Allahja Loewy is a 13-year-old who lives in Harlem with his mom. He just finished his first summer in our program and is heading into the 8th grade at The Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem. He recently fielded some questions from Charlie Hanger, our digital content manager.
CH: This summer was your first time in our program. What did you think?
AL: It was fun and I really liked it, and I’m excited to come back in the fall. The kids and teachers and pros are nice. Everybody had personalities that were easy to get used to, which made it comfortable.
CH: What were your favorite parts of our summer program?
AL: I really liked our trips to the golf course, and I especially enjoyed chipping. I also liked character education, when we read the Black Panther comic book and watched Black Lightning. We talked about both with each other and Reggie (Mays Jr.), about the sacrifices and turmoils of the characters. We talked about how King T’Challa had to sacrifice his own country’s resources to protect the world.
CH: Were you nervous about joining the program?
AL: I was mostly excited because I like to try new things and meet new people. I had never played golf before, and I thought I would be really bad at it, but I’m actually really good. And being here has felt like a second home to me. We talk and listen to each other and have conversations we wouldn’t normally have in school.
CH: You’re a baseball player. What positions do you play, and what similarities do you see between baseball and golf?
AL: I love baseball. I’m a third baseman and shortstop and want to be a pitcher. Golf helps me with my baseball swing and posture and stance. Especially the driver, where you need a wider stance and stand taller to the ball. I think golf will also help my focus and concentration, which will help when I’m being pitched to. And some of the skills I have from baseball help me with golf, like when I use the same hip rotation from my baseball swing to help me hit the golf ball farther.
CH: What are some of your other interests?
AL: I like to watch anime, especially “Sword Art Online.” I also like board games — checkers and chess, Trouble, Sorry, Monopoly.
CH: What were the highlights of the summer STEM lessons?
AL: We’ve been working with Charlie (Cohen) to do coding and programming. We used Code Pen to make lines and purple rain on a digital canvas, and we made a version of Galaga. With Omar (Mendoza), we made bridges out of popsicle sticks. We tested one and it was strong enough to hold over 190 golf balls hanging under it in a bucket.
CH: What’s your favorite subject in school?
AL: Math. It’s something I’ve always been good at, since I was like 3.
CH: What do you want to do when you grow up?
AL: I want to be a professional baseball player. I’ve also thought about the Navy. I want to study computer science in college, and that could help me work on computers and navigation on ships.
CH: Are you reading any books?
AL: I love reading. One of the books I’m reading now is Gregor and Code of Claw, about a boy who is basically the warrior of the underworld, and there’s a prophecy saying he has to sacrifice himself when they go to war. But he also has to protect his family, his mother is sick in the hospital, his best friend gets killed, his sister gets kidnapped — there’s a lot of stuff that happens in the story! I like stories that have so much detail and good stuff that I can just imagine them and watch them play out in my head like a movie.
CH: Ok, last question: What kind of music are you into?
AL: I like ’80s rock, Bon Jovi and stuff. My mom got me into that kind of music. I also like Queen and Michael Jackson; my favorite song is “Thriller.”