Student Profile: Sarafina Chitika, Atlanta Girls’ School, Class of 2014

Friends and family describe Sarafina Chitika as determined, independent and loyal.

She is “one of the top students I have ever taught,” Corinne Dedini, Academic Dean at Atlanta Girls’ School, said. “Her focus, work ethic and efficiency are only surpassed by her insatiable desire to understand the way the world works. Because of Sarafina’s intellectual capacity and intrinsic motivation, the world is her oyster.”

Sarafina is involved in many activities both in and out of school. “I like to put my all into about a million different things: whether I am singing, doing gymnastics, running track, or at school, I am constantly trying to push myself to work harder and achieve more than I think is possible,” Sarafina said.

Not only is she involved in extracurricular activities, Sarafina dedicates 14 to 18 hours per week to studying, which has allowed her to maintain her 4.0 GPA and ace her AP exams.

Last summer, she had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador with a few of her friends. While there, Sarafina worked at a childcare center for children who lived in and around the Zambiza dump in Quito.

“It was an amazing experience,” she said. “I was so lucky to get to spend my first time abroad doing meaningful work and making an impact with some of my closest friends.”

Competitive gymnastics has been part of Sarafina’s life for nine years. She says it taught her to perform under pressure, how to be a fierce competitor, and how to be a supportive teammate.

Last fall she decided to take a break from gymnastics so she could experience other things high school had to offer. She joined the track and field team, competing in the 300-meter hurdles and placed second at region, qualifying her for the state meet.

Over the past couple of years Sarafina proved to be a prominent leader at AGS. “I have become really comfortable in my role as leader. It is hugely important to me to be able to form my own opinions and make the decisions that are right for me,” she explained.

Among the highlights of high school for Sarafina are the friends she has made. “Friends like mine are pretty hard to come by, and I know at the end of the day that I would do pretty much anything for them and vice versa,” she said.

What’s Next:

Sarafina will be attending Harvard University in the fall. She plans to major in economics and applied mathematics.

This article was reported and written by Sierra Middleton, a student at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.

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