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Terrific Teens … Spotlight on Zack Goldman

As seen in the annual ‘Terrific Teens’ issue of West Hartford Magazine, 2015. Zack Goldman is a 2015 graduate of KO. Photo by Todd Fairchild/ShutterbugCT.com

As seen in the annual ‘Terrific Teens’ issue of West Hartford Magazine, 2015. Zack Goldman, of West Hartford, is a 2015 graduate of Kingswood Oxford.

By Katie Cavanaugh. Photos by Todd Fairchild/ShutterbugCT.com

For our fifth annual spotlight on recent West Hartford high school graduates, we were once again challenged because the pool of “Terrific Teen” candidates is virtually never-ending. We discovered teens with talents, tastes for travel, and thirsts for new challenges – both big and small. Every young person has an interesting story, and what resulted are eight stories about eight great role models whose aspirations will inspire anyone of any age.

As seen in the annual ‘Terrific Teens’ issue of West Hartford Magazine, 2015. Zack Goldman is a 2015 graduate of KO. Photo by Todd Fairchild/ShutterbugCT.com

As seen in the annual ‘Terrific Teens’ issue of West Hartford Magazine, 2015. Zack Goldman is a 2015 graduate of KO. Photo by Todd Fairchild/ShutterbugCT.com

For our male Terrific Teen from Kingswood Oxwood, Zack Goldman, life is an adventure.

In the summer of 2012, Zack injured his foot. He was a rising junior in high school at the time and was hoping to play college basketball. Zack did not want an injury to stand in the way of being recruited, so he decided that he was going to repeat his junior year. This meant that it would take him five years to graduate.

Instead of being sad or resentful, Zack decided to take advantage of his extra year and he spent his second semester of his junior year studying in Israel.

Upon returning to West Hartford, Zack’s plans changed. He attended an elite basketball camp in Boston and realized he did not want to play college basketball. “Being there, and seeing the craziness of it, is when I decided I was done,” he said. “I just want to have time to try new things.”

Now a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Zack is majoring in Physical Therapy. He is not on the basketball team, but he hopes to play club basketball and participate in community service projects.

While at KO, Zack was the captain of the basketball team and worked in the admissions department giving tours of the school. He was a member of the Cum Laude Society, indicating that he was in the top 20 percent of the senior class. During his time at KO, Zack also went on a two-week service trip to Tobati, Paraguay where he said he “repaired sidewalks and helped make additions to a school.”

During this past summer, Zack continued to combine his passion for travel and community service by volunteering at a school for impoverished children in Morocco. “They were either orphans or were living on the street,” said Zack. “They were just happy to be playing.”

He has also visited Canada, Italy, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

Zack has developed a hobby that some people might not find so appealing. “I like to eat the weirdest food when I travel,” he said. Tongue, cricket, blowfish, horse meat, and wild boar – Zack has tried it all. However, ironically enough, he said his favorite food is a simple turkey sandwich.

He does not just take on challenges; Zack goes out of his way to find them. From swimming 2.4 miles using only his arms to biking extremely long distances, Zack has proven his athletic prowess again and again. “I do strange athletic things just to see if I can do it,” he said.

Among his biking accomplishments, Zack has done a century bike tour and biked to New York State and back to Connecticut. He also participated in Bike Virginia during which: “You bike around Virginia and set up camp.”

Zack has traveled the world and pushed himself to his limit, but this would not have been possible without a strong support system. Zack said he is thankful for his parents and would not have been able to accomplish any of his goals without them. “My parents sort of encourage (my siblings and me) to try new things and expand our horizons,” he said. “I appreciate that they support me.”

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