Huntington High School senior Erica Vazquez is heading to Florida next fall. The teenager has decided to attend Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale where she plans to study for a career as a physician assistant.
Huntington High School senior Erica Vazquez.
The senior considered the University of Tampa, University of Miami, Adelphi University and University of Massachusetts Boston before finalizing her decision to attend Nova Southeastern.
Ms. Vazquez is currently enrolled in Advanced Placement Government and Politics, AP Psychology, AP Biology, Calculus and Holocaust/Multicultural Literature. She is prepping for the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam and is also engaged in a credit bearing career internship with English teacher Kelly Krycinski.
“I’d really like to work in the medical field, especially in orthopedics or pediatrics,” Ms. Vazquez said. “Specifically, I hope to pursue my career in physician assistant studies. It is my passion to help others and my goal is to help anyone and everyone in need.”
The teenager is president of Huntington’s Key Club chapter and is an administrative assistant with the History Day club. She’s also member of the National Honor Society along with the English, Social Studies, Spanish and Art Honor Societies.
Ms. Vazquez frequently volunteers at Huntington Hospital. She has even trained in the martial arts, specifically taekwondo. “I am a third degree black belt and in a few months will move up to my fourth degree,” she said proudly. “I usually teach children and teens at my taekwondo school a couple times a week.”
The senior has developed close relationships with several faculty members. “Señora [Lorena] Hickey, Mr. [Kenneth] Donovan and Mr. [Michael] Schwendemann have all had such huge impacts on my high school career,” Ms. Vazquez said. “I thank them so much for everything they have done for me. In particular, Ms. Krycinski and Ms. [Gina] Colica are two teachers that have stuck by me the past four years of high school and I don’t know what I’d do without them. They are not only my Key Club advisors, but also my teachers who have helped me prosper and grow. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for being the ones who have helped me conquer the most while making me smile the most.”
An “unforgettable moment” for the senior has come during her internship with Ms. Krycinski. “Teaching the works of Shakespeare, William Goulding and Harper Lee has inspired me in so many ways and the relationships I’ve made with the students is something that I won’t ever forget,” Ms. Vazquez said.
The teenager cites the support she has received from her parents, friends and teachers as a key ingredient of her success to date. She was recently honored at this year’s Distinguished Seniors dinner, which recognizes those who have compiled an academic average of 90 or higher during every semester of high school.
“My favorite high school memory has to be the K-Factor, especially the one that took place in 2017 where we fundraised for one of my favorite teachers, Ms. Aimee Antorino,” Ms. Vazquez said. “Just the chaos of putting together a talent show makes everyone in the planning committee so close to one another; it was like having a second family. Even the night of the show was such a huge success and just being able to help the ones that I cared for most, really took a special place in my heart.”
Ms. Vazquez will always be remembered around the high school for her sweet personality and upbeat nature. Teachers will be sorry to see her graduate, but they are excited about her future
“Huntington High School will always be home to me regardless of how far I’m going away,” Ms. Vazquez said. “I’ve made so many friendships and memories. The teachers are unforgettable and simply the best educators out there. The opportunities I’ve been able to acquire have changed my life, especially when it came to extracurricular activities. I’ve laughed endlessly throughout my time here and high school turned out to be one of the best life experiences. I will be forever grateful for the memories I’ve made here and I can’t wait to continue onto my next journey and see what the future holds.”