Look Out World, Here They Come!

The future is indeed looking bright! We are proud to present our 2014 Teens to Watch.

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Every September we have the distinct pleasure of identifying ten young people in our community who are remarkable in every way. Like those from years past, this year’s teenagers are smart, engaged, dedicated and focused. They represent a diverse mix—a philanthropist who is helping educate girls in Africa, an award-winning photographer, an engineer researching green technology, and a fencer with Olympic aspirations. The fact that they are high achievers is a given—their accomplishments in academics, the arts and sports are multifold. They are also passionate about their interests and tireless in their efforts to have a positive impact on the world in which they live. Read on to meet this year’s group.


Entertainment King

Thomas Catenacci
Class of 2015

Thomas Catenacci has always loved watching movies—as a fifth- grader he used to beg his mother to take him to Blockbuster, a place he called “magical”—and by his sophomore year, he discovered he loved making movies, too. Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Greg Ivan Smith are just some of the filmmakers he admires.

For his inaugural production, Thomas collaborated with a friend, J. P. Lewis, on a twenty-four-minute documentary about the King Low Heywood Thomas hockey team and its journey to the league championships. He wrote the script, staged the shots and edited hours of film. Not only was it his first film, it was also his first time handling a camera. “Every single aspect of movie-making really appealed to me,” he says. “You work so hard to create five minutes, and I love that.”

The film was a success, garnering praise from students and teachers. A short-lived association with MSG sports network inspired Thomas to start his own film club called King TV. “We don’t have many members yet, but I think it was successful,” he says. Sure enough, the club produced two videos in quick succession, one about homecoming and another about King’s seven-member girl’s basketball team. Thomas has several more projects in the pipeline: a documentary about the football team—“They’ve never won the league championships; they think we will be good luck”—and a weekly scripted talk show, with a Jimmy Fallon-type host. Each seven-minute segment will feature a short monologue, a comedy sketch or two, and timely info on school events.

Largely self-taught, Thomas says he thinks about filmmaking every day. “People think I’m crazy. I walk the halls with eight bags of equipment and three tripods on my back.”

Last summer he attended a five-day intensive at Fairfield University, which he calls “the craziest five days of my life.” His black and white short Connection was a powerful take on the dangers of being too close to a social network.

The summer passed in a flash for this busy filmmaker, who did several videos for a New York City-based start-up, Moonlyt; created his own website; and shot a music video for a King classmate. As he considers his plans post-graduation, Thomas is considering a variety of options.  “I’m interested in making films,” he says. “But I’m also interested in the business of film and producing.”

On Point 

Isabella Chung
Class of 2016

When she was ten, Isabella Chung wanted to take up skiing, but her father suggested she try fencing instead. Good call. Today, the Greenwich Academy junior is one of the top-ranked junior fencers in the United States. She trains five days a week at the Fencers Club in New York City. During the school year, that means catching the 3:40 train into Grand Central, walking to the club on 28th Street and practicing up to five hours a day. “Fencing has really changed my life,” she says. “It has taught me determination and diligence, and opened me up to other cultures and experiences. I think fencing brings out the best in me.”

It has certainly taken Isabella to a growing list of countries where she has won a growing collection of laurels. Among her career highlights: First place in the 2012 Singapore World Cup and the 2012 Hong Kong Fencing Championships. This year, she ranked in the top 16 in the Junior Olympic Championships and placed 22nd in the 2014 Division 1 National Championships, earning her the chance to represent team USA in the Cadet World Cup. (Before each match, she listens to underground rap to get her adrenaline flowing.) She and six teammates traveled to matches in Italy, Hungary, Germany and France. “I love the feeling of representing my country and bringing everything to my opponents,” she says.

Isabella practices the art of foil, one of three disciplines, which she says is best suited to her small frame. “I do a lot of leg and foot work,” she says. “A lot of squats, back and forth, and drilling one on one.” Her style has evolved over the years, and she takes advantage of every opportunity to learn from more experienced fencers. “I have a lot to learn physically and mentally. Many of the older people who come into the club aren’t as fast, but they have good timing.” One of her biggest role models is Miles Chamley-Watson, who won the men’s individual foil in the 2013 World Championships and is a member of the Fencers Club. “He’s very compassionate about helping other fencers,” she says.

Despite her grueling schedule, the seventeen-year-old manages to find time for schoolwork—English is a favorite subject—and “snacking, napping and hanging out with my friends.” She has her sights set on college—as long as there is fencing—and the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.


Greenwich Agenda

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese

     @ Meli-Melo

    Meet Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese & Take Home a Signed Copy of His New Book! Kevin is a holistic health practitioner,...

  • Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon | Greenwich, CT

     @ Milbrook Club

    Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon will be held at Milbrook Club. Registration 11:30am; start at...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • Verismo - Opera Arias and Ensembles

     @ Round Hill Community Church

    Music from the Heart at Round Hill  “Verismo – Arias and Ensembles,” an opera concert, will bring drama and passion...

  • Aaron Henry Trunk Show & Personal Appearance

     @ Richards

  • Curiosity Concerts Season Opening: SONIC ESCAPE

     @ Greenwich Library Cole Auditorium

    The Greenwich Arts Council's Curiosity Concerts opens its second season of free classical music concerts for families on Saturday, Sept. 27,...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Bistro Versailles Wine Dinner

     @ Bistro Versailles

    Wine dinners at Bistro Versailles are entertaining social events held on a regular basis. Socialize with friends and mingle with other...

  • Joie Special Shopping Event

     @ Joie

    Joie invites you to a special shopping event! Enjoy wine & hor d'oeuvres while shopping 20% off your purchase Enter to win a...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance's Go For Pink Shopping Event

     @ Greenwich Avenue area

    Breast Cancer Alliance announced that it is partnering with Greenwich merchants for a special day of events and shopping on Thursday, October 2nd...

  • Muddy Up 5k Adventure Run & Family Fun Walk

     @ Camp Simmons

    Are you ready for some MUDDY fun? Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich is proud to host the 3rd annual Muddy Up 5k Adventure Run & Family Fun...

  • Sweat for a Cause

     @ SoulCycle Greenwich

    The Young Women's League of New Canaan (YWL) is sponsoring its first fundraiser of the season, "Sweat For A Cause" at SoulCycle...

  • Flower Power

     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

Show More...

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