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5th Annual Student Spotlight

Apr 26, 2012 09:51AM ● Published by Style

Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.

Take note – it’s the time of year when diplomas are handed over and caps tossed.

Fresh, youthful perspectives will enter the “real world” soon enough. Equipped with strong academics and an intense desire to make a difference in others’ lives, this year’s Style Student Spotlight winners are truly exceptional in more ways than can be put to paper. Congratulations to our future!

 

Julio Lawrence
Vista del Lago High School

Tell us about yourself.

I’m opinionated and tenacious. However, I don’t see that as a bad thing; I stand up for what I believe in, and that’s more than what most people can say for themselves.

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

I play in my school’s string orchestra, symphony orchestra, concert band, pep band and drum line. I’ve also participated in the Gay Straight Alliance Club. My hobbies include music, music and music! I was accepted into the CODA (California Orchestra Directors Association) All State Orchestra this year and earned a scholarship for music at CSU Sacramento.

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

I recently earned a partial scholarship to CSU Sacramento for music; it basically reassured me that I have what it takes to pursue a career as a musician.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you?

I play half a dozen instruments.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to go to CSU Sacramento to study music education and performance.

Who is your role model?

My music teacher, Ms. Elicia Spencer, has inspired me. She’s always been there for me when I’ve asked for advice of any kind. She’s the kind of teacher that I aspire to be someday – she gives her students more opportunities than they could receive at any other school. I hope to pass those experiences on to my own students in the future.

Describe your career aspirations.

I hope to be a music teacher and a performer. However, I’ve been toying around with the idea of law school for my graduate studies. I just want to do something that can keep me happy and make me proud for the rest of my life.

 

Steven Colson
Vista del Lago High School

Tell us about yourself.

I am passionate about reading, writing, art and music. I enjoy anything that requires a creative process.

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

At school I’m involved in yearbook, Key Club and the California Scholarship Federation. I also like painting and art. I took two animation classes in high school, and I enjoy inventing cartoon characters. I enjoy listening to music, playing video games, and hanging out with my friends; also, I play the drums and recently started taking piano lessons. My achievements include being a public relations intern for Folsom Cordova Unified School District and writing the forewords for two Vista del Lago yearbooks.

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

I learned a lot about leadership and collaboration by helping to create my junior and senior yearbooks as the design editor.

What has been the most memorable event this year?

The experiences I have had and the people I have met through my public relations internship. They’ve taught me a great deal about communication, writing, and interacting with different kinds of people.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am probably going to attend Saint Mary’s College to study English literature.

Who is your role model?

My grandfather – he’s creative, kind, has an active mind, and is always learning new things; he’s had a positive impact in shaping my character.

Describe your career aspirations.

I hope to teach high school English. It would be great if I could do my student teaching at Vista del Lago. Looking even farther into the future, being a college professor would be interesting.

 

Karly Ko
Folsom High School

Tell us about yourself.

I’m hardworking and always love a challenge, both academically and athletically; however, I still find the perfect balance of fun and work in life.

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

I’m a member of the district Student Advisory Board, National Honor Society, Key Club, California Scholarship Federation, Mathletes Club, Folsom Teen Council and Teen Library Council; in addition, I play tennis and the violin, enjoy cooking, reading, running and making collages. My awards and achievements include the Stockholm Junior Water Project Award in the Sacramento Regional Science Fair, MVP for women’s varsity tennis, first place in the Rotary Speech Contest, Academic Letter Award, Honorable Mention in the ACS Chemistry Olympiads, and Officer of the Year Award.

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

Serving as the student board member for the school district, as well as president of the district Student Advisory Board – I represented 20,000 students’ voices regarding education issues at district board meetings.

What has been the most memorable event of the year?

Getting my first college acceptance letter; after 13 years of public education in Folsom, I feel like the doors to my future have officially opened. Now it’s a matter of which door to take.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on going to a four-year university to pursue my interests in law and prepare for law school.

Who is your role model?

