No traditional graduations, no proms, no awards ceremonies, so NBC 6 is honoring the class of 2020 by updating the seniors featured this school year in the Students Making A Difference segment.
The last time we saw Samantha Sterghos, in January, the Piper High School senior was one her way to completing four years of straight A’s on a schedule that included 12 AP classes.
“I feel a really strong sense of accomplishment knowing that I was able to do that,” Samantha told us at the time.
Now, senior year for the class of 2020 is ending with distance learning and in her case, acing her exams from home.
Speaking through FaceTime, I asked Samantha if she’s disappointed that as valedictorian, she won’t be able to give a speech to a crowded auditorium of people.
“It’s definitely upsetting but I’m hoping that I can still help give my message to my fellow seniors I’m graduating with and uplift them as well,” Samantha said. “Keep pushing, we will make it through this, we’ve worked hard through the years and that work will pay off.”
She is an academic superstar at Piper High.
“In my seven years here I can count on one hand students who are anywhere near the caliber of Samantha,” said one of her teachers, Brenda Sterling.
But that’s not how Samantha wants to be remembered at her school. This is a kid who devoted herself to helping others. She was president of the Impact Service Club, and as captain of the swim team, she spent much of her time giving swimming lessons to kids with disabilities.
“I hope they remember me as the student that always tried to do my best to help others succeed as well,” Samantha said.
Her goal is to become a physician, a desire which comes straight from personal experience.
“After watching my mom and grandfather fight cancer, I knew I wanted to be able to give back to the field that saved their lives,” Samantha explained.
She will start that quest in the fall with a full scholarship to Brandeis University.
Samantha is going from Sunrise to Boston and far beyond.