The latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete is a Staten Island senior and champion runner who is using her high school classes to prepare for a career in medicine. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Christina Melian is a rare combination. She is one of the best track athletes in the city, but also one of the best students at Susan Wagner High School in Sea View. She uses her athletic experiences to help her succeed in the classroom.
"As soon as I get home from practice I know, don't fool around, just go straight to my homework, get it done. I think that helps me to maintain it," says Christina. "And my dedication to track follows into my dedication for school work."
She is also taking advantage of the Advanced Placement courses at Wagner to start preparing her for her future. Christina wants to be pre-med in college, and ultimately a pediatrician. She is currently excelling in her AP Biology and Calculus classes.
"Her attitude is wonderful, she has a great background academically, her grades are high. She has a wonderful work ethic, she's a natural leader," says Ryan Contino, Christina's AP Biology teacher. "All roads point to success with Christina."
"It's much like running. You're going to face challenges, but you have to overcome them. So that's the way I look at becoming a doctor," says Christina. "I know there's a lot of work to come with it, but I'm excited."
Christina also volunteers at a local nursing home and student teaches at local elementary school.
Her track coach says Christina's running reputation is known across Staten Island. She is the team captain and has been a leader since her freshman year.
This year, she was the Staten Island Cross Country Champion and set a personal best.
"She's a natural talent. She came to us with god-given talent. She's driven, self-driven, she's a leader, she's intelligent as a runner as well as a student," says Stephen Corrigan, Christina's track coach.
Up until this year, Christina had not missed a day of school since the second grade. Her teachers say that shows her dedication to her studies.
"I would rather be in school and at practice than sitting home watching TV," says Christina.
So, for her hardwork and big future plans, Christina Melian is the latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.
Nominate A Student
The Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete program celebrates student athletes who successfully combine academics with athletics, and also find time for community service. The program, operated in conjunction with the New York City Department of Education, is open to any senior attending a New York City public high school.
Each week of the school year, a selected student is profiled on NY1 and receives a $2,000 scholarship to the school they choose to attend in the fall.
To apply, download and print out the official Scholar Athlete application, then mail it to the address on the form.