Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Attention teachers, administrators, counselors and coaches: Do you know a student who excels in the classroom and on the playing field? Nominate them to be a Ford Lincoln of Queens NY1 Scholar Athlete by following the directions below.

Alex Cai: Tennis Player Calculates Academic Pursuit

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The latest NY1/Time Warner Cable Business Class Scholar Athlete of the Week is a math wiz and a leader on the tennis court. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

Alex Cai is enrolled in the most challenging courses his school has to offer, but he still finds the time to captain the varsity tennis team and teach the sport to those younger than him.

"To be a good person, you have to work hard, to focus on what you're doing and everything. And I feel that it's better to be a well-rounded person rather than someone just focused in academics or just in sports," says Alex.

The Bronx High Science senior is taking five AP classes this year. One of them is calculus which he says is his favorite subject. He says he developed a passion for mathematics at an early age, thanks to his parents.

"He’s very intelligent. He can actually be a very good asset and really help his classmates learn through the collaborative group process and the laboratory activities," says AP biology teacher Erin O'Leary.

Cai demonstrated his passion for math by choosing a pure math topic for his Intel research paper.

"My project's name was Separation of Plane, Convex, and Polygons. So what I did was I looked at a theorem and through this theorem I kind of proved a broader context of it," explains Alex.

Cai trained with CityParks Tennis and started volunteering at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center last summer. He is now an instructor.

"We all know that he’s diligent and smart and intelligent but what I like best about him is he doesn't keep things to himself. He’s willing to help. He’s teaching little kids to play tennis and he’s helping his friends. He’s taking the most challenging courses but at the same time is willing to help his peers," says guidance counselor Vivien Ngai.

Cai came in second place at this year's JSHS New York City Metro Regional Symposium. He is planning on pursuing a career in business where he can apply his drive for math.

"He's one of those students whose maturity is beyond his years and he will work hard at making sure that what he does has an impact," says AP English teacher Dermot Hannon.

As for this summer, Cai plans to continue working as an instructor at the City Parks Foundation before he heads to college.

"I feel like it's just the beginning of being a good leader and what I can do in the future as a leader," says Alex.

So, for excelling in academics and giving back to his community, Alex Cai is the latest NY1/Time Warner Cable Business Class Scholar Athlete of the Week. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP