WHSAD Senior Christopher Maldonado was named NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week for the week of May 20, 2018. Below, Christopher shares his thoughts as to why he was nominated, and Mr. Rotondi, Christopher’s baseball coach, shares his thoughts as to why he nominated Christopher. Additionally, there is a link to the NY1 feature.
I believe I was chosen mostly because I want to make a big impact in my community and based off of my resume I have done that. I have gone to New Orleans and helped the victims recover from Hurricane Katrina. My job there was to help refurbish schools because the paint was chipping off the walls. Basically, I had to beautify the school that was still being heavily impacted by Hurricane Katrina because they didn’t have enough resources. I think that based on my whole resume and what I’ve done to help impact the community in a positive way, I have received that scholarship. I did my work in New Orleans over the last summer. My leadership qualities also played a major role, being a part of the Jeter’s Leaders program. I’ve been placed in leadership roles in which I have to step up and stick up for my peers as well as the community to help better people’s lives. When I found out I was receiving the scholarship, I was filled with gratitude, and it felt like all my hard work has actually paid off and people were actually watching what I do. They always say that the little things count and that goes to show that they really do. People see every little thing and are grateful. They show their gratitude in many kinds of ways. I feel that is important to achieve a higher education after high school because that is basically the deciding factor in who you really are as a person based on your career interest. It goes to show how much work you have to put in and what goes into your whole life and after you’ve finished college. That goes to show that you were here for a reason and that through all the hard work it actually pays off.
Mr. Rotondio, Christopher’s baseball coach, had this to say about him: “I’m familiar with the scholarship. I’ve done it for students in the past and just knowing Chris for the type of student that he is and the player that he is with his grades and community service. For me I know he was an ideal candidate for the scholarship. I was very confident that he was going to get awarded this scholarship, and I’m glad that he did. I’m the new guy on the block and when I first came to the school and became the coach, I heard a lot of good things about Chris. That he was a good kid and was respected by his peers, his teachers and it did take us a while to develop a relationship. You know because he’s a senior and he’s been playing for 3 years but what I’ve learned is that not only is he a good kid, but he has good character as well. He’s very respectful, and he does the right thing all the time. I never have to worry about him in school as far as grades and going to class. He always seems to do the right thing, and he’s just a nice kid. So it’s actually been a privilege for me to coach this team and in particular Christopher.”