This week's NY1/Time Warner Cable Business Class Scholar Athlete of the Week is a stand-out student at one of the city's largest high schools. NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.
Dana Cardali is always up for a challenge, whether it's scuba diving or competing in a triathlon.
"Half-mile swim, 12-mile bike and then a five-mile run," she says. "It was fun, though. I enjoyed it."
Those who know her say that this spirit is what sets Cardali apart from her peers at Midwood High School.
"Excellent athlete. Academically, she's amazing, and just an overall great student and person," says Renee Goldfarb, the girls varsity swim coach.
"She would come into this office, actually, right before class any day she was free with index cards of her questions highlighted from the night before," says Alan Stack, Cardali's chemistry teacher. "So you don't get a ton of students who go there."
Cardali holds leadership roles in some of the school's most prestigious clubs, including the Arista and Archon honor societies. She has also captained the varsity lacrosse and swim teams.
"She's been a true presence, just a great motivator for all of the girls on the team," Goldfarb says.
"It gave me a chance to be more personal with my coaches, and I really learned how to be a leader," Cardali says. "I got to work with the underclassmen, which was a good experience."
Any free time Cardali has is dedicated to giving back. The Rockaway resident says seeing her neighborhood unite in the wake of Hurricane Sandy served as a reminder of just how important it is to lend a hand.
"How our community came together, it was really inspiring. It was really nice," she says.
The senior is still deciding where she will attend college, but she has already taken impressive steps towards her future. This past summer, she held a clinical internship at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, where teachers say they weren't surprised to see her excel.
"She's a really nice kid, she's a bright kid, and she doesn't hesitate to ask questions," Stack says.
"I would go in the operating room and watch surgeries, which was amazing," she says. "It was an amazing experience."
So, for never being afraid to try something new, Dana Cardali is the NY1/Time Warner Cable Business Class Scholar Athlete of the Week.