Miami Palmetto High School senior Galia Dircie played basketball at Palmetto in ninth grade until she tore her ACL. That injury helped her decide want to study sports medicine and become a sports physician for the National Football League or the National Basketball Association.
“Having to go through the therapy, for me, it was a very rough time,” she says. “I had complications during the surgery. It can really take a toll. I know it was a tough year for me mentally and physically. I love sports.”
Her first two years at Palmetto, Dircie was involved in the Sports Medicine Club. As a student trainer, she helped other athletes stretch and gave them water during games.
“We used to stay after school every day for three hours,” she says. “We learned different stretches and we learned how to do tape jobs. We stayed for different games in case someone got injured.”
Dircie also volunteered at Friendship Circle in Kendall. She went every other Sunday in eighth and ninth grade.
“I did the Sunday program,” she says. “We worked with younger kids, teens and young adults. They paired me with one teen girl.”
The Sunday program had a variety of events, for example, they would bring in firefighters to show off equipment and interact with the kids.
“So, the kids feel they can have fun,” she says.
With her experience at Friendship Circle, Dircie was looking into volunteering at the Carrie Brazer Center for Autism over the summer, but COVID put those plans on hold.
“I’ve volunteered there before as well,” she says.
At school, she is in the Women of Tomorrow Club, which she describes as a mentoring club for girls. She’ll be historian this year, so she plans on taking pictures of events and posting them on social media.
She’s also a member of HOSA – Future Health Professionals – formerly known as Health Occupation Students of America. She competed in the sports medicine area. She hopes to compete again as a senior, if competitions aren’t cancelled because of COVID. COVID has already delayed the start of in-person school.
“Although starting school virtually isn’t ideal, it’s for the safety of the students and staff,” she says. “I think it’ll be difficult to adjust to it at first, but after a week or so, I believe that we’ll all get a hang of it. I’m looking forward to get back into learning and begin my senior year. Hopefully the virtual learning works out well, and we can be back at school soon!”
Her hobbies include taking pictures and painting. She paints on canvas with acrylics.
“I like to paint different cartoons, I like beach sights – beach landscapes and surf boards,” she says.
Dircie also sings and writes her own songs.
“Mostly R and B and pop,” she says.
Last summer, she attended the High School in Israel program at the Alexander Muss High School.
“It was a really cool experience, I got an insight to what it’s like to be independent,” she says. “I met a ton of people. I learned a lot about myself as well.”
Her favorite place in Israel is Tel Aviv.
“It’s so diverse. It accepts everybody,” she says. “Everyone feels loved and comfortable.”
Dircie also has her own business, creating and selling her own lip glosses and accessories on Instagram.
“I guess quarantine has made me even more creative,” she says.
For college she’s looking at schools most in Florida like the University of Florida, Florida State, and the University of Central Florida. She plans a pre-med major.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld