Angelina Estadt remembers reading to dogs when she was just a child.
The Valley View senior developed her love of books through frequent visits to the Valley Community Library program and has especially fond memories of a program there where volunteers would bring dogs in for kids to practice reading.
While childhood favorites, including “Goodnight Moon” and “Where the Wild Things Are,” still reside on her bookshelf, she’s traded in visits to the library with her mother for working their part-time. The COVID-19 pandemic cut her hours; instead of three days a week, she works at the library twice a week.
“I’ve been fostering a love for reading, literature, and the arts for as long as I can remember,” said Angelina, who hopes to attend college at Princeton.
Angelina is a busy senior with wide-ranging interests, from science to sketching.
In addition to her work at the library, she maintains a 4.0 grade point average while finding several ways to give back to the community. She helps collect backpacks and school supplies with Lackawanna College’s R.O.C.K.E.T backpack drive and packs shoe boxes full of treats for needy children at Christmas, among other volunteer work. She aspires to build houses abroad with Habitat for Humanity.
“I love to give back helping those in need makes me feel very warm on the inside,” Angelina said. “It’s also good to give back and help grow the community.”
She’s also honed her skills as a musician since childhood and participates in Valley View’s concert band, where she plays clarinet. Friends encouraged her to try out for the school’s color guard in her freshman year, which led to new experiences.
“It was a very great decision, getting to talk to people, get out of my comfort zone, and being in the spotlight,” Angelina said. “Being in the spotlight was very different for me. It was a very good decision and I’m glad I listened to my friends.”
COVID-19 has affected the school’s music programs. Aside from attending classes online, she no longer starts her school day with band class. This school year’s planned band trip to Disney was canceled, both of which are disappointing to the senior.
The one thing the pandemic didn’t change was her desire to take challenging courses. She’s taken or is taking AP courses, including physics, calculus, mechanics, literature and statistics and probability, all of which she hopes will help her get into Princeton. She’s also applied to Harvard and Cornell and expects to hear back from all three later this month.
Although she doesn’t know what kind of degree she wants to work toward in college, science has always interested her. In fact, Princeton’s strong science programs, along with an interview with an alumni who helped her get a feel for the campus, made her fall in love with the idea of attending.
Valley View music and band teacher Michael Lesnesky has mentored Angelina for more than four years. He described her as a determined, hardworking student who never backs down from a challenge and always tries to improve herself.
“Even though I don’t have her this year, she still asks me for the music and says she still wants to play and help out where she can in concert band,” he said.
Even with such a packed schedule, Angelina finds time for other hobbies, including sketching and posting her work on her Instagram account, @bigfatglasses.
“There’s only so much time in the day, what you do with it is completely up to you,” she said. “I guess what I’m trying to say is, use your time and your days wisely.