It only makes sense that Abigail Romero’s extra-special year would include what amounted to a Sweet 18 party.
And that’s exactly what the Harvard-bound teen got on May 23, as the Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School prom at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury fell on her 18th birthday.
“I had a birthday breakfast at South Bay Diner with my best friend and prom date, and my family got me a gift and flowers the morning of,” Romero said of the day’s itinerary. “The whole day was pretty packed with appointments, focusing on getting ready — hair and makeup, etc. — so there wasn't much time for birthday festivities.”
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind in general these days for Romero, who despite being the Copiague salutatorian was still in awe when she found out she was Ivy League-bound.
“I was so shocked when I opened my acceptance letter back in March,” she added. “It took a few days for it to all sink in.”
She also found out in March that her paper on post-stroke recovery would be published in the annual Pioneer Research Journal. It was a very personal project for Romero, who lost a close family friend to a stroke a few weeks before she applied to the program.
She conducted the research at Northwestern University last summer, which led to the project, ‘How do Perturbation-Based Interventions Help Reactive Balance Control in Stroke Survivors?”
“I wanted to facilitate a quality of life for those who are post-stroke survivors, which is why I looked into specific interventions,” Romero said, “so in the future we could build better rehab centers.”
On prom night Romero got a birthday shout-out from the DJ that evening — along with some after-party fun with her friends and an IOU from her family for a birthday dinner the Saturday after the prom.
“I was just ecstatic the whole night, and I wouldn't have had it any other way,” she said.