NEXT GENERATION: Serafina makes every second count

SERAFINAIt seems as though Serafina Sortino needs more than 24 hours in a day. A sophomore at Thomas R. Proctor High School, she is involved in numerous clubs and organizations. She also dances every day, loves being outdoors and is a Girl Scout. She enjoys her life immensely and looks forward to what the future will bring.

You’re in your sophomore year at Proctor High School. What do you like best about the school?

I like Proctor a lot. My favorite parts would have to be all the classes and clubs offered. There’s a variety of choices that I feel are going to help me in college.

Is there anything you believe needs improvement in the high school?

One of the things that could be better at school is that most clubs are scheduled on the same day. That’s really hard for kids like me who want to be involved in so many things.

You’re involved in many clubs at Proctor: Yearbook, Drama Club, Best Buddies and Student Council. How do you find the time to do all of them?

I have a very busy schedule and it’s important that I keep an agenda marked with everything I have to do. Like I mentioned before, some clubs can be scheduled on the same day, so sometimes I will meet with the teacher before or after the meeting to make sure I know what is going on. However, I am very fortunate that this rarely happens with me, so I usually make it to everything. And my parents usually keep an eye on the family schedule, which helps a lot.

Why are you so involved and what do you like best about it?

I’ve always wanted to join lots of clubs and help people. It’s kind of something that has come naturally to me. It’s great that at this time in my life I have all these clubs and programs to join. With most the clubs I’m in, I know that I’m making a difference and helping my school. I like the most that there’s so many different people to meet and so many things to do.

Do you like working together with fellow students?

I love being involved and working with my peers. Being in several different clubs has allowed me to meet lots of different people. And with Proctor being such a large school, there are lots of people to meet and work with. Most of the kids that I have worked with in past years in clubs have even become my friends.

You’re also an outdoors person. You love to hike and have climbed four of the state’s High Peaks. How did you learn to love the outdoors and what kind of rush do you get from being outside?

When I was younger, I always remember constantly playing outside and going to the playground with my parents. It is just something I’ve grown up with. My mom always took my brother and me on walks when we were younger and it’s something we still do today. I also spent a lot of time on my Uncle John’s farm and at my Aunt Pat’s house on the lake. That’s where I feel it really started. I always feel like there’s this big thing to discover and explore when I’m outdoors.

You’re also a Girl Scout. What lessons have you learned from that experience?

I think that Girl Scouts and my troop leaders have taught me a lot. Things like no judgement, honesty, respect and fairness are things that we follow every meeting and continue in everyday life.

Is there one person who has been the biggest influence on your life?

My mom. She’s always been there when I need her. She helps me see the other side of things and she’s always a good person that I can go to. She’s my best friend.

You attended Notre Dame Vision over the summer. What was that like for you?

Notre Dame was an amazing experience. I loved everything about it. Everyone there is just so in love with our faith and it’s wonderful to just have the opportunity to meet and talk with them. What I enjoyed most was going and doing the Rosary every day at the Grotto with the group of friends I made. The music and everything about it is truly incredible and I definitely want to go again.

What does Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament Parish mean to you?

Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament Parish is a place I really love to be. I always want to sing upstairs with the choir and I can’t miss religion class. It’s the only church I can see myself going to.

Many young people are hesitant to express their faith. Do you mind talking about it with friends? What does your faith mean to you?

I’ve never felt uncomfortable about my faith and I don’t think I ever will. My friends and I who are Catholic will talk about our Faith Formation classes and plans of being confirmed. Faith to me is a sense of belonging, and I really enjoy being part of my church.

You seem to have done a lot in a short period of time. What do you hope the future holds for you?

In the future I see myself going to college. As of right now I really want to major in recreational therapy. I want to earn my Gold Award in Girl Scouting. I’d like to travel and see the world and hike some more High Peaks. Dance is something I would want to continue to better myself at. Also, to keep participating in the community and my church.

Serafina McGlynn Sortino

Age: 16.

School: Sophomore at Thomas R. Proctor High School.

Family: Mom Theresa; Dad Fino; brothers Rob, Nathan, Russell.

Things I like to do in my spare time: Sing, dance, read, spend time with family, listen to music.

Favorite book: “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryso.

Favorite TV show: “The Fosters.”

Favorite movie: “Cinderella.”

Favorite musical performer: Taylor Swift.

Favorite quote: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”