Sarah James is ready for the next step in her life. The Huntington High School senior is headed to Fordham University, where she plans to study journalism.
Since her first day of kindergarten at Washington Primary School, Ms. James has been standing out among her classmates. She has thrived every step of the way.
“I think the best thing about Huntington is the sense of family you get being here,” she said. “Even if you’re not a part of a particular friend group, there is still this fantastic feeling of belonging and being a part of somethings bigger; being a part of our community. And when you do actually make connections at Huntington, whether it be with your peers or with our amazing faculty, they are connections that are meaningful. It’s like a second family.”
The teenager has served in many leadership positions during high school, from editor The Dispatch, the student newspaper to president of the English Honor Society. Ms. James’ long list of activities include Natural Helpers, the Spanish Honor Society and singing a cappella in choir, to name just a few.
Sarah James is headed to Fordham University
“I’m taking Advanced Algebra and Physics, so I don’t get rusty when it comes to math and science,” said Ms. James about her senior year schedule. “When it came to Advanced Placement courses, I decided I wouldn’t overwhelm myself with an excessive amount so I’m only taking AP English Literature and Composition and AP Government and Politics, but they’ve both proven to be challenging nonetheless. I also stuck with my language, Spanish and chamber choir as my electives.”
The senior has developed many wonderful relationships with her teachers over the years. “It’s truly hard to pick favorites because virtually everyone here has been so kind and helpful to me, but I think I’d say my favorites have been Ms. [Aimee] Antorino as everyone knows and Mr. [Jamie] Fishlow,” Ms. James said. “These are people I feel I have learned from not only through words, but mostly by example. The things they’ve taught me, I know I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. Things like work ethic and strength and passionately pursing what I want. Both teachers have been caring and really important to me and I wouldn’t trade my experiences in their respective classes for anything.”
The teenager has enjoyed a wonderful run these past four years. Ms. James won first place honors in the high school Key Club’s K-Factor talent show last winter after a stunning performance on the auditorium stage.
“It’s hard to pick highlights because everything seems like a blur from where I stand now,” Ms. James said. “But I’d say K-Factor this year was a definite highlight along with being on our varsity volleyball team, going on the Natural Helpers’ retreats, participating in Relay For Life and just getting to know so many different people.”
After mulling over several college possibilities, Ms. James believes she found the right fit on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. It’s a thriving place academically and socially.
“Fordham just seemed like the perfect balance for me,” Ms. James said. “A traditional campus in an urban setting. Being in a major city means I’ll meet many liberal people, but the fact that it’s Jesuit means I’ll also meet some conservatives. Not to mention it’s just brimming with history. It’s such a cool place, knowing all the people who have been there before me. And of course it’s a prime place for journalism, which is what I’m majoring in.”
Ms. James will never forget the time she has spent in Huntington or the community that has encouraged and supported her every step of the way. She interned with the Huntington Alumni Association this year, working closely with executive board member Emily Rogan.
“Overall, my high school experience is one I’m endlessly thankful for,” Ms. James said. “Lots of people don’t get the same opportunities I did or make the same close friends and mentors that I have. I really have loved it here.”
As Huntington’s Class of 2017 prepares to graduate and move on to the next stage of life, Ms. James has advice for next year’s incoming freshmen class. “I’d tell them, as cheesy as it sounds, that high school goes by so very fast, so don’t spend your time wishing it away and hoping it’ll go by faster,” she said. “Put your whole heart; your absolute best, into everything you do whether it be academic or social or whatever else. Take pride in the things you love; try to branch out and most of all be content with where you are.”