BRISTOL - “Student-Athlete. Student first, athlete second,” wrote Emily Stadnicki, a Bristol Eastern High School senior, in her essay “How Athletics Has Affected My Life.”
Stadnicki’s essay recently won a $1,000 scholarship from the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors.
But the roles of student and athlete go hand in hand, she wrote. “You cannot compete if you are failing as a student, but if you are failing as an athlete life is supposed to just go on. In my high school experience, I have learned that it is impossible to be just one or the other. If your effort is lacking in one area, it will lack in both.”
“Each part of being a student reflects each part of being an athlete and vise versa,” she continued. “High school athletics have taught me more than a teacher in a classroom could ever teach me. It has taught me respect, character, diligence, and hard work.”
Chris Cassin, district athletic director, said Stadnicki received the $1,000 award at the association’s awards banquet recently and she is now eligible for additional scholarships at the regional and national level.
“During her high school career Emily has participated in soccer, indoor track, and lacrosse,” Cassin told the Board of Education recently.
Stadnicki is also a member of the math team, the National Honor Society, the Latin National Honor Society, the Science National Honor society and the Math National Honor Society.
“She has been a TOP Soccer program mentor, a soccer referee, and a member of the band for four years,” Cassin added. “Emily will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute this fall.”
Stadnicki’s essay highlighted various traits she considers important for a student-athlete, which include respect, character, diligence and hard work.
“These four pillars of success I learned through athletics allow me to reflect on my time in high school and the decisions I made. My success in school and in the community stemmed strongly from the knowledge I gained from my coaches and from myself during my time as a high school athlete. Although the end is always bitter sweet, I have grown into the person I am today because of athletics and I am well prepared for the future. Learning these lessons (is) never easy but they are always rewarding. In the end and at this moment, I am honored to be able to call myself a student athlete.”
For the Citizenship portion of her essay, she wrote:
“As a member of society I plan on taking a large role in displaying positive character in every aspect of my life. I have learned through athletics that character is revealed through each and every action we are subject to everyday.”
“The largest impact on the community that I have had thus far is my continued participation in the TOP Soccer program at my local soccer club. This program allows children with special needs to enjoy the game with the help of volunteer mentors. My favorite time of the week has become the nights I am privileged to spend with these kids. I am able to take the time and the skills that I have to better the lives of the children and their parents, even if it is just an hour a week.”
“The positive mark on my community this program has allowed me to leave makes me absent of words. This experience will be part of the foundation of me taking part of the betterment of my community and world and I am beyond grateful for every minute of it.”
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.