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Whiz Kid: Born in Kazakhstan, Miller Place High School Senior Shines

Kristina Sarkissyan came to the country at the age of five and has become a standout student in Miller Place

Name: Kristina Sarkissyan - Age 17

School: Miller Place High School - 12th grade

Accomplishments: Born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Kristina emigrated to the United States at the age of five. She is fluent in English and Russian and is trying to perfect her Spanish and Armenian.

She has maintained high honor roll status for every quarter of her high school career, receiving the Award for General Academic Excellence each year. She has challenged herself with seven Advanced Placement  (A.P.) courses and two college level courses and was the recipient of her high school's Award for Excellence in Forensic Science and the Orchestra Most Improved Award. Her literature was also published in her school's Entre Nous Literary Magazine.

Dancing since the age of eight, Sarkissyan is currently on the competition team at On the Edge Performance Center in Port Jefferson. She devotes 20 to 30 hours per week to dance. With her team, she has participated in numerous fundraisers and dance performances to raise money for breast cancer research, abused and neglected children and children with disabilities.  

This past summer, the high school senior participated in a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain. She was able to further her knowledge about the Spanish language and culture. While there, she volunteered at Barcelona's Marti-Codolar Center for Youth, where she was able to combine her passion for dance and languages. She helped underprivileged children learn English and taught dance classes to help the children focus on something other than their impoverished lives.

Kristina has been playing the violin since the fourth grade in the district's orchestra program and has participated in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) festival.  She was on the track team as a freshman sprinter, was president of the Spanish Honor Society for two years, and chairperson of the Service Club for four years where she volunteered her time at the Wellness Fair, Dig Pink, Heritage Park, UNICEF, Safe Halloween, Christmas Magic, Coat Drive and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

She is also an active member of the Student Government, National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, School Math Team, Gay-Straight Alliance and was an attorney for Mock Trial. In addition, she has been a Brookhaven Youth Court member for three years, where she helps determine the consequences under-aged offenders have to face for their misdemeanors.

A self-employed tutor and dance teacher to young children, Kristina will be attending college in the fall where she plans to major in International Relations with a minor in Languages. She hopes to pursue a career as an immigration or comparative attorney.

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