BY ABBIE TUSCHMAN
Most freshmen begin the new school year frantically searching for their niche in high school. Whether it be through sports, clubs or cliques, everyone is looking for a place to fit in. However, for Cooper City High newcomer Sabrina Wong, she has already found a home among the members of CCHS Color Guard.
“The people who are in [Color Guard] are some of the kindest and sweetest people I have met in my entire life,” Wong said. “They welcome everyone who joins with open arms, accepting you for who you are. No matter where you’re from, how you act or what your personality is like, each and every member on the team loves and respects you, for you.”
Though Wong has found a passion for Color Guard, she was not always so keen on the idea of joining the team. In fact, it was Wong’s parents that initially encouraged her to take up the extracurricular.
“She at first was against [joining Color Guard],” older brother and sophomore Tyler Wong said. “Two or three months in and she has already completely immersed herself in it.”
In eighth grade, Wong spent much of her time after school doing homework and studying. Wong ended the last quarter of the school year with a final grade of 100 percent in each class. Despite this impressive achievement, Wong’s parents wanted her to spend less time worrying about test scores and grades. Her mother and father encouraged her to balance school and extracurriculars.
“My parents wanted me to join Color Guard to be more physically active and I’m super grateful they encouraged me to do so,” Wong said.
Wong’s afternoons are busy, with Color Guard practices often lasting until 9 p.m. and homework to complete afterwards. Many would complain about such a time-consuming activity, but Wong has expressed gratitude for the relationships that her time in Color Guard has allowed to form. Spending numerous hours a week with a group of 25 people has led to close bonds with her teammates.
“We are all very close to each other and I often feel as though these people are who I would call my second family,” Wong said. “We work as a group together, and being a part of this program for only a few months really has taught be about teamwork.”
Not only has Wong made a valuable addition to the Color Guard team, but she has proven to be a natural leader. She is known by other members as a quick-learner and supportive teammate. When others struggle to perfect part of their routine, Wong always makes herself available to offer help.
“Sabrina is a wonderful girl. She is very kind, dedicated and never gives up,” fellow Color Guard member and sophomore Paulina Manta said. “I hope she and I can be co-captains together one day.”
As a freshman, Wong has high hopes for the rest of her high school career. In addition to maintaining straight A’s and continued success in Color Guard, Wong has a clear idea of the path she wants to take in high school. She plans to challenge herself and take many advanced science courses due to her desire to study medicine in the future.
“I would really enjoy becoming a pediatrician when I am older, due to the fact that I love helping kids,” Wong said. “If I’m not able to become a pediatrician, I would like to be an elementary school teacher. I enjoy being around children of any age and often babysit my little cousins when I get to see them.”
Wong’s big aspirations do not end at high school graduation. Following her time at Cooper City High, Wong aims to be accepted into and to attend the prestigious college Cornell University. Cornell is an Ivy League university in Ithaca, N.Y. Wong’s aunt and uncle both attended the school and are successful in the careers they pursue now. Though gaining acceptance into a highly selective university such as Cornell is a difficult feat, Wong is no stranger to dedication and great effort. Those who know Wong can speak to her diligent nature.
“She’s the most hard-working person I know,” said Wong’s friend, freshman Amy Van. “She’s also very competitive and determined.”
In the past, Wong has been motivated by the high expectations of others. She feared disappointing those close to her, including family and teachers. However, Wong intends to improve this aspect of her life by harnessing an inner drive for success.
“This year, I am trying to focus more on my own opinions about certain things,” Wong said. “At the end of the day, what’s important is how I feel about myself, not how others perceive me.”
Featured photo by Colin Camblin