Sandra Day O’Connor – her diligence in legal studies led to her recognition as the first female member of the United States Supreme Court; having overstepped traditional boundaries in the legal field, she is an exemplary individual who I regard as a role model.

 

Grayson Pangilinan    
Vista del Lago High School    

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

My whole high school career outside of bookwork was based on student government, football, speech/debate, and political internships. I also enjoy spending times with my friends, mudding, snowboarding and wakeboarding. My awards/achievements include National Honor Society and the Activities Director Award: “The Visionary.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

Becoming and holding the position of ASB president at my school. I was given the opportunity from my peers and was able to make changes for our student government program that I believe will make a lasting impact.

What’s the hardest class you’ve taken, and what made it so challenging?

Spanish 3, because you need to immerse yourself in the language to truly understand how to use it. It took a lot of studying and organization to get through the class.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you?

I love country music.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to receive a degree in public policy and communication from George Washington University or University of California, Santa Barbara. While in college I would like to continue as an intern for a political consultant near my chosen university.

Who is your role model?

President John F. Kennedy. His quote, “For those to whom much is given, much is required,” was my senior quote. I believe that those who were given a lot in their life owe something to the world. That’s how I plan to live my life.

Describe your career aspirations.

I absolutely love politics. I would like to become a political consultant in Washington D.C. or Sacramento and one day run for political office, using the style and philosophy of John F. Kennedy as my base.

 

Tim Bai
Folsom High School

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Chinese-Canadian and I love being with friends, driving/cruising around town, and taking long naps after intense AP finals. No, I don’t really say “eh” anymore.

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

I was team captain of the 2012 Folsom High School Academic Decathlon team, treasurer of Key Club, and vice president of World Language Scholar’s Society. I enjoy playing video games and the piano, listening to music, reading the newspaper, and going to the gym and movies with my friends. I’ve received multiple regional and state Academic Decathlon first, second and third place medals; in addition, we’ve been the Academic Decathlon county team champions for two years, and I’m an AP Scholar with Honors.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you?

I lived in Texas for two years and used to say “y’all” and eat Frito pie. Not anymore. (Although I would love to have some more Frito pie.)

What are your plans after graduation?

Attend a four-year college, then go to medical or another professional school.

Who is your role model?

My dad. He has an amazing work ethic, loves music, knows how to help other people, and inspires me to do my best in everything.

Describe your career aspirations.

I want to study biology in college, which will prepare me for a future in either medical research or practice.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

France, specifically Paris and Southern France – I learned so much about the country in French class, and I’d love to go there and immerse myself in the culture whilst practicing my language.

 

Jasmeen Sandhu
Folsom High School

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

I have been a member of a student-led home economics organization called FHA-HERO for four years now. I enjoy being a member and officer because it has allowed me to experience many leadership opportunities and personally develop. I am also a member of Interact and the Folsom Teen Council, which I enjoy because it allows me to meet new people and help out in the community. Outside of school, I love scrapbooking, taking pictures, listening to music, cooking, baking, volunteering and meeting new people. Last year I was granted an Academic Award, and this year I was recognized with a certificate by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

Holding the Region President position in FHA-HERO my sophomore year of high school. I’m glad I took the opportunity to be a leader of something that I never knew I was capable of.

What are your plans after graduation?

My plan is to graduate from Folsom Lake College with my GED, then transfer to a UC or CSU and major in child psychology. I hope to pursue a career in teaching.

Who is your role model?

I look up to my brother. Although he has made mistakes along the way, he has always been open-minded, given me confidence, and looked at the positives. The other inspiration in my life is my mom. She is very kindhearted, open-minded, positive and loving. She’s inspired me to do good in the world and helped me to realize the kind acts that make a difference in people’s lives.

Describe your career aspirations.

I really want to be a teacher.

 

Elizabeth Lee
Oak Ridge High School

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in Seoul, South Korea, where most of my family still lives. My parents moved our family to the U.S. when I was eight years old. Since then, I’ve lived in Vermont, North Carolina and California. Having lived in such diverse places, I have been shaped in various ways but have still managed to remain close with my best friend of eight years.

