“It’s about how you interact with the world around you,” the Year 13 student at ACG Sunderland explains. “Biology makes you realise that what you learn is actually relatable to the rest of the world, it’s not just a school subject. I like that I’m studying not just to write an exam, but to apply what I learn to everyday life.”
Alongside top academic results, Gaea is in a selection pool for the New Zealand Junior Badminton team. The discipline and focus needed to play sport at a high level help her achieve in other realms of her life, she says. “Badminton is a mental game as well as a physical game – every shot has a purpose. Because it’s fast-paced, you have to think quickly, so you learn not just tactics, but mental skills to stay focused and strategies to keep a clear head. You can use those same strategies to help you focus on school work, exams, and all life skills really.”
She will need those skills if she is to fulfil her dream of going to one of the top universities in the United States next year – Stanford – to study Biochemistry. With the support of her school, she is studying towards her SATs, the first stage of the application process. Eventually she would like to be involved in finding and developing new treatments for viruses like Ebola and Zika. “It’s using medicinal chemistry to solve health problems, and help people,” she explains.
Helping people is obviously important to Gaea, who is a deputy house leader at ACG Sunderland. She takes pride in organising events and assisting her peers at the school. “The way I view the role is we get to serve the school and the students and make sure they can get the most out of their time here,” she explains.
Gaea Galvez – Badminton highlights
New Zealand National Championships 2016:
- Women’s Singles: Semifinalist
- Women’s Doubles: Semifinalist
World Junior Championships 2016:
- New Zealand Team Member
- Girl’s Singles: Runner-Up