Humans of Harker: Arben Gutierrez-Bujari strives to lead a balanced life
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Arben Gutierrez-Bujari (12) is a fierce athletic competitor but makes sure to enjoy and appreciate life.
“It’s important to do what needs to be done,” Arben said. “Academics always comes first; your job always comes first; family always comes first. It is also important to take a pause, and enjoy yourself and not just let it pass by so quickly.”
Arben first joined the water polo team in 6th grade after watching his brother play. After playing varsity water polo for two years, Arben was named Most Valuable Field Player and nominated to the All-League First Team, which eventually made Harker History.
“The most rewarding for water polo was winning the championship game in my senior year,” he said. “Going from a team that barely won to being able to win the championship and going to CCS is really the reflection of all the hard work, all the summers, and all the camps.”
Arben scored three goals in the game against Lynbrook that qualified Harker for CCS, and Harker won the game 12-11.
“When I scored in the last 10 second which got us to overtime and we won in overtime, I just walked back to my water polo stuff and got my towel; I found myself breaking down, crying and realizing that this [was] the last time I was ever going to dry off at the end of a high school game,” Arben said. “It was really surreal.”
Arben’s athleticism carries over from the pool to asphalt and concrete. In preparation for scootering competitions, Arben practices for 11 to 15 hours weekly and travels to compete. Though sponsored by Ionic Pro Scooters and working with Drop in Scooter’s marketing, the most rewarding part of the competitive scootering experience for him was traveling.
“[The most rewarding thing for me was the] outreach I got: being able to meet many people from Australia, being able to travel around, and meet up with people around California,” Arben said. “It was always fun.”
In addition to his passion for competition, Arben values team spirit outside of competition. Joining spirit club his sophomore year, he spearheaded the creation of Flight Zone, worked to provide community events such as ice skating socials and brought Harker’s spirit team to spirit conferences.
“I kind of got myself involved [with spirit] in my freshmen year, and since then it’s kind of been like a goal of mine to try to get as much of the Harker community involved in spirits and have more fun activities,” he said. “Throughout high school, the biggest thing that I wanted was to become a part of the school’s running, rather than just another club on campus.”
Arben believes his efforts in spirit club are a step in right direction for the Harker community.
“Support among peers and a positive attitude are really important,” Arben said. “Of course Harker is super competitive, but I think there is a lot of opportunities for really close-knit communities where it’s positive rather than putting people down for academics or being negative towards a lot of things. If people are more positive, the community will have a better feel. I think we are definitely moving towards that direction.”