Sara Tuzel earns student of the month title for March

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By Special to the Monitor

Due to her academic accomplishments and long list of community endeavors, Los Alamos High School senior Sara Tuzel was selected to be Rotary Club of Los Alamos’ Student of the Month for March.  

Tuzel, the daughter of Jolanta and Walter Tuzel, has lived in Los Alamos for 13 years.

At school, she maintains a 4.0 GPA and enjoys classes such as AP literature and AP psychology, as well as photography.

Currently, she is taking classes at both the high school and at the University of New Mexico – Los Alamos.

At Los Alamos High School, Tuzel is a three-year member of Honors Society, vice president of Los Alamos Environmental Club and a member of the United Way Youth Team of Northern New Mexico. She ran cross country this past fall and played soccer for the high school in her freshmen, sophomore and junior years. Tuzel has played soccer a total of 13 years.

Outside her academics, Tuzel is an avid skier and a four-year ski instructor at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.

She said the speed and thrill of the mountain are what keep her dedicated to the sport. In addition to skiing, Tuzel referees for Los Alamos  Youth Soccer League.

As a member of Los Alamos County Youth Advisory Board, Tuzel advocates and speaks on behalf of Los Alamos teens. She can also be found volunteering in Los Alamos Medical Center’s emergency room with the Hospital Auxiliary. In addition, Tuzel volunteers with the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish as a youth leader.

She has traveled twice to Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage near Tegucigalpa, Honduras, with the church group, and brought more than $550 for the orphanage’s medical clinic by selling homemade breads.

Especially now, Tuzel is very much connected to the orphanage as she sponsors a 5-year-old boy who lives at the orphanage as his godmother.

In addition to this fundraiser, Tuzel took on an additional similar three fundraisers, which benefited the opening of a nonprofit animal rescue organization in Le Clenaga, N.M., known as “The Sheep Sanctuary.” She also donated more than 450 hours of service to El Rancho de Las Golondrinas Spanish Living History Museum located south of Santa Fe.

The youngest of four children in the family, Tuzel has two older brothers, Szymon and Tomasz, an older sister, Magdalena, as well as a sister-in-law, Carolyn. A dog and hedgehog complete the family.

With her family, she enjoys traveling to Europe and around North America, as well as hiking, skiing and trying new foods with them.

Tuzel plans to enter a university in either California, Washington, Wisconsin or New Mexico and study in anticipation of entering medical school.

She also hopes to study abroad for a year in Grenada, Spain, or somewhere in Poland.

If her plans are successful, she hopes to enter the Doctors without Borders program or volunteer in the Peace Corps in Central America.

Tuzel’s goals are largely centered around the meaning she draws from her favorite quote: “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet,” (Anonymous).