This week's NY1 Scholar Athlete is a runner whose impressive work ethic has her on the fast track to success. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
As a freshman at Tottenville High School, Angelique De Meo started practicing with the track team to help improve her game on the soccer field. She quickly realized that track was her true passion, and hit the ground running to become a top performer on the team.
"Track has definitely helped give me a good work ethic," she says. "It's helped that you always have to work hard. Even when things get tough, you can always get through it."
Now a senior, De Meo's practice has paid off. She's captain of the cross country track and field team and has been named team MVP for the past three years.
"I try to help the freshmen and get them motivated," she says. "Even if they come in and they can't run for so long, if they work at it, they can improve."
"She's always encouraging them that they can and they can do it, and applauding them, so it motivates them," says Jesus Lopez, the coach of De Meo's track and field team. "And they see what she does and how well she's done on and off the track, that they kind of follow her lead."
Teachers say that De Meo's dedication can also be seen inside the classroom. She is first clarinet in the symphonic band, and her top grades earned her a spot in the school's competitive Classics Institute, taking honors and college preparatory courses.
"Angelique stands out because she always wants to get the most of out her abilities," says Daniel Kane, De Meo's Latin teacher. "So whether it's practicing an extra hour when the rest of the team is done or actually taking her time to make sure she got her homework right, it seems like she's dedicated to being the best student she can be."
Despite all of her commitments, De Meo still finds time to give back by participating in charity races. She hopes to become a physical therapist in the future to translate her love of helping others into a career.
"My little sister got physical therapy, so I was able to watch these people and how they affected her life and helped her, so that was really nice to see," she says. "That's something I could see myself doing."
So, for her drive and desire to help those around her excel, Angelique De Meo is the NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.