Twelve-year-old Jordan Benzaken, a sixth-grader at , shines on the baseball field as a member of North Stamford Little League's Italian Center team.
In fact, according to her coaches, she may just be the first female to hit a home run at . And her catching skills aren't too shabby either: not only is she a catcher for her team, she's also known for catching many of the balls that make their way into the stands while attending New York Mets games with her dad.
In addition to her baseball skills, Benzaken also shows promise in karate, cooking, music and academics. Patch spoke with the straight-A student about her love of competition on and off the baseball field.
Patch: So, Jordan, you what do you love most about participating in team sports?
Well, I like to see everyone putting in their hardest when it's time for a game. I just like playing sports.
Patch: And tell me a little bit about your karate skills.
I'm an adult black belt and I go to the Dojo on Long Ridge Road. We do a lot of different activities in class, but my favorite weapon is the staff. As a part of the Elite Leadership team, I get to do different demos to get kids interested in karate. I've done solo demos for The Boy Scouts and at St. Leo's Fair.
Patch: And tell me about school. What are you favorite subjects and why?
My favorite is social studies. I have a really cool teacher named Mr. Kulish. He does lots of fun activities with us. We do all of our projects in school, so that the kids can show that they are capable and not their parents. I also like doing math because I find it easy.
Patch: I heard you also like to play instruments. What do you play?
I play the drums at school and I play the guitar at home. I like to play a lot of old songs on the guitar like The Beatles, James Taylor and John Denver.
Patch: You also write poetry? Wow... what do you like to write about?
This year, I won first place in a state [poetry] contest and it got published in a book. It was about what I think of the world. It was pretty deep.
Patch: You seem to be involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. How do you keep things balanced with school?
Well, I just focus on each activity as I'm doing it. I make sure I get my homework out of the way so that I can focus on what I'm doing. We try to do each activity on separate days of the week so it doesn't get to be too much.
Patch: And what do you like to do when you're just hanging out?
I usually just hang out at home and play soccer or tennis. I love cooking too. My sister and I have "Iron Chef" competitions against my parents.
Patch: What kinds of dishes do you cook?
The last time, we made burgers. I put spinach on mine, which was really good. We won.
Patch: And what cuisine do you enjoy eating and cooking the most?
I like Asian food. I love sushi and Thai food.
Patch: And what do you want to be when you grow up?
Hmmm, I think I want to be a chef.