Senior Spotlight – Gerard Nifras

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Stephanie Zhang, Junior Staff Editor

Gerard Nifras is a senior at North Arlington High School with an outstanding academic and extracurricular record. At school, he is involved in many different clubs, such as the Game Design Club, Robotics, the Viking Saga, National Honor Society, and the Interact Club. He also holds two leadership positions, being the president of the Robotics Club, where he helps everyone get along and delegates roles for the team to run efficiently, and the lead artist of the Game Design Club, where he designs and animates characters for their game.

In the classroom, Gerard is an excellent student. He takes many higher level classes, having taken AP Language and Composition and AP U.S. History as a junior. This year, Gerard has taken the challenge to take four AP classes: AP Government and Politics, AP Calculus, AP Biology, and AP Art Portfolio. Throughout his years at NAHS, Gerard says that his favorite class has to be Anatomy and Physiology. He explains, “not only does it help me get a head start for when I prepare for my pre-med track in college, the subject answers some of my burning questions about why humans act the way they do, including their thoughts and movements. Anatomy and Physiology breaks down famous misconceptions and stereotypes about the human body while deciphering how the human body works.”

Outside of school, Gerard engages in many interesting hobbies. He enjoys drawing and other art related activities. Gerard states that “I draw today because there are many things I want to draw and nail down by memory. Experimenting with different mediums and techniques can help capture their aesthetic and give you the right to flex on people when necessary.” In his free time, Gerard likes to watch anime and dive deep into the rabbit hole on YouTube or listen to 80s music, which reminds him of his family. He also makes YouTube videos and has fun voice acting characters. On his YouTube channel, Gerard uses Angry Birds to discuss problems that many of his audience may face. He says that “the fact that kid-appealing characters like Angry Birds are not safe from teenage emotions says volumes about how crucial it is to tell the audience that they are not alone in their internal struggles.”

As he recounts his high school career, Gerard says that his proudest moment would be becoming a world champion during his time in the Robotics Club. He explains, “nobody ever expected world champions outside of school sports. This win opens up opportunities for the robotics club to become a highly competitive club.” Gerard considers his biggest achievement to be his time tutoring a student, in which he helped the student raise their Algebra grade from a 48 to a 68 and then a 91 in the next marking period. Gerard will be continuing his education at Kean University, where he plans on getting a bachelor’s degree in biomedicine. During that time, he plans to prepare for an excellent medical school and will be learning as much about neuroscience as he can so he can become a neuroradiologist.