Senior Spotlight: Amisha Raikar


Amisha Raikar

Graduating senior, Amisha Raikar, gets ready to move onto a new chapter of life, committing to Rutgers University.

Senior Amisha Raikar will be setting off to Rutgers University this fall, leaving JFKMHS after four fruitful and rewarding years. An active member of Dance Exchange, Key Club, American Cancer Society and Student Council, Raikar has left her mark and will be dearly missed at Kennedy. 

Amisha’s Time at JFK

These past four years, Raikar has furthered herself in her dance and academic pursuits with the resources and people surrounding her in school. Academically, she flourished in an environment with encouraging teachers that fostered her love for learning and helped her navigate her passions.  

“The most rewarding class would definitely be anatomy, being that I want to go into the medical field,” Raikar said. “I think it was important that I got a strong foundation with anything that had to do with the body… and Ms. Sienk is one of the best teachers, one of my favorite teachers I’ve ever had and she made learning so easy for me.” Her desire to help others remains the driving factor pushing her into the medical field, and her dedication and sincerity has been absolutely apparent in and outside of the classroom. 

Amisha is also an active member of the Dance Exchange, especially taking on a role of more weight during the 2023 showcase. She is an experienced and dedicated dancer and choreographed the stellar Micheal Jackson piece in the show that received so much hype, love and appreciation. 

“It’s just like a good community,” Raikar said. “I like that JFK is very inclusive with everything. There’s something for everyone, honestly.” Her fears of not being able to find her “group of people” were softened with the welcoming nature Kennedy’s extracurriculars cultivated.

Why the Medical Field?

Amisha has wanted to become a dermatologist since she was in seventh grade and her time at JFK has just driven her passion in the medical field. After struggling with acne growing up, and observing her mom who is a nurse working in a hospital, her interest in the field has only grown. 

“Even though medical school is a lot of work, it will be rewarding in the end,” Raikar states. Her compelling force always leads back at her yearning to help people, and that is the one thing that makes it all worthwhile for Amisha.

Maneuvering High School Post-Pandemic

“Beginning of junior year, I had big intentions of doing a lot of things,” Raikar stated. “I wanted to be in all these different honor societies and clubs, but after the pandemic, I think I was justifying… the amount I slacked off on the pandemic.” Amisha shared that the very real and raw reality of coming back to school after virtual learning for over a year was difficult, and while it was a big adjustment for everyone, some people used it as encouragement to come back even stronger. If she could repeat any one of her years at Kennedy, it would be junior year to improve her work ethic and bounce back from the pandemic with more motivation. 

Amisha also shares how glamorized senior year is portrayed but how straining the beginning of the year is, making it the hardest part of high school for her.

“I feel like nobody prepares you for how hard college applications actually are… but I didn’t really know how much work it actually took,” Raikar states. “Plus, I’m an only child so I didn’t have any siblings to see their process and emulate how well they ended up going through their college process.” Going through the application process without having someone to openly turn to other than her friends, applying to college was a huge and scary process that came without warning for Amisha. 

“Trying to enjoy your last hoorah with everyone, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on college at the same time because I still wanted to go out with my friends, go out to football games and work at the same time,” Raikar said. “It was just a lot of balancing but it was definitely really hard for me.” The exciting feelings of senior year, although fun, can definitely be overwhelming with students’ futures hanging over their heads. But with a little help and support from her teachers and friends, the process ultimately subsided and senior year became a time of fun activities to look forward to once again. 

Navigating Rutgers D1 Dance Team

Amisha has already taken big strides into her future at Rutgers University where she continues her devotion to dance as a member of their D1 Dance Team. Taking on such a heavy major of Biology on the track of pre-med on her back, Amisha has grown up in a life of balance and plans to carry that same work ethic and rigor throughout college. 

“I’ve adjusted to balancing my life for so many years,” Raikar stated. “I’ve been dancing since I was three and having school and dance be something that I always had to handle, I am a little nervous but it really is just about the time management.” Having so many years of experience, the natural fear of adjusting all over again has been slightly lifted for Amisha and she is so excited to start fresh with so many amazing opportunities. 

Amisha also believes that distraction only occurs if one makes themselves distracted. With the rigor of the Rutgers Dance Team schedule, she is prepared to sacrifice aspects of her social life with her school priorities in mind to flourish in the commitments she has made. 

Amisha’s competitive spirit has urged her to keep dance in her life and the Rutgers Dance Team is a community that will fuel that urge for her. Having regrets of not continuing cheer at JFK after being on the team freshman year, Rutgers Dance will allow her to not only perform at games, but also give her the opportunity to travel and compete at the ESPN Center in Florida. The competition is Amisha’s favorite part of dance and being in a big ten school, the competition will only grow. For Amisha, competition only makes her better. 

“I don’t want to stay stagnant,” Raikar said. “I’m not the type of person to just be happy and complacent with where I am, so everyone on a D1 Team will push me to be better.” Craving that encouragement and enthusiasm, she hopes to be captain one day.

Starting a New Chapter

Having gone through a challenging, fun and such unique experience of high school, Amisha is so happy and excited to take this big step forward and fulfill her passions at Rutgers University. She encourages incoming freshmen to surround themselves with people that motivate you and support you, and always be in positive reinforcement with them to be ultimately happy and successful during their years at Kennedy. 

High school has shaped Amisha’s life and she is ready to start fresh and leave any negativity behind with no strings attached.

However, along with leaving comes natural fear of the future, but so much excitement comes with the jitters. The comfortability of JFK makes leaving bittersweet for Amisha, and she will be greatly missed. 

As Amisha Raikar winds down her time at Kennedy, it is apparent she has a bright future ahead. The Torch wishes her the best of luck as she dives into her big endeavors!