JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) – When Jamestown senior Cecelia “CeCe” Eklum gets involved with something, she goes all out.
“I’m really just very passionate about everything I do and I think that’s the most important thing in life is just finding things you’re passionate about and pursuing that,” CeCe told News 4 Sports.
CeCe is not only passionate about what she does, she’s also really good at it too. Take golf for example, a sport she only picked up a few years ago as a way to keep busy during the early stages of Covid.
“I mainly started golfing because it’s obviously something you can social distance and do during the pandemic. So I really wanted to find a way to get active and get out there when there wasn’t a lot else to do,” CeCe said.
And what started off as a way to get active turned out to be a sport she excels in.
“To see her improvement from just the first practice to where she’s at now to where she’s had medalist honors for the last couple of matches just is a true testament of her drive and dedication to continue to be better,” Jamestown golf coach Joe Salvaggio said.
As for tennis, that’s a sport CeCe started when she was much younger.
“I started tennis when I was really little like about three years old and actually took a break for a while because I didn’t like it at first. And then I picked the racket back up in seventh grade and haven’t stopped since then and I really found a passion it and it was a great way for stress relief especially when school first starts in the fall,” CeCe laughed.
CeCe is a six year girls varsity singles tennis player, three-time sectional qualifier, 2021 CCAA first place County Champion and placed in top eight girls in Section VI. On top of that, she manages to maintain a 99 GPA which makes her our News 4 female scholar athlete for the month of May.
Next year CeCe will attend Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia to study integrated engineering.
“I think the teachers at Jamestown High School especially the STEM teachers really inspired me to pursue a career in science and our STEM teachers at Jamestown definitely made lab super exciting and that’s when I really decided that I wanted to pursue STEM for a lifetime,” CeCe explained.
“She’s more than just a golfer, she’s more than just a student, she’s just a fantastic person and she’s gonna be missed,” Coach Salvaggio said.
Besides academics and athletics, CeCe is also involved in a number of other activities such as the Mock Trial team where she is the Chief attorney and is the 2022 class secretary. She’s also very passionate about giving back to her community and even founded her own community service group when she was in fifth grade that earned her the CLN (Chautauqua Leadership Network ) Award.
“In fifth grade my friends and I we were around the lunch table and we were really just talking about different issues in our community and we decided we really wanted to see a real change and a lot of people talked about making a change and making groups but there really hadn’t been one started,” CeCe said.
“So we created “Kids with a Cause” and nicknamed it “KWAC” and our mascot was actually a duck and we worked mainly with the humane society and St. Susan soup kitchen to really help those in need around our community.”
Ever since then CeCe has been giving back to the community in various ways. And even though high school ending is a little sad, she knows she’ll keep doing what she loves in college.
“I would say it’s a little bittersweet but I want to continue a lot of things like maybe joining Washington and Lee’s intermural golf team because I know they have one and I’d definitely like to continue pursuing a lot of the things I did in high school especially community service,” CeCe said.