Samara Sharp

Carmel High School senior Samara Sharp reflects on the unique experiences many students have faced as a result of the pandemic and shares her plans for the future.  Samara is the daughter of Adam and Biana Sharp and has two sisters, Liviya, 14, and Elizah, 8.

When did your family move into the neighborhood, and why? 
My family moved into the neighborhood when I was two years old to be closer to our family.  My father grew up near Carmel, and the Village really appealed to my mom because it reminded her of the way she grew up in Boston. We had loved living in the Village so much that when we outgrew our first house, my parents found another house in the Village. 

Tell us a little bit about your family?
 I live with my mom and dad, two sisters, and two dogs that are both Irish Setters and are named Duke and Mac. My dad is a physician, and my mom has her own business doing permanent makeup. Even though we all are extremely busy, my family is close and prioritizes being together. We love to travel and experience new things, cooking, take our dogs on walks around the Village, and have family game nights. 

What activities have you been involved in?
I have been a dancer since I was 5 years old, and currently, I’m on the competition team at Performers Edge. I have also been a member of both dance teams at Carmel High School since freshman year. They are called Charisma (soccer season) and Coquettes (winter season). I was a member of the house of representatives all four years of high school as well and a member of the National Honors Society my senior year. 
Talk about your last year in high school, the college you will be attending, and your plans and goals for the future.
I think that I had a very unique and atypical experience in high school.  Freshman year felt normal with meeting new people and getting used to a new environment.  The COVID pandemic began during my sophomore year, junior year, we had a hybrid schedule, and fortunately for my senior year, we went back to full time. In my senior year, I have enjoyed spending time with all of my friends, and it is sad to know this is my last year fully living at home. I am very grateful we were able to have all our sporting events and dances. I am attending Indiana University in the fall as a direct admit to the Kelley School of Business, most likely majoring in entrepreneurship. I also hope to take prerequisites for dental school in hopes of one day becoming a dentist. 
What or who do you think best prepared you for college? 
My dad has been an immense help in navigating the application and visiting process. He even took me all the way to Boston to explore colleges there. He is an alumnus of IU, and I am really excited to be going there also because he knows the campus well and can come and visit me with the rest of my family easily. My dad has taught me a lot of life lessons, but one thing he has taught me that has stuck with me is you don’t get anywhere without working hard, and I think this will drive me through my college education. 
If you’ve had a mentor, tell us about them and how they have helped to guide you. 
Not to be cheesy, but I truly believe my biggest mentor is my mom. I tell her everything in my life, and if I need advice, she always knows exactly what to tell me. She has always believed in me and told me I could do anything I want to do if I put my mind to it. 
Tell us about something you’ve achieved or some highlights of your experiences so far.
 During my senior year, I have had the opportunity to assist in teaching some of the boys in my grade a three-minute dance to perform at the Champions Together fundraiser.  This is an organization that focuses on promoting the support, inclusion, and acceptance of those with intellectual disabilities. Dance Marathon is a great event I have been able to participate in annually for my four years in high school. To participate, I had to obtain sponsors who pledged donations. Along with dancing for multiple hours, I was able to perform on a stage in front of everyone with my team. It felt really good to show people what I enjoy doing while at the same time giving back to my community by raising money for an incredible cause. Finally, When the COVID-19 pandemic started in the second semester of my sophomore year, it impacted my life slightly, but as it got worse and worse, I realized that it impacted others’ lives much more. My family and I decided to join Meals on Wheels and set up our own fundraiser to help provide elderly people who were most at risk if they left their homes to receive the meals they needed while in quarantine. I am very proud that we were able to raise over $3,000. 

Who is someone you admire? What makes them special, and how have they inspired or motivated you? 
Someone I admire so much is my grandma, Rachel Serebro. She immigrated to this country with just my mom with no money and not knowing English 43 years ago from Ukraine. She worked very hard to be where she is today and to afford my mom all the opportunities she had growing up. My Grandmother has taught me to be grateful for and admire all of the amazing things somebody with no advantages can accomplish in America. 
We’ve experienced some unusual times with the pandemic.  Any thoughts on how it has affected you, your family, and/or your high school experience? 
After Covid started and we were all quarantining, it occurred to me that this was a shared experience that I would have in common with my peers forever. Virtual school helped me to understand how to better manage my time, and I was grateful to have more time with my family. I became much closer with my sisters over quarantine because we were forced to spend lots of time together. It was challenging to watch my dad navigate the obstacles of Covid while being an emergency room physician, but I am glad that the intense period of Covid is over. And again, I was grateful to be able to have a more typical senior year in high school.