could be at the top of their class and not be happy with themselves, while another person gets a B they worked really hard for and they are really proud of themselves. I would call the person who got the more successful. Truly, success just means being happy with what you have achieved.
FAVORITE MOMENT AS AN ATHLETE: When my soccer team won the J.V. state tournament in 2019. We made it to the championship game against Bedford and it had been back and forth all game. With five minutes left, the game was tied, but in the last minute, Bedford scored. Determined not to give up, I grabbed the ball from the net and sprinted up to the circle, and prompted the refs to start the game again. This small burst of energy helped rally the team and my teammate, Maggie Brown, scored a header goal with about 30 seconds left to force the game into penalty kicks, which we ended up winning.
This is my favorite moment because it is my real-life example of how having grit in the face and adversity can make all the difference and it is a moment where I am extremely proud of my team and myself for not giving up. Obviously, it felt really good to win and we were all yelling with excitement, but what really has stuck with me is how my team supported each other and persevered our way to victory.
FAVORITE CHARITY: My favorite charity is the Blue Ocean Society. Their mission is to protect the marine life in the Gulf of Maine and to someday see a thriving marine ecosystem through their research, education, and action. I just started working with them through their Adopt-A-Beach Program and what they do is really cool. As a project for the Good Shepherd's Foundation, a local community service organization that I'm a part of, I adopted a section of Hampton Beach for us to clean every month. We just had our first cleanup and we picked up over 10 pounds of trash in a little under an hour.
While the beach cleanups are a big part of what the Blue Ocean Society does, they also conduct a lot of research regarding baleen whales and their habitat/behaviors. I really like this organization because it is really easy for people to get involved with and it focuses on a topic that has always been really important to me. As I plan on majoring in Environmental Science, finding ways to help the Earth be cleaner and healthier is a big priority for me. I'm always looking for different ways to do that, whether it be writing my senior essay on the impact of fast fashion on our climate, organizing beach cleanups, or helping our Students for Environmental Awareness Club plant trees to offset our school's paper usage, and Blue Ocean Society offers perfect opportunities for regular people to get involved in solving a very critical issue.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER GOT FROM A COACH: That "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." This was actually a quote from my middle school soccer coach and my team thought it was so inspirational that we had sweatshirts made up with it on the back. It has really stuck with me because it is a good reminder that you don't have to be the best to be able to compete and that hard work counts just as much if not more than talent. I keep this sentiment with me when I'm feeling not good enough, and I just remind myself that if I can give my all, then that is good enough.
MY HERO IS: My grandma. She is the most unique individual I know and she is never afraid to be herself which I really admire. She is extremely independent as she owns her own retail clothing store and is the most active 78-year-old you've probably ever met. She loves hiking, paddle boarding, and yoga and I aspire to be as healthy as her when I am older. While I don't want to follow in the same path as her, I consider my grandma my hero, because she inspires me to create my own path as she did and to choose to do what makes me happy.
IN 10 YEARS I HOPE TO ...: Have graduated college and gotten a masters degree, as well. I want to go into the research field and conduct research on different environmental issues, like cleaning polluted water or minimizing carbon emissions. While that is my plan for now, I am confident that it will change, even by this time next year. I am really trying to have an open mind going into college so I don't get stuck in a track that I am unhappy with. I might not be exactly sure where I want to be in 10 years, but I hope that I am still proud of my accomplishments, happy with life, and excited for the prospects of the future.
National Honor Society
Foreign Language Honor Society
Science Honor Society
JV Soccer Coach's Award 2020
Varsity Tennis Coach's Award 2021
Varsity Soccer Coach's Award 2022
Varsity Alpine Ski Coach's Award 2022
Presidential scholar nominee 2022
Notable charity work:
Good Shepherds Foundation: Thanksgiving Day Basket Brigade, and
National Honor Society Peer Tutoring
Estimated GPA: 102.7
Class rank: 3/650