As a freshman in High School, I was moved up to the Varsity Team Starting 5 after two games. The fact that the Coach saw something in me inspired me to work even harder at my game to ensure that I get the most out of my high school playing experience. I have both the heart and the skills to be a competitive basketball player beyond high school and play at the collegiate level. My experience playing for Mandy Carter Zegarowski and MCW Starz these past few years has underscored my desire to play ball in college as a Stretch 4.
As an only child, adopted from Russia at 15 months, I exhibited natural leadership skills at an early age. I’ve drawn on those skills over the years to create a Middle School Girl's Self-Image Campaign as a special school project (age 11), published a book of my own nature photography (age 12), launched my own children’s summer camp (age 14), and opened my own photography business called NA Photography. I am extremely independent, have a wide variety of interests and love a good challenge!
As a Sophomore in HighSchool, I discovered I suffer from test anxiety (a PTSD from first 15 months in Russian orphanage). It did not surface until I transitioned from private to public high school. I took honors classes so the pace and level would keep me engaged and, while I understood what we were learning, I found I could not demonstrate my knowledge in a standardized test setting. This was frustrating because I have an IQ of 140 and never struggled academically in school before. Even though I remained full engaged and actively participated during class, my grades in HS were not reflecting my mastery of the material. My parents had me assessed and i was diagnosed with performance based test anxiety, relating back to the trauma I experienced the first 15 months of my life in a Russian orphanage. Since the diagnosis, I have had a 504 put in place enabling me time and a half for tests and have been working with an Academic Coach 3 times a week to improve my study habits and take practice tests to manage my anxiety relating to standardized testing. I also work with a Mind Body/Brain Integration Specialist who uses EFT and muscle memory to help me shift the subconscious beliefs I developed spent in an extremely traumatic environment. I am really proud of the fact that with this support, I'm managing the test based anxiety and have improved my grades this past year.
I have been given the opportunity to transfer on a partial scholarship, as a repeat Junior/Student Athlete, to St. Andrews School in Barrington, RI. I am willing to put in the extra year of High School in a project based learning environment where I'm confident I can get grades that match up with my true academic capabilities. The basketball program at St. Andrews also offers a more competitive level which will help me develop as a player.
I'm interested in a career in Psychology with a focus on on integrative health & wellness. I thinking that getting a business degree, or at least taking a number of business courses, will help me run my own practice some day. This past year, I began facilitating workshops for middle school girls at a Women's Empowerment Studio to help them identify and manage anxiety in school as I have had to learn to manage test anxiety. This summer, I'm planning to be a volunteer to train service dogs who help adults needing emotional and physical support (in between AAU Tournaments). I am greatly interested in politics and social issues impacting our country and want to find opportunities that enable me to help create positive change in the world.
I've enjoyed developing my skills by playing AAU on elite teams and competing on a national level. I love basketball and hope to play in college but also recognize that I am more than a basketball player. I look forward to finding a school where I can make a positive impact as a student-athlete, both on and off the court.