Summer isn’t even here yet, and already Molly Truszkowski has played some softball, helped work on a construction project thousands of miles from home and gone swimming with Carson Wentz.
Oh, yeah, she also dissected a frog.
“That was really cool,” the Crestwood High School freshman said. “I’m looking forward to doing more hands-on things in class.”
Molly, 15, is very much a hands-on type of teen, whether it be academics, athletics or the charitable work she does in her spare time. That attitude is one of the reasons Molly is among the 20 students selected to be featured in Excel.
In April, Molly spent a week in Haiti with a group sponsored by Mountaintop Family Center Church. That’s where she helped lay the foundation for a new kitchen at a local orphanage, and participated in Bible school classes for the children.
It turns out that Wentz and fellow Philadelphia Eagle Zach Ertz were in the Caribbean nation at the same time, working on a different project for Mission of Hope Haiti, the Texas-based Christian organization for which Molly’s group was volunteering. Molly and other volunteers had the chance to meet the players and go swimming with them.
“We’re big Eagles fans,” she said, “so that was pretty cool.”
In the end, the Haiti trip is likely to stay in Molly’s memories for a much bigger reason: It could well be the moment she found her true calling. While she has yet to make any formal decisions about schools or specializations, Molly said she has her sights firmly set on medical school.
“I wanted to be a doctor beforehand, but when I was in Haiti that’s when I definitely knew,” she said.
Seeing the medical needs of many Haitians, especially women and children, “was definitely life-changing,” Molly said, adding that she hopes to return to Haiti on a medical mission sometime in the future.
In the meanwhile, she looks forward to building her knowledge of science in biology class — one of her favorites, although dad Mark said Molly is a 4.0 student who has applied herself diligently to her studies since kindergarten.
“My wife and I are just extremely proud of her, and the drive and compassion that she has,” Mark said.
In addition to the Haiti trip, Molly’s compassion also has found an outlet in other church-related activities, including volunteering at an area soup kitchen and watching young children in the kids’ room of her church so their parents can enjoy Sunday services.
Her compassion is complemented by a personal passion: softball, which Molly hopes to play in college.
“I’ve been playing since T-ball and Little League,” said Molly, who covers first base. “I worked my up through some local travel teams, and I just got done with my Crestwood season, on varsity, and now I’m playing for the Conklin Raiders in Binghamton, N.Y.”
Those are a lot of irons in the fire for anyone, especially someone as young as Molly. She offered some wisdom on the fine art of multitasking.
“You have to prioritize,” Molly said. “You have to know what you really care about and what you really want to do and don’t waste your time on things that don’t really matter to you, but still have fun.”
In addition to her dad and mom, Jaimie, Molly’s family includes siblings Cade and Marisa.