This week's NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week is at the top of his class and is a leader on his fencing team. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
For Jason Kim, it was the opportunity to improve his GPA that first drew him to fencing.
“My human geography teacher was coaching for the first year and he offered some extra credit for any of his class members to join fencing,” said Kim.
Now, the Robert F. Kennedy Community High School senior is captain of the varsity fencing team, working alongside his coaches to lead the team to its strongest season yet.
“Without Jason's help, honestly, I don't know how we could have done it,” said Jessica Lange, varsity fencing coach at RFK. He's a natural born leader, so it was really great to have him.”
“Fencing is really fun and it's really great to have connections with people,” said Kim.
And while he is known as a team player, Kim says he has a competitive edge that keeps him motivated in his athletic and academic endeavors.
“I like to just try to strive for myself to see how much of a high grade I can get, so I pulled a lot of all nighters studying for every test and course that I took,” said Kim.
For all of his hard work, Kim will graduate as his class valedictorian. And like his coaches, teachers say they can count on him to give classmates a helping hand.
“He's one of the nicest kids, by far, which is a big plus, and he's always willing to help any of the other kids who need help with the calculus work,” said AP Calculus teacher Robert McTiernan.
Kim's academic excellence earned him a spot in the school's National Honor Society. He was then elected president by his peers.
“Last year, I was part of the cabinet member and I learned a lot about leadership and what it takes to be a leader, so I wanted to take the next step and just try to see how far I could go,” said Kim.
“He's pretty amazing for his age, I think, that he can gather people and inspire them and give them a reason to serve their school and the community,” said National Honor Society advisor Stacy Heller Budnick.
Through his work in the club, Kim has helped organize several successful fundraisers. Kim says he looks forward to continuing this volunteer work and fencing in college next year.
So, for always striving to be his personal best, Jason Kim is NY1’s Scholar Athlete of the Week.