Ever since I can remember, sports have been an integral part of my life. Being the daughter of a high school coach likely influenced my decision to play basketball and softball competitively from an early age. I'll never forget the night I got a phone call from my first travel softball coach to tell me that I made the gold team. From that moment on, I was hooked. Despite my dedication and drive to play high level softball, I felt it was important to continue with basketball to develop a broader skill set and reduce the risk of injuries.
One of my goals growing up was to be a two sport varsity athlete, and I achieved that my sophomore year. I am currently a junior in high school and have played varsity softball since freshman year and varsity basketball since sophomore year. It has been an awesome challenge and great learning experience to play with the older athletes. I've learned that it's important for me to constantly push myself and set the bar higher. I never want to get too comfortable. In my two years of high school softball I have been named team MVP, made All Conference, All Area and All State. I was also recently nominated to participate in the Central Suburban League leadership conference and look forward to being a mentor to some of the newer players this year.
My athletic accomplishments did not come easily. At the age of six I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Not only is this a difficult disease to manage, but it's even more complex as a multi-sport athlete. During every practice, game and tournament, I have to monitor my blood sugars to make sure that I don't get too high or low. Then to make things more complicated, different sports affect my blood sugars differently. Fortunately, there are a lot of amazing athletes who have T1D and inspire me to do my best. So far it hasn't stopped me from accomplishing any of my goals.
As much as I am passionate about sports, academics come first for me. I have always worked hard in school and have high but realistic expectations for myself. I want to be challenged and continue to do well academically; at the same time, it's important to have a balanced life. Though I don't know what I plan to study in college yet, I have a wide range of interests and love to learn. Whether I go into business, law or engineering, I want to help other people and make a positive impact on my community.