Marauder of the Week: Friday, November 6, 2020
Senior Alex Fick is a person of many talents and strengths, whose respectful and intelligent demeanor is evident through any interaction with him. Although he likes many different subjects, he has a special interest in math and the sciences. He believes that they play an essential role in securing a successful future, whether it be for himself or for society as a whole. Additionally, he appreciates the focus on logic and the ability to apply the concepts to problem-solving. Alex has admiration for all of his teachers, but with his affinity toward math and science, he says that Mr. Abruzzese and Mr. Delorio were extremely important in the development of his curiosity for their subjects. Their classes were always fun and enjoyable, and they both made sure that they connected the topics learned in class to broader ideas. Mr. Delorio’s Calculus class was Alex’s favorite class in high school, because of the great community and the teacher who made sure everyone was having a good time (despite the looming, ever-present danger of potential pop quizzes).
To keep himself busy, Alex plays many different sports, including baseball, indoor track, and ultimate frisbee. He likes the way that sports allow him to destress and put his whole focus into doing something he loves. Alex is also a member of the Lights Crew in the PAC, and the Clarinet Section Leader in Marching Band. Additionally, he has participated in student government during his sophomore, junior, and senior years. This year, he is the student advisor to the school committee and the assistant treasurer. Last but not least, he has led the Student Activist Club for the past two years: he was Vice President in his junior year and is President this year.
Alex credits much of who he is today to being named the Grand Prize Winner of the MassDOT video contest in sophomore year. This experience sparked his love of photography, which has only grown over the years. Along with his passion for photography, Alex is determined to always find new perspectives in life, no matter what he faces, or what challenges arise. He wants to be able to see things from every angle, just as he does in his photography.
Alex’s advice to other BHS students is to make the most of the time that they have. “Before you even get the chance to take a deep breath, you will be a senior,” he says; so “if there is anything you want to do, whether it's to reach out to someone you haven't before or pick up a new hobby, just do it. There's no harm in trying something new; there's always a chance at a new passion or new friendship or even just an understanding of a challenging physics concept. Put aside your hesitation and uncertainty, and just do it.”
By Ani Belorian
Senior Preston Jackson-Stephens, a star athlete passionate about educating the community on the path to ending racial inequality, is a clear choice for Marauder of the Week. His favorite school subject is Psychology – he plans to major in Psychology in college, so he can “acquire the knowledge and skills” necessary to “help and understand” people – but he also enjoys his Science Ethics class, which covers a variety of relevant topics that spark “entertaining” class discussions. Ms. Shea, who taught his sophomore year American Studies class, was his favorite teacher in his time at BHS because she “engaged her students with her passion”; she always encouraged Preston to voice his opinions in class and “let [him] know that [his] voice would be heard.”
Preston’s athletic achievements at BHS are numerous: he is the captain of the varsity football and basketball teams, and additionally participates in varsity outdoor track. His talent for sports extends to video games as well; he claims to be “the best in the Belmont community” at NBA 2K and NFL Madden. (If anyone disagrees with this assertion, he encourages them to add his gamertag on PS4, so they can “settle it out.”)
However, when asked what he was most proud of, at BHS and as a part of the Belmont community, Preston unequivocally pointed to his involvement in “events that help advocate for the fight against racism.” Last spring, shortly after the death of George Floyd, Preston and a BHS alumnus organized a peaceful protest, during which Preston gave a speech about how important it is that we as a community “educate ourselves and have the difficult conversations” in order to “move forward in the process of ending racism.” He also participated in a video organized by two students from the BHS class of 2020, which encouraged the Belmont community to speak up about racial inequality. He feels that these actions demonstrated his leadership both to himself and to the community, and showed that he wants to “make a difference in this world” and “have an impact on a lot of people’s lives.” Preston believes he can “effect change” in this way because he “passed the first step to changing other people, which is being willing to change [your]self.” As Preston says, “I am a young black man [who] has to live life a bit differently than everyone else due to systemic racism and police brutality.” He wants people to know that nothing can deter him in his fight “for the black community, change in our system, and… change [in] individuals.”
Preston’s words of wisdom for other BHS students reflect his level of determination: “Hard work is a choice. You are either willing or not willing” to put in the effort; therefore, it is important to evaluate your choices carefully to make sure that you “did what was best for you.”
By Claire Svetkey