By Alexis Aberman
With pressure to succeed in school and high stress levels from large work loads, it is easy for students to get caught up in their demanding schedules at Byram Hills High School. Students at Byram Hills attend classes from 7:45 am until 2:25 pm, and they certainly dedicate large sums of time outside of school to completing homework and doing other school-related activities. However, it is not always what students do inside of school but what they do outside that makes them unique members of the Byram Hills community. You would be amazed to learn some of the awesome feats and incredible experiences of Byram Hills students when they are not studying for exams or writing papers!
Many Byram Hills students are very successful athletes outside of school. One of Byram Hills’ impressive students is also an impressive swimmer: Brian Glat. Brian is a junior at Byram Hills High School, and he has been swimming for 10 years. He is a member of the high school’s swim team and has made states every year since his freshman year. Brian competes not only for the school team, but also for the Marlins swim team out of the Boys and Girls Club in Northern Westchester. Brian described that some of his biggest accomplishments include “representing team USA in the Maccabiah Games and making finals in a junior national level meet.” Brian’s excellence in swimming makes him an outstanding individual in the Byram Hills community. Equally exceptional is Maya Hirshman, who has achieved great success as a dancer. Maya has been dancing for 14 years, 9 of which have included competitive dancing. Maya’s commitment to dancing is extensive: she trains very intensely and was even home-schooled for two years in order to maximize the time she dedicated to dance. Maya detailed some of her successes, explaining that she, “has won national titles as well as done an international commercial with [the famous] Maddie Ziegler.” However, Maya’s success goes beyond the stage; she is also a successful model for well known dance brands and has modeled for famous dance photographers.
In addition to outstanding athletes, Byram Hills students have left their mark on the community with their business-related accomplishments. Junior Arjun Goyal attended an entrepreneurship course at Columbia University this past summer where he learned about the entrepreneurship process and the key factors of gaining investors and pitching a product. Arjun describes that he “made a business of buying and selling notes, and the business is now running as a test under [his] friend at his school in Jakarta, Indonesia.” Arjun’s successful work as an entrepreneur has certainly taught him important lessons about how to initiate and implement a business idea. Additionally, Cooper Weiss and Allan Maman are seniors at Byram Hills High School, and they are entrepreneurs who have created a very successful business called Fidget360. Fidget360 produces spinners that are designed to satisfy people who have ADHD or fidget often, and they have been selling these spinners for four months. Both Cooper and Allan described their success, saying, “not only is our company currently valued north of 500k, but we are projected to do 7 figures in sales this year. We employ over 25 kids from the high school and it’s nice being able to employ your homies while seeing your company thrive.” The two have big plans for the future, as their company has attracted the attention of various celebrities and investors. In fact, they explained, “the other week internet entrepreneur Tai Lopez offered to fly us to LA to chill at his Beverly Hills estate. Furthermore, after people like Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors) and Harry Connick Jr. (singer, television show host, and actor) got their hands on some of our products, they were immediately hooked and wanted to invest and help us market.“ It is undeniable that Cooper and Allan’s achievements are very impressive, and they are “excited to see what the future holds!”
Byram Hills students also complete amazing volunteer work outside of school. Freshman Benji Hammond is one such student; he volunteers each Sunday for an organization called Backyard Sports, and he works with children with mental disabilities and gives them the opportunity to learn and play different sports. Benji describes the gratification he feels when working with these kids, and he says, “seeing the smile on the kids’ faces brightens my day.” In addition, senior Matt Blattman volunteered with underprivileged children at the Boys and Girls Club in Northern Westchester. The kids were aged 9 through 12, and many of them had never played tennis before, a sport Matt plays at the varsity level. After noticing this, Matt and some of his friends bought tennis rackets, tennis balls, and nets, and they taught the kids how to play tennis. Matt truly enjoyed the experience, and he explained, “It was cool to develop relationships with kids who lived so close but had such different backgrounds from us.”
The great experiences Byram Hills students have had extend far beyond the classroom, especially in junior Alex Cvern’s case. Alex spent this past summer in Spain living with a family in a Spanish immersion program. Alex lived with the family while attending Spanish classes during the day, and this forced Alex to speak Spanish for the majority of her time spent in Spain. Alex said that this travel experience “was extremely rewarding, as [she] not only improved her Spanish, but also got to explore the amazing city of Salamanca.”
It is quite obvious that Byram Hills students excel in areas that extend far outside of school grounds. All of the impressive achievements and experiences that students at Byram Hills have had add exciting and unique perspectives to the Byram Hills district. The diversity of adventures and accomplishments of Byram Hills students makes our community exceptional, and it is incredible to be a part of a group of remarkable and interesting individuals.