Palmetto High School senior Chris Fisk Kolychkine has earned an astounding 2,000 community service hours. But that should not be surprising considering that he was consistently involved in extracurricular activities as president of the Class of 2013 before he became the Student Council president.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be in student government since I was in elementary school,” Fisk says. “I had the pleasure of being student body president at Palmetto Middle School and class president from the ninth through the 11th grade.”
He says he ran for student council president because he was interested in the bigger picture at school, representing the entire student body, not just the senior class.
“One of the biggest draws for me for student government is that people are so quick to complain, but not so quick to take action,” Fisk says. “That was one of my interests. That led me to be a part of Mayor Lerner’s Youth Advisory council from the start.”
He says it also led to him to be involved in district student government and the Miami Dade County Youth Commission. He was appointed to the commission by District Eight Commissioner Lynda Bell. On that commission, he is chairman of the Social Responsibility Committee.
This year, the student council officers implemented Panther Preview, an orientation program for incoming freshmen shortly before the school year began.
“We made a tour of the entire school, then broke into information sessions covering everything from testing to student life at Palmetto,” Fisk says.
Outside of school, Fisk has worked as an intern at the Think Factory for a couple of years. He says it’s a creative intelligence company that does things in a smart way.
“I’m working on various projects on the Piggy Fund, which is the charitable branch of Think Factory,”Fisk says. We’ve implemented a program in schools that expresses the importance of decisions in our everyday lives. The smallest things to the biggest things make the difference. Every decision is important and reflects on who we are and what we want to be.”
Fisk says his role is to help the Think Factory’s founder understand things from a student’s perspective. But, he doesn’t just sit around and think; he also engages in physical activity. He’s nearing black belt status in judo, which is a family sport. His grandfather introduced judo to Cuba and his great grandfather was one of the first black belts in Belgium. His father is well known in the judo community.
“I actually had the pleasure of going to South Korea to compete for the U.S. in a cultural judo competition,” Fisk says.
Along with his other activities at Palmetto, Fisk plays sax in the jazz band. “I’ve been playing since Palmetto Elementary,” he says.
“I’ve been in jazz band since I was in the ninth grade here.”
Fisk says he loves jazz, and adds that it’s much livelier than other forms of music.
“The beauty of jazz is that it has less restriction, more character and more attitude,” he says. “The beauty is in improvisation and spontaneity.”
This past summer, Fisk spent a week in Washington, D.C. as a participant in the Bank of America Student Leadership Program. He was one of 222 kids from across the nation who came to learn from a diverse group of speakers.
“We talked about the roles of government, individuals, charities and society,” he says. “We experienced everything DC had to offer. It’s a very inspirational place.”
Fisk says he is applying to Ivy League colleges and to Georgetown in Washington D.C. He is considering a major in public relations or international relations.
By Linda Bernfeld Rodriguez