Growing up around Peninsula High, it was no surprise that recent graduate Jordan Quick had an immense amount of Panther pride.
"To me, Panther pride is all about having pride in your school and loving everything about your team and the school you represent when you're wearing that uniform," Quick said. "You want to make your school proud, and represent them the best way you know how."
Quick learned a lot about Panther spirit growing up around her father's basketball teams at the Rolling Hills Estates campus. Jim Quick was Peninsula's boys’ basketball coach for 13 years before stepping away in 2015.
It wasn't just Panther pride she learned from her father, it was the leadership qualities he passed on.
"I learned a lot about how to lead from him," Quick said.
Her Peninsula swim coach, Brian Helmrich, saw those qualities in Quick from the minute she stepped onto campus as a freshman.
"She had great character, great spirit, was organized and had great leadership—everything you could want in a captain," Helmrich said. "There's no doubt with her father being a coach, it taught her how to demonstrate character."
When it came time to nominate athletes for Peninsula's annual athletic awards, Helmrich and his coaching staff did not hesitate to give Quick the nod for Captain of the Year.
"She had a great work ethic at practice, and was great at getting everyone in the pool to get practice started," Helmrich said. "She always cheered for the team, and showed a lot of Panther pride. What I really enjoyed about her was her camaraderie with her team and who she carried the team through with her spirit."
Quick knew about the nomination, but was not aware of her selection as one of Peninsula's Captain of the Year awardees until receiving in an email shortly after the June 3 Zoom presentation.
When she opened the email, however, she said she was rather excited.
"I'm so honored that coach (Helmrich) thought I deserved it, and not just him but everyone who voted," Quick said. "Pen has been like a second home to me, and I'm so proud to have made my mark on the school."
Quick wasn't just involved with the Panther swim program. Her Peninsula activities included being an acting member of the Zoo, the school's student cheering section, and Best Buddies International, a club that builds one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.
"I got involved with Best Buddies as a freshman, and I've always been a people person and wanted to do something that had meaning," Quick said. "It taught me that I'm really fortunate to do everything I'm able to do, to have all of the friends that I have, and it put into perspective how blessed I am to have the friends I have, and to provide that same type of friendship to people who have trouble making friends."
After carrying a 3.77 GPA at Peninsula, Quick is now on the Island of Oahu at the University of Hawaii, where she has decided to study Marine Biology.
"Growing up in Southern California, I was always close to the ocean, and the beach has been my happy place," Quick said. "My grandfather would take me to the tide pools, and my dad would always watch Shark Week. I want to share my love of the ocean with other people, and I want them to take care of it. I want to share my love and appreciation for the ocean, and protect it."