Fun Fact #1. Dolphins swim in pods. “[They] are social mammals that interact with one another, swim together, protect each other, and hunt for food as a team. Most pods contain anywhere from 2 – 30 dolphins depending on the species and the situation, however there are occasions when pods gather with other pods to form superpods of 100 or even several thousand dolphins!”
For four years, Milena Pulley has been part of the Cape Henry superpod. Despite arriving at Cape Henry without knowing many people, and being one of the youngest in her class, Milena embraced her new environment and quickly made her presence known.
At Cape Henry, community is embedded in the fabric of everything we do; it’s who we are and no one better exemplifies this than Milena. In addition to being a Captain of the Varsity Cheer Team, Milena has also served as a member of the Track and Field Team (both Indoor and Outdoor), the Black Student Alliance (BSA), the Gay Student Alliance (GSA), the Middle School Mentors Club, and the Varsity Dance Team.
When presenting Milena with this year’s Core Value Award for Community, her Varsity Cheer Co-Captain, Halle Speight ‘20 stated “one of my peers comes to mind when I think of the core value community. She is someone who is dependable, hardworking, caring, resilient, supportive, and always has a smile. She is a leader, not only in her actions as a captain on the Varsity Cheer Team, and in her involvement in her clubs such as the BSA. These qualities have made this young woman an amazing leader, but also an amazing friend.”
In reflecting on Milena as a student and dancer, Mrs. Ericka Ricks, Director of Dance, said “I was instantly aware that Milena was a vessel of natural God-given talent. Her abilities to dance effortlessly struck my heart immensely. I am truly going to miss seeing her beautiful smile and spirit in the halls every day. It has been my honor to have been able to teach her at CHC. I have no doubt that Milena will succeed in whatever she puts her mind to. Milena was determined to leave her mark at CHC, and that indeed she did.”
Similarly, when asked about Milena as a captain, her Varsity Cheer Coach, Julie Ramsey, said “She has just been one of those special students who has matured into an incredible leader, person, and friend. She leads by example and asks no less from her teammates. At times, she can be very quiet, but when she speaks--everyone listens. I just adore Milena and cannot wait to see the amazing things she will accomplish at NC State!”
Fun Fact #2. Wolves travel in packs. Like dolphins, “wolves are very social animals. They live and hunt together in groups called packs. A wolf pack is really just another name for a family of wolves.” In the Fall, Milena will leave the CHC Dolphin superpod, and join the NC State Wolfpack.
Initially, as Milena began her college process, NC State was a contender, but seemed like more of a dream school than reality. She recalls liking the school for a long time, but didn’t believe she would get it in, so initially, she didn’t apply, choosing instead to focus on the other schools she’d visited and applied to, like George Mason and UNC Charlotte. However, at her mother’s insistence, she made her way back around to NC State and decided to apply after visiting and feeling that was the place for her. Luckily, she was accepted just a few short weeks later.
In preparing for college, Milena says “I’m looking forward to the freedom that I’m gonna be able to have, and also the new relationships I’m gonna make.” However, she will “definitely miss being all together as a Dolphin community [especially] since the year didn’t finish out exactly how we all thought it would.”
Fun Fact #3. “Superpods usually only last for short periods of time. Once they finish participating in the activity, the dolphins will return to their smaller pods with their family and/or friends until they meet up with other dolphins for the next gathering.”
Though Milena’s time in the Cape Henry superpod is coming to an end, she leaves behind a lasting legacy including advice for younger Dolphins, urging them to “get involved in anything that interests you at all, there is nothing holding you back. You could meet people that you have so much in common with, who you never thought would talk to you.”
Milena--we love you, we will miss you, and we can’t wait for the next Dolphin gathering!