BE's Emma Albano shines in the classroom and on the athletic field
Life can be a challenge when you are a freshman in high school and your older brother is the big man on campus.
But Emma Albano is hardly in her brother’s shadow. Leo is a three-sport star at Bishop England and is ranked No. 5 academically in his class. But Emma has made a name for herself as well. She played three sports her freshman year and also excels in the classroom.
She placed in both the shot put and discus at the recent state track and field championships and helped her team win the Class AAA state title.
And then there are academics. Emma took seven classes this year and was the top student in her biology, algebra II, theology, history, English and French classes. She’s no drama queen, however. Drama was the only class in which she wasn’t ranked No. 1.
“She is such a hard worker,” her father, Leo Sr., said. “She just might be more competitive than he is. She doesn’t want to be in his shadow. At the state meet, someone asked her if she was Leo’s little sister. She responded by saying, “No. He’s my brother.’”
Said Emma: “It wasn’t intimidating being the big man on campus’ little sister. Well, yes, at times I’m ‘Leo’s little sister.’ I couldn’t have asked to be recognized as a better guy’s little sis. I love having him as a role model and he has set the stage for me. But I also know I just have to be the best Emma. They don’t want another Leo. They want an Emma. He’s very supportive and his humility shows me how to behave. If I had to be anyone’s little sister, I’d be his because there is no one I look up to more.”
Her father, Leo Sr., describes his daughter as being an old soul, mature and wise beyond her years. He recalls the time when he and his wife, Wendy, were at the school and the principal approached them. They expected to hear the principal praise Leo Jr. But that wasn’t the case.
“He just wanted us to know that he was impressed that she attended Mass daily at noon,” Leo Sr. said. “We didn’t know that.”
Emma balances academics and athletics like she’s a senior.
“I enjoy having a busy schedule,” she said. “I enjoy feeling as if I’m busy. Playing sports helps me stay focused and organized. I’m kind of OCD when it comes to time and school so sports help me stay calm and focused.”
She’s focused in the classroom and already has a blueprint for her future.
“I want to go into the medical field when I get out of college,” she said. “I’m in love with Clemson’s campus and sports teams. However, I feel as if I could challenge myself at an Ivy League school because I enjoy the idea of an academically challenging environment. I want to be a pediatric neurologist or pediatric oncologist. I’m inspired by a young girl at my church who had leukemia and I want to be able to provide an alternative for young kids who are less fortunate than myself.”
And in this case, big brother, the big man on campus, just might be fortunate to have Emma as a sister.