About Me

Volunteering at Big Hair Animal Rescue

I am sitting with a dog at the shelter I volunteer for

I've always loved animals, and since I needed to volunteer anyways for Mass Academy, it was the perfect opportunity to help out my local animal shelter, Big Hair Animal Rescue. This shelter in Sturbridge, Massachusetts is a place where dogs that have either been deemed too aggressive or are on their last hope of survival go. The owner, Jessica, treats them very well and even the ones that were deemed aggressive by others were nice when I was handling them. While I was at the shelter, Jessica had me move rocks into her yard, mow her lawn, and of course, walk the various dogs that were there. While I only started at the shelter in the summer, I appreciated all the work Jessica was really doing to keep all these dogs alive, healthy, and entertained. I didn’t have a lot of experience at the shelter, but it did teach me about their mission, and to commit to something if I believe in the potential it has, even if the scenario doesn’t look good right away.

My Family

Zack, my brother, is rocking some cool sunglasses

My family is an interesting bunch of people, and they have had a big impact on who I am today. My younger brother, Zack, has taught me to look at new perspectives. Yes, he can be annoying, but I try to help him out as much as I can. I think the most helpful part for me is when he does not understand the way I explain something, so that way I must come up with a new way of explaining myself. I believe that this helps me help others more effectively, so I should thank him for that. My mom has given me her unconditional love and support. She’s always there for me and has taught me to be myself. My dad is a sporty person, and while I don’t take after that too much, I still have learned a lot from these sports such as focus, hand-eye coordination, and perseverance. He works at the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System (MTRS). His job deals with a lot of statistics on the computer, and he always is willing to explain the connection the numbers have to the real world. For this reason, I believe that my father encouraged my love for computer programming and math.

My dogs are one of the best things that’s ever happened to my brother and I. Abby, a rat terrier mix who’s 7 years old now, is the calmer one. Sure, she barks at everything outside she sees, but other than that, she doesn’t do too much. Zoey, a red heeler who’s 1 year old now, is like our little baby. She’s hyper most of the time and we have to watch her often. She’s fast! When Zoey’s not hyper, she’s super sweet. Zoey will just lay there, waiting for me to sit next to her and pet her. These two dogs have taught me about commitment, as they need a lot of attention. I’m always grateful to have them because they’re always there to cheer me up if needed.

My Fascination with Programming

A program written in QBASIC that converts numbers from one base to another

I’ve always been fascinated by computer programming. The way that programs, video games, and websites work has always been very interesting for me. I have dabbled in a bit of modding games to further understand how the games work. I went to an MIT summer camp when I was in 6th grade to create simple, yet interesting Minecraft mods (such as changing the color of a diamond sword to red rather than blue, the default). While I don’t remember much about the camp, the feeling of accomplishment I got when I completed the modding task just fascinated me. In school, while we did have those Hour of Code sessions, the part I most enjoyed was creating my own programs with QBASIC in 10th grade. Sure, the program was outdated, and I had to get an MS DOS emulator just to use it (or just get qb64 if emulation isn't wanted), but the sense of wonder I felt couldn’t compare to anything I’d done previously. While the programs we created were mostly just number manipulation and dice games, the structure required and precision needed (don’t miss a semicolon!) just added to the sense of accomplishment felt at the end.

At Mass Academy, creating my own website just adds more to my fascination of computer programming, as this program has a real-life purpose of informing the person reading this right now of my experiences. Computer programming has taught me to be meticulous in my work, to consider multiple approaches, and that small mistakes can lead to big issues.

Brialee and Horseshoes

I won a horseshoe Tournament

Brialee is a campground my family and I go to in Ashford, Connecticut. You can find their website here. I’ve been going to this campground since I was 5 years old and have become a seasonal there. My family was at a camping show where they found flyers for this campground, so they went there and really enjoyed it!

I especially enjoy playing horseshoes with all of my friends, and as shown in the photo on the left, I’ve even won the final tournament (the finale, at the end of the year) with my good friend Lizy Jordan! I remember I first started to play horseshoes after my brother started to play it, and he was inspired by my dad to start playing. It takes a lot of consistency and practice to master horseshoes, which is difficult but a fun challenge. There are a lot of fun activities there, but it can also just be a fun place to hang out.

Overall, this place has been like a second home for me, and I've learned a lot about friendship and having a community to rely on.