The latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete is making the most of the opportunities her parents provided for her by immigrating to America. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Motivation isn't a problem for Sivakami Ananthasingam. Her parents fled a civil war in their native Sri Lanka to give her and her siblings a better life. Sivi, as her friends call her, says she wants to make the most of her parents sacrifices by doing the best she can to succeed.
"They gave up their future to give me an my siblings a better future, so I know that if I do something I love and I excel at it, I know that I will be able to repay them for everything that they've done," says Sivakami.
The Port Richmond senior is making her parents proud. She has an A-plus average, all while taking AP courses in every subject the school offers.
"Put her in a classroom and she wont lose her focus and the teachers know that, and she sets the example for the rest of the class," says Stacie Watkins, Sivakami's college counselor.
She's determined to get the most rewarding high school experience possible. She's the student government treasurer, and the point person when it comes to planning events for her fellow students.
"When I need a student that I need to go to, to help organize, construct, and see a project through to its fruition, I know that Sivi is the kid I want to go to to handle such matters," says Neil Noto, Sivakami's student government advisor.
Sivi is usually a quiet and reserved person, she uses volleyball as a way to relieve stress. You wouldn't know it seeing her sit quietly in the classroom, but on the court she's the ultimate competitor.
"I guess I keep it all inside when I'm in school and I'm pretty quiet and I guess just focused on my work when I'm in school, and then when I get on the court I guess it all comes out," says Sivakami.
"She leads by example, she was actually one of our captains, she was always positive, she was good role model and all the girls looked up to her," says Brenda Lee, Sivakami's volleyball coach.
Sivi plans on majoring in biology next year in college and ultimately becoming a doctor.
She volunteered in an emergency room and feels like that's where she'd fit.
"I didn't want to just get volunteering over with, it actually brought something to me. I felt like it was somewhere I belonged, and I just wanted to help people not just with medical aid, but also with strength and compassion to keep going," says Sivakami.
So, for taking full advantage of the opportunities her parents provided, Sivakami Ananthasingam is the latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.