Olivia Polinsky is confidently striding into her junior year at Huntington High School. The teenager is set to immerse herself in interesting classes, extracurricular clubs and athletic teams in three different sports seasons. The young woman is a standout in every possible way.
President of Huntington’s Habitat for Humanity club chapter, Ms. Polinsky has been spending time collaborating and planning for upcoming events. “Our club was also able to participate in multiple builds this past summer, both out in Riverhead and here in Huntington Station,” she said.
An administrative assistant with both Key Club and the National History Day club, Ms. Polinsky said she also plans to join the Environmental Club and Grandfriends.
The junior said she is “especially looking forward” to participating in this year’s science research program. “I can’t wait to apply all I have learned this summer to form my experiment for this year,” Ms. Polinsky said.
The teenager said she is also enthusiastically anticipating Advanced Placement Seminar and AP US History classes. “I believe they will both be very challenging and rewarding courses,” Ms. Polinsky said. “I am also excited to take the fine arts portfolio class. I can’t wait to start developing my theme for the year.”
Ms. Polinsky also devoted time to playing with her teammates in a summer field hockey league at Ward Melville. “It was really fun to play all together again,” she said. “The fall season is a really big one for us! We all put in a lot of hard work over the summer to prepare.”
The summer months were an especially busy time for Ms. Polinsky. She got involved with the New York State Children’s Environmental Health Centers organization, which is more widely known by the acronym NYSCHECK.
“I worked with them last year as well and I have learned so much,” Ms. Polinsky said. “I was able to collaborate with college students, medical students, and doctors in creating an advocacy project. We are in the process of creating a children’s comic book, which addresses climate change and its impact on respiratory illnesses.”
While Ms. Polinsky is only now beginning to research potential colleges, she does know that her interests include the political science and environmental health fields.
“This past summer I had an internship at Stony Brook University’s Ecotoxicology Lab,” Ms. Polinsky said. “We met a couple of times a week at the lab with undergraduate and graduate students to work on our experiment, ‘The Impact of RoundUp Ready Soybean Plants on Earthworm Survivorship.’ We conducted a few trials and the final one is in progress. We are hoping for publication. It was a really fun and challenging project to be involved in. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it.”
The teenager also continued her internship with the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition. “I worked on a few summer projects with HBCAC, including volunteering at the North Shore Holiday House,” Ms. Polinsky said. “We had a great time teaching the campers about environmental health.”
The junior is one of the best players on the Blue Devil varsity field hockey team and she plans to join the winter track and field team and also play on Huntington’s new girls’ golf team in the spring.
“I am looking forward to working with Coach [Kathy] Wright and Coach [Allison] Conlon this field hockey season,” the teenager said. “I am also looking forward to working with Ms. [Jenna] Rinaldi-Merget and Mr. [Michael] Marinello for the varsity girls’ golf team’s inaugural spring season!”
Science has always fascinated Ms. Polinsky and she is close to several of the department’s faculty members. “Mrs. [Lori] Kenny and Ms. [Deborah] Beck are always inspiring in the science research course. I’m so lucky to get to work with them as well. I am also really excited to be working with Mrs. [Nicole] Cooper as her lab assistant this year.”
Already a member of the English Honor Society and Art Honor Society, Ms. Polinsky hopes to get inducted into the National Honor Society, Science Honor Society and Math Honor Society this year.
As she strides into her junior year, Ms. Polinsky has set the stage for many exciting and fulfilling experiences in the months ahead.