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

Moving across the country, I’ve been involved in various activities at different times. Some of my best memories come from being part of an amazing marching band in North Carolina. We even traveled to Florida for a national competition in which we took first place and got to be broadcast live during a college bowl. Volunteering has given me a huge sense of belonging. I’ve been involved with Key Club, Beta Club, Interact and National Honor Society – all service-dedicated clubs on campus. Outside of school, I’ve worked with Mercy Housing and tutored elementary-aged kids with their homework, and also became a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Music will always be my escape. I can easily lose track of time playing the piano, especially anything by Yiruma. My awards and achievements include California Girls State Alumni, “A” Honor Roll, .5 GPA improvement my junior year, AP scholar, National Merit Scholarship Qualifier, and Advanced Program Student at Folsom Lake College.

Describe your career aspirations.

My dream job is to be a pediatric geneticist. I’ve recently realized how much I adore working with kids, and genetics has fascinated me since my freshman biology class.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Greece. Ever since I watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Mamma Mia, I’ve wanted to visit the country. I’ve been on the Spain side of the Mediterranean and can’t wait to explore more!

 

Drew Dickinson
Oak Ridge High School

Tell us about yourself.

I have been delicately balancing school and fencing for the past nine years. I compete regularly on the national circuit for fencing, and this July will mark my eighth time competing at the national championships.

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

Between school itself and practice at the fencing club, I can’t find the time for any more activities. My friends and I like to go out and find interesting restaurants or ones that have been featured on TV. Regardless of where we are, we’re guaranteed to find a fun place to eat. My awards include receiving the “A” Honor Roll 2008-2012, United States Fencing Association All-Academic First Team Award 2010 and 2011, Student of the Month February 2011, and AP Scholar 2012.

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

Earning a medal in my event at the 2011 Summer National Fencing Championships. It was my very first medal from a national tournament, and confirmed the eight years of hard work I put into the sport were worth it.

Who is your role model?

My parents have worked hard all of their lives in order to provide my siblings and I with everything we need.

Describe your career aspirations.

I hope to be able to do biochemical lab work as an undergraduate in college. Depending on where grad school takes me, I hope to be working in a pharmacy, for a drug manufacturer, or somewhere in the medical field.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

After studying French for nearly four years, I would like to go to France; immersing myself in the culture and language would make all of my hard work worthwhile.

 

Nicoline Cu    
Oak Ridge High School

What are your school interests and involvements, hobbies, and awards/achievements?

I played on the varsity tennis team and participated in several clubs, including: French Club, Interact, and the Women of Worth Club. Outside of school, I spend a lot of time volunteering and fund-raising for different charity organizations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I also started running and have completed several running events including two marathons. I’ve received the “A” Honor Roll every year in high school; also, I received the AP Scholar Award, which recognized my successful completion of a series of college-level courses and exams. In addition, I’ve received the Golden Star Student of El Dorado County Award every year, which recognizes academic, citizenship and leadership accomplishments. Outside of academic awards, I received a Tiffany’s finisher necklace for completing the 2010 and 2011 “Nike Women’s Marathons.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

On October 17, 2010, I crossed the finish line of the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. My inspiration for running the race was my father; he had lung cancer and I saw how hard he fought for his life through chemotherapy and radiation. So to me, no matter how hard it was to train or run the marathon, it wouldn’t be close to what my father and millions of others have to go through as they fight cancer. Unfortunately, two months before the race, my father passed away. My intent was to run the race in his honor, but unfortunately I ended up running it in his memory. Not only did I go from a couch potato to completing a marathon, I also helped raise over $2,000 for a cancer charity. I’m most proud of this accomplishment because I set a goal for myself and accomplished a feat that I never thought was possible. To me, pain is temporary but the accomplishment is forever.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to continue my education at UCLA and then go to medical school.

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