In our latest installment of Feature Friday, we shine the spotlight on Union Catholic junior Caitlin Farago.
Farago, who lives in Cranford, is a Student Ambassador, an Honor Roll student, and is a member of the swim team at Union Catholic.
Here is our Q and A with Farago -
What does it mean to you to represent the school as a Student Ambassador, and what do you enjoy the most about serving as Student Ambassador?
It means a lot to me that I get to represent the school as a Student Ambassador. I really enjoy helping people learn about UC and helping them see if UC is the right fit for them. I transferred to UC and everyone was really welcoming, so I want people to know what the culture is like and how it can help you grow.
You are a very talented swimmer, so tell me how it all began. When and why did you start swimming?
My parents got me in the pool at a very young age to make sure I was a strong swimmer because we spend a lot of time around water, at the pool, beach or lake. I took to it really quickly and just loved being in the water. I started competitively swimming when I was 6 years old.
What do you consider your greatest strengths as a swimmer? What makes you as good as you are?
I consider my greatest strength to be my determination and believe that I can improve through my focus and effort. Every time I jump in the pool I want to work as hard as possible to achieve my goals. My relationships with my coaches and teammates play a role in where I am today.
What do you love the most about swimming?
What I love most about swimming is the environment. I love my teammates and my coaches, I love working hard and being determined to reach my goals. In swimming you are responsible for your individual effort but you work as hard as you can in order to support your team. My team has been a huge part of my life over the years.
What do you love the most about being a member of the swim team at UC
What I love the most about being a member of the UC swim team is being able to represent the school. I love being able to show my school spirit through something I love.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in swimming so far?
It’s hard to pick just one accomplishment in swimming because each goal you achieve moves you to the next one. I’m proud of all my goals from my very first Junior Olympic cut to my achievements today. I’m very proud of sticking with my goals through COVID, and of my quadruple win for UC because it helped the team at an important point.
What are your biggest team and individual goals for the rest of this swim season?
The biggest team goals for the rest of this swim season are to continue winning meets – it would be amazing to go undefeated. We’re hoping for a really strong showing at counties and want to have more people qualify for meet of champions. My individual goals are to get some best times and qualify for the meet of champions.
Tell me about the work you do as a coach at the Westfield Y? How old are the swimmers on the team and what do you enjoy the most about coaching them?
I work with a group of new kids on the team, they don’t swim in many meets because their technique and speed need work so they can swim in meets next season. The group I work with ranges between ages 9 and 14. I really enjoy the relationship I build with the young swimmers because I want them to enjoy the sport like I do.
Can you list everything else that you are involved in at UC (any other clubs etc.)?
I am part of the ALS Alliance club with my friends and the Student Athletic Advisory Club.
Can you list all the awards/honors you have received at UC. National Honor Society? Honor Roll etc?
I am part of the Honor Roll at UC.
What does it mean to you to earn those awards, and to achieve so much academic success?
I definitely work my hardest during school to stay on the honor roll.
What do you love the most about being a student at Union Catholic?
What I love most about being a student at UC is that I have made relationships I will keep for the rest of my life. I have great relationships with my teachers and I can feel like I can go to them for anything. I have also made great relationships with peers and made some of my best friends.
Why and how did you decide that UC was the place for you to be? What was it about UC that made you want to be a student here?
I decided UC was the place for me because I needed a fresh start. When I decided to transfer, I already knew a couple people that went to UC and I saw at that Union County meet in 2020 that UC had a good swim team, so I decided this was the place for me.
What kind of advice would you give to younger students who are considering attending UC? Why should they come to UC and what will UC give them that they won’t be able to find at other schools?
I would say to a younger student that is considering UC that there is an opportunity for everyone at UC, everyone has a chance to reach their goals at UC. UC will give you a big community that will always support you.
What specifically can you point to as the things that you’ve benefited from the most from your experience as a student at UC?
I have benefited the sense of community from my experience at UC. There is always there to support you, if it’s a friend, teacher, classmate, coach, etc.
What are you looking forward to the most the rest of this school year?
I am looking forward to the activities at UC that are going to take place in the spring, and for the rest of the swim season.
Favorite class and teacher at UC?
AP US History with Dr. Sagendorf
Favorite UC memory (non-swimming)?
My favorite UC memory is semi-formal, I had a lot of fun and made great memories with my friends.
Favorite UC swimming memory?
My favorite memory on the UC swim team are the meets. I love cheering on my teammates and racing to help the school win. I also love the bus rides to meets, they are always so much fun, especially after a win.
Favorite UC Core Value and why?
My favorite UC core value is respect because everyone at UC is respectful to their peers and their teachers.
How about the future? What type of career would you like to pursue, and do you plan to swim in college?
I would like to become an elementary teacher in the future, I like to work with little kids and I create a great bond with them. I am planning on swimming division 3 in college.
One word to describe your UC experience?