Senior Perspective: Natalie Benoit


Natalie Benoit, Co-Editor

The time has finally arrived. The last few days of my high school career are approaching much faster than I’d anticipated. The memories I’ve made over the course of these past four years have been life altering, and I would not be the student or person I am today had it not been for my time here at NMHS. New Milford High School gave me my best friends and the opportunity to leave an impact on this community. I want to make sure that before I head off into the journey that is life, I acknowledge the commitments and people I’ve encountered thus far.

As student council president, I quickly became more responsible and organized when it came to planning Homecoming, but also improved my presentation skills as a speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. assembly. I realized the significance of networking and communicating with individuals working at all different levels; from discussing plans with fellow peers, to coordinating with the school principal, Mr. Manuppelli, I’m forever grateful for student council. With all the stress field day, the lip dub, mannequin challenge and town wide apparel bring, I still managed to have an exciting and memorable time on student council as President. Even though at times the other members and I were presented with a challenge, we worked with our adviser, Mrs. Chellani, to find a solution every time.

From being a Model UN delegate and Peer Leader, to helping start the UNICEF branch and coordinate the Color Rush, I’ve been able to expand my world through the extracurricular activities I participate in. My moral compass and sense of community strengthened through my involvement as a Girl Scout and as a local cheer coach. Girl Scouts taught me to be honest and hardworking. It gave me two of my best friends and allowed us to help people from all over the community. We donated toys for hospitalized children suffering from cancer, which earned us our Bronze Award. A few years later, this same group of girls created care-packages for a food pantry in town and we were awarded with the Silver Award. Coaching for the past three years for the cheer division of the New Milford Junior Football League was also very gratifying. I was introduced to younger girls who wanted to be cheerleaders and I felt I could relate to them very easily as a cheerleader myself.

Cheerleading has probably had the biggest impact on my life as a high school student. Cheering taught me to be dedicated and responsible from a young age. I started off as a New Milford Junior Football League cheerleader, and went on to be a 4 year varsity cheerleader at NMHS. I cheered in both the football/fall and the competition/winter season. Senior year, I became co-captain and even had the opportunity to cheer on the NMHS football team at MetLife stadium with my fellow teammates. I am grateful for all the friends I made through the sport and my amazingly supportive coach, Dana Aufiero.

The best decision I ever made was perhaps signing up for Mrs. Groff’s journalism class. Both my sophomore and senior year, I was lucky enough to write on this online school newspaper. I expanded my skills as a writer, editor, journalist and photographer. I learned the significance of networking and really harnessed my passion for reporting through my experiences on The Lance. I want to thank all of my English teachers, especially Joanna Westbrook, Barbara Collentine, Carla Urbaez and a very special thanks to my adviser, Mrs. Groff.

Most of all, I want to thank my mom, dad and younger sister, Laura, for motivating me every day to be kinder, stronger, and more hard working. They have always supported my passion for journalism, and I would never be where I am today had it not been for their unconditional love.

This upcoming fall, I will be attending Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. I plan on pursing a 4 year degree as a journalism major (focus on broadcast reporting) with a minor as a public relations specialist.

I wish the best of luck to current and upcoming NMHS students. Remember to always be kind and loving to combat the violence and tension we see in our world today. I hope your time at the New Milford high School is just as unforgettable as mine.