The latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week is a standout on stage and the only female member of her school's baseball team. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
It's apparent from the second you meet Gabrielle Brown that she's got a big personality. And that certainly plays well at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she studies drama.
"Gradually as I've gotten older it's become less about being on stage, though I still love that, as opposed to just having these raw emotions and being able to display them and go to extremes that I wouldn't be able to go to. It's cathartic in a way," says Gabrielle.
When asked what makes her talented on stage, Gabrielle's drama teacher Lee Lobenhofer responded by saying, "Her ability to transcend and put herself into the skin of another character."
It's easy to see how her acting skills transfer to the classroom. She says her favorite subject is English and her teachers say her language skills are enhanced by all her different roles in plays and productions.
"She sees all of literature as not just words on a page, but as representation of lived experience and real exchanges between real characters and I think that's due in part to her dramatic training," says English teacher Daniel Dorogusker.
It's also fitting that with her outsized personality she's the only girl on LaGuardia's baseball team. She's played baseball all her life and never considered making the switch to softball, it's a move her coach calls gutsy.
"I think it takes a lot of guts to initially come forward and say I want to play baseball, you never know how you're going to be accepted," says baseball coach Robert O'Connor.
Gabrielle says her teammates treat her like any other ballplayer.
"It's the team camaraderie type of thing where we all kind of poke at each other and it's all in good fun and it's nice to be a part of that kind of squad, have that team mentality," she says.
Gabrielle has so many varied interests she's not sure exactly what she wants to study next fall in college, but she is sure she's ready to learn.
"I want to study things that break my creative barriers and I just want to become just a more knowledgeable person," says Gabrielle.
So, for breaking barriers and pushing the limits, Gabrielle Brown is the latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.