Arelis Batista has goals; big goals and no one should underestimate the Huntington High School Class of 2017 member.
The Huntington Foundation sees Ms. Batista’s enormous potential and it wants to help propel her forward. The organization presented the teenager with a $2,500 scholarship at the high school’s academic awards ceremony. It’s an investment in a young woman with the determination and drive to accomplish whatever sets out to do.
Huntington Foundation scholarship recipient Arelis Batista.
Ms. Batista is headed to Farmingdale State College to study biology. She eventually plans to make her way to Stony Brook University and has high hopes of becoming a plastic surgeon or a cosmetic or reconstructive surgeon. “I also dream of owning my very own fashion line for young girls,” she said. “No one says you can’t have two very distinct careers.”
The new grad’s mother studied at Stony Brook University and is now a medical doctor. Ms. Batista would love to follow in her footsteps.
Huntington Foundation President Alice Marie Rorke presented the organization’s 2017 scholarship to Ms. Batista and spoke about the gifted teenager during the academic awards ceremony in the high school auditorium last month.
Born in Huntington Hospital, Ms. Batista began her long trek through the Huntington School District as a kindergartener at Jefferson Primary School. She left Huntington for a stretch and attended school in the Bronx for first and second grades and then in the Dominican Republic for third and fourth grades before returning to Woodhull Intermediate School for fifth grade.
The teenager has played in basketball and Frisbee leagues, served as vice president of United Amigos and secretary of the Italian Honor Society. She participated in Huntington High School’s Habitat for Humanity club and volunteered at Huntington Hospital for two years.
“She is an extremely hard working young lady,” high school guidance counselor Lymari Tattnall said. “As an active member of the United Amigos club, she assisted English as a New Language students in tutoring. She also served as a translator to help students and families communicate better with non-Spanish speaking teachers and staff.”
Ms. Batista developed close relationships with science teacher Rosario Lorenzano and math teacher Joann Ferazi. “I also loved Mrs. [Natalie] Kopshti and Mr. [Jamie] Fishlow,” she said. The new alum’s favorite courses included Algebra 2/Trigonometry, chemistry, multicultural literature, Holocaust literature and economics.
“Arelis was a wonderful student to have in class,” said Mr. Fishlow, who retired as a physical education teacher at the conclusion of the recent school year following a three decade long career. “She was an individual who appreciated hard work and was always willing to give her best all the time. That being said, I will always remember the big smile that she always had on her face. She also did the best push-ups in the school.”
Ms. Batista is enjoying the summer. She is spending time with her family on vacation, doing plenty of reading and working on designing and making clothing to sell.
The Huntington Foundation has announced the organization will be returning to enchanted OHEKA Castle on Thursday, March 15 for its annual gala. The evening is expected to draw a crowd of more than 300 to the famed Gold Coast estate.