By John Philip Wyllie
Standing at just a shade under 5’2” Bonita Vista High School’s Dana Levine is not likely to intimidate many of her lacrosse opponents with her size. That however, hasn’t stopped this feisty daughter of Mexican emigrants from making a major impact on coach Ralph Carrier’s lacrosse team.
“Although diminutive in size, Dana is very aggressive,” Carrier said. “She plays with an old-fashion wooden cross, so that gives her a little more power when she is checking. Dana is very adept at blocking shots, knocking the ball loose and flicking it up to somebody on our team.”
Levine has learned to compensate for her lack of size with a combination of skill, hustle and smarts.
“She plays a lot bigger than she is, so she has become somewhat of an inspiration to the other defenders,” Carrier said. Intelligent and intuitive, Levine often anticipates what is coming before the play develops. Lacrosse is just one of the many ways in which she utilizes her razor sharp mind and nearly inexhaustible supply of energy.
Currently ranked third academically in Bonita Vista’s class of 2005, Levine hopes to pursue a career in the sciences once she completes her college education.
“I’m not entirely sure what I would like to do eventually, but I really enjoy the field of neuroscience. How the brain functions is something that is really interesting to me. Maybe I will throw in a little biogenetic engineering so that I can treat disease on a more genetic level,” Levine said.
Levine’s efforts in the field of science have resulted in a long list of awards including: first place ribbons in the California State Science Fair and the Greater San Diego Science Fair for her work in behavioral science, a $1000 Governor’s Scholarship Award and an award from the recent Regional Science Olympiad Tournament for her knowledge of Qualitative Analysis.
In addition to her study and sports commitments, Levine somehow finds the time to volunteer nearly every Saturday as a youth counselor.
“I’m a youth counselor at the KEN Jewish Community Center,” Levine explained. Serving primarily the local Mexican-Jewish community, the center offers kids a good way to create friendships and learn about world events and life’s lessons in general. “It is sort of like a summer camp except that we meet every Saturday,” Levine said.
Levine believes that the key to success is in doing something that you love. Having enjoyed considerable success in a wide range of different pursuits, the hardest part for her might one day be in deciding what she does best.