Fiona Flaherty and Cammie Kuwana

Fiona Flaherty and Cammie Kuwana

If one thing is clear, it is that junior Cammie Kuwana is ready for anything.

“I am relentless. If there is something I can’t do, I’m going to want to do it over and over again until I get it right. I may not be good at something, but I’ll make sure that after a certain period of time, I will be good at it. That’s why I love sports so much, because it allows me to pour everything I have into it, until I’m exactly where I want to be and I’m proud of what I can do,” Kuwana said.

As a varsity lacrosse player, Kuwana’s dedication and diligence precede her. She will stop at nothing to make sure that she is doing her best, both on and off the field.

“I am a perfectionist. A lot of times, this works to my disadvantage because I am so fixated on achieving perfection, but it is part of who I am because I am always pushing to be a better version of myself,” Kuwana said.

More often than not, hard work and motivation do not come naturally, so we look to others to inspire us to be the best we can be. Kuwana attributes her dedication to her mother.

“Recently my mother has had a lot of stress, so I have really been trying to be a better daughter for her, so she doesn’t have as much of a burden, because I know she is sacrificing so much for us. I am trying to become more aware, because my mom is so selfless. I’m trying to do the same for her that she is for us,” Kuwana said.

In addition to her mother, Kuwana looks up to another female role model: the studious and brave Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, who shares Kuwana’s love for learning and dedication to family.

“Hermione Granger and I are really similar in a lot of ways. Even my friends compare me to her. If we were in the same room together, we would be long lost sisters,” Kuwana said.

Hermione would fit right in with the Kuwana family. Kuwana comes from a family of dedicated students and has a real-life sister, Claire, who also happens to be a huge fan of Harry Potter. It was Claire who inspired the first-year staff member to join the Sentry. Claire was The Sentry’s head-editor during the 2017-18 school year. Many others would shy away from engaging in the same activities as their siblings, but Kuwana had no doubts about joining The Sentry.

“While it’s hard to live up to what [Claire] does, I end up following in her footsteps anyways. It’s inevitable in some ways, but I do think it’s because she is such a great role model for me. We are more similar than we realise, so when I walk into a class and a teacher says, ‘Oh my gosh, you seem exactly like her; you’re the exact same type of person’, I am glad that people see us as so similar. It is a compliment to be called similar to Claire because she is really well rounded and I am glad that it shows that we are close as sisters. Having those bonds with your family is so important,” Kuwana said.

Despite their similarities, Kuwana is forging her own path in The Sentry as a photographer, in addition to a writer.

“I decided to join the Sentry as a photographer, because last year I took photography and we had a photojournalism unit, and I was extremely into capturing the moment. I liked to read National Geographic a lot, and I always admired the photographers. They would go to such great lengths to take one photograph. It is cliché that one picture is worth a thousand words, but it can be true if a photographer does their job,” Kuwana said.

Kuwana’s tireless work ethic may seem rigid, but fortunately she does have a way to cope with stress.

“Usually my go to is chai tea. It has a lot of caffeine. Whenever I’m stressed I resort to caffeine because I know I will power through whatever I have to do for the next five hours,” Kuwana said.

With her all-business and results-driven exterior, Kuwana likens herself to a grapefruit; despite a tough skin, there is a surprise waiting on the inside.   

“They are really good at the core, but a little bit sour and people have to adjust to that. Sometimes [grapefruits] can also be really sweet and enjoyable even though they have a little bit of a tougher exterior,” Kuwana said.

Kuwana’s ability to be both serious, studious and sweet contributes to a maturity far past her age. She already seems to know herself very well, and this will benefit her greatly in her search for colleges.

“People shouldn’t just go to a place that they think they should go to. They should go to a place that they want to go to; realistically, college is where you live for [several] years, and I want to be able to find a place where I can say that this is the place for me,” Kuwana said.

The Sentry is lucky to have such a forward-looking member on staff. As photojournalists always have to keep their eyes open and their finger on the shutter-release, Kuwana’s diligence and dedication will definitely pay off. Whether on the field or behind the camera, Kuwana is ready to go and ready to make her mark on the world.

 

 

While most people do not find many parallels between sports and journalism, devoted writer and student athlete Fiona Flaherty does.

“I think one of the things that most appealed to me about journalism is, for lack of a better phrase, it is such a team sport… [it] involves so much cooperation, collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking skills,” Flaherty said.

Senior copy editor Flaherty returns to The Sentry for her second and final year. Flaherty plans to continue with journalism, although she is unsure if she will pursue it as a major in college. Regardless of where Flaherty will end up, she will surely continue to incorporate journalism and writing into her life.

“I think that I am a person who is interested in a lot of really different things, so I feel like being something like a travel journalist or a hotel manager or something like that where I really get to meet a lot of people … would be my dream job. Something where I get to talk to people, explore and then write about it,” said Flaherty.

Flaherty has visited various places, but there are two countries that immediately come to mind when asked where she would want to live.

“My heart is torn two ways between Scotland and New Zealand. Those were the only two places I have ever been where I literally set foot there and my heart was pounding,” Flaherty said.

As an avid traveler, it is no surprise that Flaherty is also a fan of other cultures. The self described “foodie” considers Thai food, especially som tam, one of her personal favorites.

“My stepdad was the country director of Peace Corps in Thailand and he was a volunteer there when he was young so I grew up with a lot of influence of Thai culture in my life,” Flaherty said.

Flaherty obviously has a love for the East, since she would grow up in New Zealand if given the choice. This country’s main draw for Flaherty is the emphasis placed on simple joys and nature.

“I feel like I would want to be raised in a culture that’s really outdoor focused. You know, you’re outside all the time doing things; you’re interacting with people,” Flaherty said.

This is a stark contrast compared to urban Arlington, but Flaherty still loves many aspects of Arlington. Flaherty was asked what she will miss most about school when she graduates. Unsurprisingly, she credited her teachers, classmates and friends as being one of the best parts of her experience at our school.

“It’s going to be the people that I’m going to miss the most,” Flaherty said.

While Flaherty’s future is uncertain, she will take full advantage of her last year as part of The Sentry staff. Flaherty’s enthusiasm for writing will surely bring another successful year for her.