From martial arts to school work to holding several different leadership positions in and outside of school, Avi Botwinick says he “wants to help people because that’s something I’ve always been passionate about.”
Avi is an active member and leader in BBYO, a Jewish youth movement.
Avi says what is great about the group is the fraternity of it. The boy’s chapter, Kol Ram Aza, was founded his freshman year in high school, and since then he says it has provided a place for local Jewish teens to feel attached to their Judaism. He was recently elected president of the chapter for next year and says his main goal is “to help Jewish teens who would otherwise not be Jewish to feel connected to their Judaism in some way.”
Avi also finds himself encouraging others in the world of martial arts. Avi began studying Shaolin Kung Fu when he was 8 years old. He began in the youth program, and has since then come full circle as he taught the youth program in recent years.
The studio where Avi began his studies has recently closed, but that has not stopped him from continuing to expand his knowledge. He started studying Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at a new center. He says he is still practicing the forms he already knew and trying to blend them with what he is learning now.
“My study of martial arts has taught me discipline, how to control my body, and how to defend myself and when it’s appropriate to do so,” Avi said.
Avi doesn’t currently teach classes at the center where he studies, but he has found other ways to help younger kids. He is actively involved in the Peer Leader program at The Weber School. The program helps new students make a smooth transition into the school.
Avi is also a member of National Honor Society. He loves math and science, and is also a part of a robotics team at Weber that is building a robot to battle at Dragon Con this September. His two favorite classes are chemistry and physics, both of which he has taken at the AP level.
“Avi is the type of student that teachers love to have in their classroom. He comes into class every day, smiling and excited to share something cool he has seen online. Avi pursues his interests wholeheartedly and his natural curiosity drives him to take challenging courses,” Avi’s Chemistry teacher, Nicole Brite, said.
Avi recently attended a physics camp at Georgia Teach and will attend a college prep camp at Emory this summer, focusing on neuroscience. He thinks it would be cool to be an anesthesiologist or an FBI agent, but Avi says he wants to follow his passion for helping other people.
“In order to have a good world you have to have people helping others,” Avi said.
Avi returns to The Weber School this fall for his senior year. He is applying to several colleges, including the University of Georgia, Washington University in St. Louis, and Emory University.
–This article was reported and written by Mary Helen Kelly, intern with Reporter Newspapers.