Senior Spotlight: Sheaa Amin


Pranali Jain

Sheaa on her 18th birthday

Amal Ahmed

As the school year winds down, and the seniors prepare to head out, we interviewed various seniors about their time at JFKMHS. Today’s senior in the spotlight is Sheaa Amin, who would describe herself as a “hardworking, gregarious and caring” person. Sheaa is part of the JFKMHS Music Department, National Honor Society, and many more clubs and activities.

To start our interview off, do you feel your high school experience has been overall negative or positive?

“Overall positive! When I think about my experience, I immediately think of all the friends I’ve made, teachers I’ve had, and experiences I’ve had through clubs. From choir and band, I’ve been to Disney, Dorney Park, and Hersey for competitions. From AP Gov, I went to Washington D.C. for the second time and absolutely fell in love with the city. A lot of [your time in] high school is figuring out who you are and where you fit in the world, which can be really scary but I felt I had the right resources to figure that out. Bad things happen, it’s inevitable, but they don’t define my overall experience at all.”

What is one of the achievements that you are most proud of?

“During sophomore year, the Women’s Choir earned first place in competition with a superior rating and won the Best Overall Choir award. That was my first time competing with a choir, and it was the first time that I felt a sense of pride in the work I put forth. The director of the Music In The Parks program came over to talk to us and tell us about how he remembers our program and the work we do, and it was crazy to see that we had a legacy in the competition circuit. Singing with the Women’s Choir, especially that year, was one of the most wholesome things I’ve ever done.”

That’s wonderful. What other clubs and activities did you participate in?

“This year, I was in the Marching Band (Drum Major, Flute Section Leader), Women’s Choir (Vice-President), Key Club (President, Vice President), Math Team (Captain), School Musical, Academic Team, Show Choir, Central Jersey Region Choir, Heroes and Cool Kids, Census Committee, and Prom Committee. In previous years, I was in the flute choir, district honors band, select choir, Human Rights International Club, American Cancer Society, and was on the Softball Team. I am also a part of the National, Spanish, and Science Honor Societies.”

How early did senioritis kick in, or did you not experience it?

“I’m not going to lie, it kicked in pretty soon into the year. The worst part about senior year is probably the constant feeling of being overwhelmed with work and obligations, and after a while, the response to that emotion was just pushing the work to the side. There were definitely times this past year where I was doing homework due that day in homeroom or in the locker room before gym started. “

What year was your favorite, and is there any specific memory that you associate with the year?

“Senior year, before everything ended, was my favorite year. I associate senior year with being comfortable with who I am and what I want to do. The AP Government and Politics Trip stands out in my mind as the definition of senior year – it was fun, emotional, and brought me closer to my friends. Washington D.C. quickly became my favorite city because of this trip. Other memories I associate with senior year are the first football game, the choir retreats, Homecoming, Senior Night, and Footloose.”

How do you feel about finally finishing high school?

“It’s bittersweet- I’m so sad I’m not getting to do the things I’ve been looking forward to for months, but it’s a welcome change. I practically lived at school for the last four years, and not having that as a “second home” was weird at first, but I’ve realized it’s definitely time to move past high school and figure out the world for myself. It’s a rewarding feeling knowing that I made it through the 12 years [k-12] and through all my hard classes. At the same time, I’m terrified of the road ahead and figuring out my place in the world and leaving what I’ve found comfort in during high school behind, but it’s time.”

How do you feel about your senior year getting cut short and the switch to distance learning?

“I wish I had known that March 13th was our last day of school together because I would’ve approached it completely differently. Second semester of senior year was supposed to be the fun semester, and not having that is a bummer but it’s for the best. Distance learning wasn’t easy at first, but once I got into a routine, it became a lot easier. What I like about distance learning is that you can do the work on your own time. However, I do not learn well at home in complete honesty – even before quarantine, I would go to the library or Starbucks to study. This semester, I had two SUPA classes and one AP, and trying to learn all three at home was a challenge because I’m most definitely an interactive learner. I like having someone explain it to me and being able to ask questions so I can understand why something happens.”

Are there any teachers you’d like to thank in specific?

“Yes, yes, and yes. I want to thank Mrs. Jones, Ms. Scott, Mr. Cabrera, Mrs. McNulla, Mr. Seavy, Mr. Kaul, Mrs. Timinski, Mrs. Pasquale, Mr. Berns, Dr. Jacobson, and Ms. McKeever. All of these teachers were absolutely amazing and were people I knew I could always count on. I’m so beyond thankful to have them in my life and love them all dearly. They are all some of the best people you will ever meet and they care so much about their students. Whenever I needed someone to talk to, advice, or even just a joke to crack a smile, these teachers were always there and I trust them wholeheartedly. They make a difference in their students’ lives, and they most definitely made a difference in my life.”

Lastly, do you have any advice for the underclassmen as they progress through high school?

  1. Don’t be afraid to try new things. There is no mold for life or one single pathway.  
  2. Go to school spirit events! Grab a bunch of your friends and go to football games or the musical. High School goes by so fast and it’s those events that you’ll remember best.
  3. Your teachers are there to help you! I leaned on my teachers for everything and high school genuinely would not have been the same without them. Remember they’re people too with lives and interests. You never know what you might learn. But also, they’re a great support system and want to help you, you just have to ask. Especially if you’re having a particularly rough day, they may be the perfect people to go to for advice or just to rant.
  4. Take up a hobby that you can do in your free time. Specifically, something you can do when taking a break from studying that doesn’t include scrolling on Instagram for an hour (guilty as charged). I used to color and read books, but I’ve been taking up knitting over quarantine.

Sheaa will be continuing her studies at Rutgers Honors College majoring in Political Science and Mathematics. Everyone at The Torch wishes her the best of luck in her future endeavors!