Lorelei is a well-known Citrus Y Youth Leader

Lorelei is a well-known Citrus Y Youth Leader

Not often does a student have multiple Ivy League schools to choose from, but for Lorelei Garnet Mohammadbhoy, that was exactly the case. And this fall she is heading to the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).

The 17-year-old extraordinary senior at Lecanto High School has a 4.0 unweighted and 4.929 weighted GPA. A lifeguard for the Citrus Y for almost two years, Lorelei has already accumulated over 615 community hours. She has volunteered for a variety of community groups ranging from Youth in Government (YIG) to EarthEcho International and SCUBAnauts International, just to name a few.

“I have been on our county’s Youth in Government chapter since my sophomore year. YIG is a YMCA program that allows students to engage in a model government completely organized by high schoolers. I have been President of our chapter for two years,” notes Lorelei.

David Reed, Executive Director, Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA, says “Lorelei has been an invaluable asset to our YMCA community since she joined us in October 2022.”

“As both a lifeguard and a swim instructor, Lorelei exemplifies dedication and excellence in her roles. What truly sets Lorelei apart is her unwavering passion for helping children learn to swim. Her commitment to this cause is nothing short of incredible. With boundless enthusiasm, she goes above and beyond to create a nurturing and enjoyable learning environment for the young swimmers under her guidance.”

“Her versatility is evident as she seamlessly juggles her responsibilities as a lifeguard and swim instructor. Always willing to lend a helping hand within her department, Lorelei embodies the spirit of teamwork and community at our YMCA. Her impact extends beyond the pool, leaving a lasting impression on both colleagues and those she teaches. Lorelei's bright personality, combined with her genuine care for others, makes her an indispensable member of our YMCA family. While we are so incredibly proud of her for getting into a dream college, we will be sad to see her go. We wish her the best of luck!”

Lorelei’s community work is nothing short of impressive.  

“I have been with EarthEcho International as the Crystal River Water Ambassador for four years. My responsibilities include testing various locations monthly along the Crystal River, uploading those results to an international platform and writing posts for EarthEcho updating the organization on the condition of our waterways. I was also with SCUBAnauts International during my sophomore and junior years as a scientific diver. Thanks to them, I was lucky enough to travel to the Florida Keys in the summer of 2022 and work with Dr. David Vaughan in his coral nurseries where he grows corals that are to be outplanted (to transplant from a nursery bed, greenhouse, or other location to an outside area) back onto the reefs. Moreover, in the summer of 2023, I was one of eight divers chosen to travel to Honduras to collect scientific data from the reefs of Roatan (the second largest barrier reef system in the world).”

It was last March that Lorelei’s parents took her on a trip to northeast schools. She toured Penn, Columbia, Harvard and Yale.  

“I loved how Penn was in the city of Philadelphia but, while on the campus itself, you felt like you were in your own little town. Penn’s atmosphere compared to the other universities was a driving factor in my decision. The university offers a wide variety of student organizations and felt the most committed to academic freedom and student empowerment. Additionally, Penn offers the Wharton Business School which is an undergraduate program I hope to transfer into later on. Finally, the University of Pennsylvania is the best match for me in terms of what I want to major in and my plans beyond college,” she continues.

At the moment, she is interested in History as a major, but is looking forward to “exploring obscure areas of knowledge and finding something I can be passionate about.”

“Right now, I am working towards becoming a lawyer. My ideal field of practice is probably immigration law, helping to keep families together and allowing others to live the American dream that I have been so blessed to be born into. I would also love to one day work for the Department of Justice or to be a judge for federal courts.”

Jordan Gangi, Aquatics Director at the Citrus Y and Lorelei’s supervisor, shares:

“Lorelei has been an incredible addition to our lifeguard team. When faced with a stressful situation, she is nothing short of calm, professional and responsible. She is quick to react to any potential situation and I am confident that someone in need of help is in very good care when she is on duty. Ensuring the safety of others is always Lorelei’s priority when she is on duty and as one of our most seasoned employees, she has been a leader and a positive role model for newer and younger staff. In addition to her work as a lifeguard, her academic exceptionalism led her to an acceptance at the University of Pennsylvania. There is no one I can think of that would be more deserving. Our YMCA is very proud of her and excited for the bright future she has!”

Commenting on the importance of community work, she adds:

“It is so important for youth to be active in their community because it allows them to build a system of support, which they otherwise wouldn’t have had. Throughout my time with the YMCA, I have experienced so much support from my coworkers and other employees in the organization. Jordan Gangi, the Aquatics Director and my supervisor wrote me an astounding letter of recommendation for my college application, and as I waited for the decision, she was always checking in, just as excited to see if I had gotten accepted as I was.”

“When I finally received my acceptance, she was quick to share it with the rest of our Y. This experience allowed me to realize just how many people I had in my life who have my back and I now understand just how fortunate I am to have them. The support I received from Jordan and others at the Y through my college application journey reassured me that I was never alone in this. Getting involved and being active is more than giving back to your community, it's about letting your community give back to you.”

Well-said Lorelei! Congratulations and best of luck. We know you’ll make the world a better place for all.

Published January 23, 2024