This week's Time Warner Cable Business Class NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week hits aces on the courts while earning A's in class. NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.
Before her junior year, Samantha Yew had never picked up a tennis racket, but that didn't stop her from joining the High School of Economics and Finances' team.
"I just joined for fun, and wanted to learn," she says.
Those who know her say this is typical for the senior, who thrives on challenges.
"Her experience with the tennis team is a perfect example," says Assistant Principal Raj Nanda. "I don't think that tennis is one of the things she saw herself as a freshman, but now, she's one of the best tennis players in the school."
"The challenge is fun, and just improving and getting that sense of accomplishment is pretty cool," Yew says.
Yew says she is always eager to take on new activities, especially if it means working with a team. She plays doubles in tennis, and she collaborates with her peers as a class representative for the student government.
"It's fun to come up with ideas, work with them together and get the whole entire school community involved in something," she says.
"Once she puts herself in an event, she's committed to it," says Julie Mirwis, Yew's tennis coach and student government adviser. "And she's like that on the court, she's like that in student government, so it's nice to see that she's consistent."
Teachers say the leadership skills she hones in her extracurricular activities make her a role model in the classroom.
"She's very much a team player, and for AP Biology, especially with the labs, it's very important for her to be able to interact with other students," says Rharaka Gilbert, Yew's AP Biology teacher. "She's definitely a leader, but in a very subtle way, and she's very well-respected.
"I think my peers, as well, are motivating to me," she says. "They encourage me to push myself."
Her after-school involvement and A average earned Yew a spot at Sweet Briar College in the fall, where teachers believe she will make the most of her new surroundings.
"I think she will challenge herself in a meaningful way," Nanda says.
"I'm just excited to see what she does with all the opportunities that she'll have presented to her," Mirwis says.
So, for being a true team player and keeping her mind open to any new adventures, Samantha Yew is the Time Warner Cable Business Class NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.