The latest HealthPlus Amerigroup/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week is a Brooklyn cross-country star whose athletic contributions will benefit underclassmen for years to come. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Carla Luna is graduating from the Brooklyn Latin School this week, but she leaves behind a legacy. She was the captain, top runner, and a founding member of the cross-country team, the school's first PSAL sports team.
"Something that I wanted to do was add a sport, I felt that the course offerings at my school were great but as for athletics they were very limited," says Carla.
"She's helped start something that's going to be here for years and years to come and for as long as the school exists," says track coach Hiral Patel.
Carla sets a high standard in the classroom. She's graduating with a perfect 4.0 average and has distinguished herself in difficult courses like Latin. She's particularly interested in foreign languages, even studied abroad in Turkey.
"I feel that in order to fully understand a culture, you need to not only engross yourself in the community but also knowing the language helps a lot because you get to understand things that only natives would understand," says Carla.
But her teachers point to her compassion as her most endearing quality. She's a peer mediator, helping fellow students settle conflicts. She also took it upon herself to tutor younger students in Spanish, a subject she is particularly strong in.
"She walks into a room, there's a presence when she comes in. It's clear that other students look up to her and know who she is and want to be like her. So it's this very quiet, kind of gentle leadership ability that she has," says history teacher Cari Winterich.
Carla is headed to Babson College next fall, she's not sure what she is going to major in, but she knows she is excited to continue learning.
"I want to have that flexibility, I'm only 17 years old, I don't know what I want to do with my life yet, that's part of who I am, I want to experiment with different fields," says Carla.
So, for leaving a lasting mark on her school in sports and in the classroom, Carla Luna is the latest HealthPlus Amerigroup/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.