Taking her high school's mission to heart, the latest HealthPlus Amerigroup/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week is dedicated to helping the environment now and in the future. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Amerlin Burgos is breaking barriers. The High School for Environmental Studies student is set to be the first member of her family to go to college.
"It makes me feel really great to be the first in my family to go to college just because I can finally be able to support them if they need it and support myself of course," says Amerlin.
Raised in a single parent household, Amerlin says her mom deserves a lot of credit for an "A" average and high school success.
"She always made sure that I was doing what I was supposed to do in school and she gave me my motivation to be successful," says Amerlin.
Amerlin fully immersed herself in her school's environmental mission. She's participated in research studies in school but also got hands on experience during an internship at The Nature Conservancy. She is passionate about conservation.
"She has been in my environmental science classes and is just a real star student who cares a lot about the earth, humans and our future. She's just a great kid," says environmental sciences teacher Marissa Bellino.
"She cares deeply about the environment, she cares deeply about the people within her environment and wants to protect all of those things," says internship coordinator Matthew Washington.
She's taken on a leadership role as captain of the cross country team. Her coach says she acts as a mentor to the younger members of the squad.
"Especially when something goes wrong during a race, she's one of the first kind of like mother figures that a lot of the kids look up to and can find a lot of solace in when something is wrong but also there to celebrate a lot of the successes that they team members have," says cross country coach Jasmine Kwon.
Amerlin is headed to the University of Vermont next fall, and she'll study environmental engineering.
"I want to stay involved in the environmental field because I just realized I really do have a passion for it and I wanted to continue to show that passion," says Amerlin.
So, for choosing an eco-friendly career path and being the first in her family going to college, Amerlin Burgos is the latest HealthPlus Amerigroup/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.