Take a moment to imagine being in ten extracurriculars plus AMSAT, combined with the need to maintain a good GPA. Sounds impossible, right? Well for Lyle Carrera, a sixteen-year old senior here at Clark, the impossibility is reality.
“I’m honored to be the captain of Varsity Quiz, but I also participate in Science Olympiad, VEX Robotics, We the People, Speech and Debate, Model United Nations, Academic Worldquest, History Bowl, National Honor Society, and Rubik’s Cube Club,” said Lyle when asked about the ten extracurriculars he’s in.
Again, that may sound like a nightmare, but Lyle’s background has made him surprisingly well equipped for the challenge. For starters, he grew up in a single-parent household, with a hard-working mother whose example has remained an inspiration for him.
“She’s inspired me with her strength, perseverance, and willpower,” said Lyle. In fact, she is one of many individuals, including classmates, who have motivated him to be the best possible version of himself.
“I’ve had the honor of learning, competing, and living alongside nationally-recognized musicians, scientists, engineers, orators, writers, artists, and advocates.”
It also helps that Lyle has also been gifted from the start of his academic career. In first grade, he was put in contact with Ms. Susan Zajack, a representative from CCSD’s highly gifted program, leading to his taking some sort of test.
This resulted in a long string of meetings culminating in a particularly large one featuring several school administrators at the end of his first grade year.
“The next thing I knew, I was in third grade,” said Lyle.
Despite this, balancing all those responsibilities can still be a bit of a struggle. Thankfully though, it’s not quite as bad as it may seem.
“Honestly, I’m really bad at time management. But many of my clubs don’t require as much of a time commitment as others, so I’m able to spend 80% of my after-school time with Varsity Quiz and Science Olympiad,” Lyle revealed.
It’s also important to note that Lyle’s situation is one many of his classmates are faced with. In a way, he’s indicative of the kinds of students you’ll run into at Clark. Students who are in a seemingly impossible amount of extracurriculars and probably stressed out, but are also gifted and incredibly hard-working.