Palmetto High School junior Anastasiya Dudaryk won the Bryn Mawr Award at the school’s Junior Class Awards ceremony. Dudaryk was born in the Ukraine and immigrated to the United States in 2002. She’s moved around the U.S. frequently because of her father’s job but she’s been in Miami for several years.
For the last couple of years, Dudaryk has been a writer for the Holocaust Impact Theater.
“It’s student run,” she says. “The story had a big impact on me. It was very powerful. It made you want to make a change and a difference in the community.”
She didn’t have a connection to join the group in ninth grade but she was able to apply in tenth grade.
“It’s a great way to meet people from other schools and discuss ideas about society,” she says. “The plays spotlight these issues that we don’t always talk about because they are uncomfortable. It promotes change.”
This year’s performance was in March. This year, Impact Theater returned to the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center where it began.
“It was called Generations,” she says. “It was a packed theater for four nights.”
In addition to volunteering for the Impact Theater, Dudaryk is a teen leader for Relay for Life. She leads a group from Palmetto High.
“We did it last year and then we did it again and we were more successful,” she says.
The teens raised almost $1,500.
“We also advocated our cause to friends and family members, which contributed to our donations by educating them on the values of Relay for Life in the community,” she says.
Dudaryk has been participating in Relay for Life since eighth grade, even though she’s lucky enough not to have any family members that have suffered from cancer.
“You can see with the survivors there that you are making a difference,” she says. “It’s very fulfilling.”
At school, she’s the vice president of tutoring for Social Science Honor Society. She was instrumental in setting up tutoring sessions for students who are taking Advanced Placement classes such as World History, U.S. History and Human Geography.
“I’ve been in History Bowl for the last two years,” she says. “This year was the first time it was held at Palmetto. I helped organize the event.”
She also participates in science competitions. This year she was in Envirothon and an alternate in the Fairchild Challenge debate.
She plays tennis for the Palmetto team. This year she was the fifth seed. She’s excited about the possibilities for next year because this year the team was the runner-up in districts and in the semi-finals in regionals.
Although tennis is a spring sport in high school, Dudaryk trains all year because she plays in tournaments outside of school. She and her family participate in CrossFit to stay in shape.
“Tennis and CrossFit are very important to me because they allow me to maintain a healthy lifestyle while balancing my academics,” she says. “They teach me about dedication and perseverance while interacting with fun and interesting people. Although I have not played in many tournaments this year, training goes beyond a weekend competition.”
Dudaryk is the community outreach chair for the Student Council Senate. In that position, she coordinates with the school on fundraisers for the United Way.
This summer she’s taking a seminar at the U.S. Naval Academy. Last year she was a University of Miami Summer Scholar. She plans a career in a STEM field.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld