Lindsey Pero ’17 (Hunter College) has been named the CUNYAC/Hospital for Special Surgery Scholar-Athlete of the Month for January 2017. The senior from Brooklyn, NY has earned a perfect 4.0 GPA as an English major with a primary focus on secondary education and a minor in media studies. The Hawks’ senior butterfly specialist had another fantastic season, leading her team to their third consecutive CUNYAC Swimming and Diving Championship title. Pero is a four-time CUNYAC Women’s Swimming and Diving All-Star. She was also honored on the 2015-16 CUNYAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Sportsmanship Team and was named the winner of the Katz Family Scholar Athlete Award for the 2016-17 season.
Leaving New York City was never a thought when Pero was choosing a college for herself. “I wanted to stay close to my family and I was impressed with Hunter’s Liberal Arts program as well as their English and Education programs, which ultimately made the decision a little bit easier…living in Manhattan for two years free of charge at Hunter College, due to the fact that I was accepted into the Macauley Honors Program, was too hard to pass up.” She also added that being a student at Hunter College has allowed her to discover areas of New York City that she had never experienced before in her life.
Lindsey was a highly recruited swimmer coming out of Midwood High School in Brooklyn. Hunter swimming coach Andrew Netti stated, “When I recruited Lindsey out of high school, I knew we were getting a workhorse who was dedicated to her sport. She had a huge upside and has not stopped working her entire time at Hunter. She is never satisfied and always strives to achieve more. She has become one of the top butterfly swimmers not only in the CUNY Conference, but in our larger conference – Metropolitan. There, she has to compete against nationally ranked DII & DIII swimmers. Last year, Lindsey was Top 16 in both the 100 & 200 Butterfly events at the Met Championships. Her desire to strive beyond being great in CUNY makes her a special swimmer. Along with the fact that she is a team leader and an excellent student.”
Lindsey’s transition to being a collegiate student-athlete wasn’t a difficult thing for her to manage. “I’ve always been a student-athlete. In high school, I was a member of the school’s swimming and women’s basketball team so managing schoolwork and athletics has been something I’ve had to do for a long time. At Hunter, we were assigned freshman advisors to help us organize and plan time to finish our school work and compete as athletes. Being a student-athlete has improved my ability to prioritize important tasks and stay focused, both in the classroom and in the swimming pool.” She is currently involved in a student teaching program where she spends her Monday through Fridays of the week teaching at a junior high school in the Bensonhurst neighborhood in Brooklyn. She works alongside with tenured teachers in ELA classes where she has learned how to plan lessons and map out unit plans. She also has learned how to grade schoolwork, create activities for the students to help them learn the material that is being taught to them, and study any related material that she can bring into the classroom.
Lindsey’s future aspirations once she graduates from Hunter College in the spring is to be working full-time as a teacher in the fall. She is currently involved with Hunter’s undergraduate education track, which enables its students to become fully certified New York State ELA teachers, (Grades 7-12) after graduation. Her plan from there is to apply to a special program at Hunter that offers its students the opportunity to teach English to speakers of other languages, from grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Lindsey was also involved with Hunter’s Liberty Partnership Program that allowed her to tutor students after school at Vanguard High School in Manhattan a couple of times a week for a couple of semesters.
When Lindsey has free time to spare, she enjoys running and participating in yoga activities. When she has the time and energy, she enjoys going to concerts with friends. She also spends time working for a non-profit organization. As an English major, she always has been infatuated with reading and writing in her journal, especially poetry. She was happy to admit that she often finds time to read on the subway and is currently reading a memoir written by famous poet, Maya Angelou.
Lindsey believes that her time on the swimming team at Hunter has taught her a lot about being a dedicated and hard-working student as she approaches her graduation. As a student and future teacher, her experience as a swimmer for Hunter has translated into the classroom. “Whether I’m in the pool or in the classroom as a student or a teacher, being successful means being focused, dedicated, patient, and perseverance. Being on the swimming team has taught me a lot about leadership and teamwork and it’s attributes such as those that I plan to bring into the classroom as a teacher.”
Lindsey has learned some very valuable lessons in her four years as a collegiate athlete. “There’s always room for improvement and one of the most important things I’ve learned in my four years is to always be open to constructive criticism whether it’s from my coaches or my teammates.”
As Lindsey comes down to her last couple of collegiate swim meets as a Hunter Hawk, she stressed the importance of enjoying the moment and being thankful for the wonderful memories as a member of Hunter’s swimming team. “I’m very fortunate and appreciative for all of the support I’ve had from Hunter Athletics, my coaches, and teammates. It’s easy to get individual recognition in a sport such as swimming, but to be a part of a special group of swimmers for four years and to win three consecutive CUNYAC championship titles, that is the biggest honor of my life and it is a huge reason that I was named Scholar Athlete of the Month twice. None of this would’ve been possible without them.”
Photo: Hunter Sports Information