From couch potato to long-distance runner — that's how Tahreem Asghar describes herself.
"In middle school, I was always that kid who just sat in the corner, did nothing the entire time, so I never expected coming in that I would do any sport or exercise in general," said Asghar, a senior at Hostos Lincoln Academy in the Bronx.
Now, she runs half-marathons for fun and she's a member of the Hostos Lincoln Academy track and cross-country teams, specializing in the steeplechase. Asghar says running changed her whole outlook, eating healthier and working out even in the offseason. Asghar says it's because of these teams that she was able to find her place in high school and meet lifelong friends.
"Honestly, it was one of the best decisions I ever made in high school," she added. "I'm really glad I did it."
Even more impressive than Asghar's growth as an athlete is what she's accomplished in the classroom. She'll graduate with her Associate's Degree — even before she accepts her high school diploma. Through a partnership with Hostos Community College, Asghar spent half of her last four years on the college's campus, taking classes like anatomy and statistics.
Still, she never missed a beat in any of her high school courses. Asghar is expected to graduate as the salutatorian of her class.
"Tahreem, as much as she has on her plate, she never seems stressed. She always has time and warmth for others," said Vera Sinnreich, a math teacher at Hostos Lincoln Academy. "She always seems like you're the only person she's talking to right now, there is nothing else on her mind."
In her spare time, Asghar volunteers as a tutor, helping others with reading and math. She also spends her weekends volunteering at a local nursing home. This experience inspired her to follow her dream of one day becoming a doctor.
"People, even though they need help with basic tasks, it feels so good for me to help them," Asghar said.
So for changing course en route to an even brighter future, Tahreem Asghar is NY1's Scholar Athlete of the Week.
The Spectrum News NY1 Scholar Athlete Program recognizes exceptional public high school student athletes with academic scholarship awards of $1,000 each for use towards college expenses. Nominees must be high school seniors enrolled at public high schools within the five boroughs of New York City in order to be considered.
If you are a public school coach, teacher, administrator or school counselor who would like to nominate a student athlete who excels both in the classroom and on the court, click here to fill out a nomination form.