Nominated By Prince Porter
“Amaya Porter is in 10th grade at Pine Creek High School where she is a member of the American Sign Language Club and Women’s Swim and Dive Club. As a Freshman, she led the Lady Eagles in swim event points, assisted with getting the team to the State Championship, and lettered in swimming. Amaya is also a competitive swimmer with Pikes Peak Athletics.
For the past 4 years, Amaya has raised over $7,000 for USA Swim. Her forms are freestyle and breaststroke and she has been fortunate to travel and to make state, zone, and sectional cuts. In her spare time, Amaya volunteers in the local and Denver communities, such as the Christmas Toy Give-away, and is an Ambassador for the African American Youth Leadership Conference where she participates in workshops, team building exercises, meetings with community leaders, and leadership development.
Amaya has an ability to turn her vision into reality such as working as a Lifeguard and Swim Coach to children and learning sign language which are both serious but also fun. She has talked about being a lifeguard since she was 8 years old and learning sign language since 5th grade. Amaya is also in UCCS’s pre-collegiate health professions program. Due to COVID-19, Amaya has taken online learning in stride and has retained several friends as well as maintaining her grades.
Amaya has a nurturing, generous, caring and helpful soul. She is observant to the needs of others, connects well with people, keeps in contact with people who matter to her, gives without expecting anything in return, and is interested in and always encouraging to others. Amaya works hard to maintain her daily schedule which consists of 6 days in the pool, her studies, friends, work, and responsibilities at home.”
My Black Colorado Interview
What school do you attend, and what year are you in?
I am a Sophomore at Pine Creek High School.
What do you think others would say that they like the most about you? Explain why.
Others have told me they like my laugh because it is contagious. I somehow just make others start to laugh too. When it comes to personality, I try to be positive most of the time and make other people feel good about themselves by saying kind things or doing something for them. I like to find the good in people and help them see it in themselves.
When you are not in a class, what are the things you enjoy being involved with? Explain why.
When I am not in school, I enjoy swimming with my club team, Pikes Peak Athletics, teaching younger kids to swim, and also volunteering with the African American Youth Leadership Conference, where I am a student ambassador. When I have downtime, I like to bake sweet treats and shop with my mom. I love being involved with all of these things just so I can learn more and have more experiences if I ever need it in the future.
What is the best advice someone has given you recently?
The best advice someone has given me was to not overwork myself; both my Mom and Dad gave me this advice. This applies to my life because I usually have a lot going on, but my parents have said don’t always be available and learn to say no, but thanks anyway.
What is one thing you want to get better at? explain why.
I believe I tend to over-plan my days. I could get better with not taking on so many things at one time and trying to get them all completed. I need to shorten my “to do” list could Although I am very good at planning, I need to shorten my every day “to do” list and spread my tasks out more because it is too tiring.
What do you think is one piece of advice that you think adults need to hear, to help them connect with the younger generation better?
I think some advice adults need to hear is being a teen right now is hard; adults shouldn’t put so much pressure on us to be perfect. Sometimes, I think they have an idea of what teens should be, what they should be doing, or what they want us to be and do. I think more adults should allow us to be who we are, who we are destined to be. Just let us be us. I think if adults would let us be us, then we would be more comfortable with ourselves and liking who we are as a person and liking and accepting others for who they are as well. Adults and the younger generation would connect really well.
What accomplishments or awards are you most proud of? Explain why?
I have a couple of accomplishments for this year. I am very proud of making the Speedos Sectional cut in swimming and heading to Kansas in March to compete with swimmers from the Midwest. Each season I train hard. I usually do not miss swim practice or dryland workouts. When I go into a swim meet, I am focused and ready to beat my best time, and for each race, I challenge myself against myself. Also, becoming a lifeguard this year was the best because it’s something I really wanted to do since I was 10 years old. I love the water, and I want to teach and show other non-swimmers how fun swimming can be while being safe in the water.
What impact have you made in the community that you are most proud of? Explain why?
I like working in the community and have been volunteering with different programs and agencies since I was a little girl. I share ideas for planning what children and teens may be interested in learning in their classes with the African American Youth Leadership Committee, which happens once a year. I enjoy volunteering and helping out any way I can to make a difference in someone else’s life. Also, it is an opportunity to meet people in the community.
What do you think you want to do for a career. Explain why?
A career option that I am looking into is the medical field. I’m thinking about being a registered nurse or pediatrician because it can be so rewarding when helping others. People who work in health professions not only try to comfort others, but they care about the patients they care for, and they try to help them better their lives with the care that they need. I am compassionate and caring and think this would be a good place for me to help others, which I enjoy doing, especially with children. Although I love helping others, the medical field can be challenging and rewarding too, and working in the medical field; I would have an opportunity to play an important role in their lives, especially since I want to make a difference in people’s lives for the better.
What role have your parents played in helping you excel in life?
My parents have played all the roles in my life, between being there to guide me, having an interest in what I do as well as helping me explore other interests. They support me academically and make sure I’m on top of my grades and assignments, looking into colleges, encouraging me with community service ideas, talking about my friends, driving me where I need to go, and being a swim parent during meets. Not just that, we talk, and they help me to understand things that are going on in this world. They have created space for me to grow, set clear expectations and values that are important to them, and have worked hard to pass on to me so that I can be and do my best.