Name: Jessica Minker
School: North Rockland High School
Sport: Girls tennis
Athletic accomplishments: Minker was 6-5 for North Rockland tennis in the first-doubles slot with Carly Kapusinsky, the duo reaching the conference tournament. She’s the captain of the tennis team. She’s been named all-county and all-league. Minker’s a member of the girls golf team.
Academic accomplishments: Minker has a 101.3 GPA. She’s wants to study environmental science. She’s looking at Brown, UC Berkeley and Michigan. She’s taking all college courses this year and taking special courses through the Academy of Engineering.
School and community involvement: Minker is a member of the Crochet Club and is the Crew Rep of the drama society
Getting to know Jessica Minker
The Journal News: How did you do this season in tennis?
Jessica Minker: I think I did pretty well. I played with my doubles partner, Carly Kapusinsky, for first doubles. We were defintely in every match and in every point trying to play one point at a time. We played some pretty tough schools. We were able to challege ourselves. It was fun.
TJN: Why did you decide to play tennis?
JM: My whole family played tennis. My sister Jackie was on the high school team (in eighth grade). She had Jen (Labier) as her coach. Sometimes I’d go to practice and Jen would always be so encouraging. She’d want me to hit with the team even though I was so young. I knew it was a fun, encouraging sport. I looked up to my sister.
TJN: Are you going to continue playing sports in college, whether it be tennis or golf?
JM: I’d love to continue playing in college. I’d probably just play as a club sport because I kind of want to focus on my academics. I definitely wouldn’t ever want to stop playing tennis and golf because I think it’s a good physical and mental release. It’s a great way to meet people
TJN: With your top three schools as Brown, UC Berkeley and Michigan, did you not want to keep yourself limited by location?
JM: What attracted me to those schools, besides the academics, were the areas. I like exploring and seeing new things. I hope I won’t get too homesick wherever I am. I’m open to new ideas and I want to experience a new place. I just figured I’d try for one in each major city that seems interesting and hope it works out.
TJN: Do you know what you want to major in?
JM: Right now, I’m thinking generally environmental science. Depending on the school, some of them have ecology programs, which sounds interesting to me, or conservation biology. Basically, my end goal would be to work outside mostly, I guess doing field work or something along those lines.
TJN: Where you always environmentally conscious?
JM: As a kid, I don’t think it was something I ever consciously thought about but my mom was always recycling so I always had that notion to do that. I guess as I got older I became exposed; my brother and I are always going on hikes into the nature around us, not just in our backyard. This year, I’m taking environmental science and I absolutely love it. My teacher is great and I’m just passionate about the things we are learning about. I guess it kicked in the past couple of years.
TJN: What’s the most memorable community service work you’ve done?
JM: I volunteer at Camp Venture, specifically with the therapeutic riding program. It gives horseback riding lessons to anyone with disabilities. I’ve been volunteering there since the seventh grade regularly, so it’s become a part of my life. I go there four hours a week and everyone I work with is so great and friendly. We do great things and I’m going to always remember (it).
The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week program honors students for their academic, athletic and community achievements. Each week a winner is selected from nominees submitted by athletic directors. Only seniors can be nominated, and the award can be won only once. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Monday. The presenting sponsor for The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete program is Gary Goldberg Financial Services.