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Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

20 Under 20: Local Teens Making Their Mark

Mar 29, 2018 10:02AM

Daniel Moody

We asked and you answered! Drum roll, please…may we introduce you to 20 of the best and brightest under-20-year-olds setting the pace—whether in academics, athletics, performing arts, philanthropy, or all the above—each and every one nominated by Style readers and local school administrators. Don’t be surprised if you reap inspiration from these passionate teens making their mark. 

Daniel Moody, 18, Pollock Pines    

Daniel Moody

 Daniel has his sights set on becoming a California state senator. In order to prepare, he’s the president of the Student Senate program at Union Mine High School. “It has taught me numerous things about leadership and problem-solving,” he says. After graduating, Daniel plans to attend Sacramento State and major in political science. Once plagued by a stutter, the young man is now able to speak stutter-free, thanks to hard work and practice. He also serves as the student coordinator for Union Mine’s Safe School Ambassadors program, which works to prevent and stop emotional and physical bullying, and has a special ability to relate to all types of people, in addition to a love for academia. Daniel’s role model, Dr. Jim Reed, has taught him a lot about “life, strength, and what wonderful things you can create with compassion.”—AM


Escape: Reading fantasy novels

Guilty pleasure: Western films

Meal in town: Colina de Oro 

Local landmark: Cary House Hotel

Movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Musician/band: The Beatles

Saying: “Classic,” but as an adjective

Rebecca La Bad, 18, Shingle Springs

Rebecca LaBad

 Once Rebecca graduates, there’s nothing stopping her from going the distance. Her four years of participation in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) prepared her well for high school and higher education. At Ponderosa High School, she has taken advanced courses in English, science, and math, while staying involved in Link Crew, Campus Light, Friday Night Live, Key Club, and California Scholarship Federation. With all of those involvements, it’s hard to believe she has enough time to excel in sports! Last year, she helped her 4x100 relay team in track break Ponderosa’s varsity girls record. “I am most proud of being on the team because we demonstrated true teamwork,” she says. With the excellence and commitment she brought, Rebecca served as team captain for both track and cross country. Born on her parent’s fifth wedding anniversary (her favorite fun fact), Rebecca’s mom is her role model and number one support. Following high school, she plans on heading to a four-year university to study computer science, and out of all the career options available, has her sights set on Google.—AM


Escape: Listening to music

Guilty pleasure: Lindor chocolate truffles

Meal in town: Chicago Fire

Local landmark: El Dorado Hills Town Center

Movie: Mrs. Doubtfire

Musician/band: Beyoncé

Saying: “Where’s my super suit?”—Frozone

Anna Salvestrin, 17, El Dorado

Anna Salvestrin

 Anna wants to help people. Her proudest accomplishment is founding and serving as the current president of Union Mine High School’s Friends and Foundations, a club that “works with students who have moderate to severe disabilities to build bonds, increase social interaction, and improve their overall high school experience.” What’s more, she regularly volunteers at her church, Holy Trinity, is part of National Honor Society, Link Crew, California Scholarship Federation, Safe School Ambassadors program, and has accrued 330-plus hours of volunteer work in two years at Marshall Medical Center’s intensive care unit, outpatient rehabilitation, pediatrics clinic, and hospital front desk. Anna plans on attending a four-year university where she’ll major in biology with a pre-medical emphasis, before advancing to medical school with a specialization in dermatology. But her list of laurels doesn’t stop there. Anna is also the president of Mother Lode 49’ers 4-H Club and an accomplished golfer on Union Mine’s varsity team where she attained three all-league patches for her mastery on the field and was presented with the Coach’s Award.—AM


Escape: Going to church

Guilty pleasure: Popcorn with jalapeños

Meal in town: Paella with spicy shrimp sauce from Allez!

Local landmark: Imagination Theater

Movie: Lady Bird

Musician/band: Hozier

Saying: “If we make every attempt to increase our knowledge in order to use it for human good, it will make a difference in us and in our world.”—Dr. Ben Carson

Emily Haynie, 17, Placerville

Emily Haynie

 Emily is a strong leader with a heart for those in need. She regularly speaks to the school board as the county representative for alternative education, is the ASB president at EDUHSD Virtual Academy, and is a proud member of the choir at El Dorado High School. What’s more, she’s already taken a difficult college course, which she admits was way above her work level, but managed to “study like crazy and push through the class with a B.” Her role model, her stepmom, taught her that she could be herself and still be successful—piercings and all. Emily also has a compassionate side, evident the ways she spends her free time, including inventing a prototype shelter for homeless individuals, which allowed her to participate in an engineering internship at Sacramento State. Her plans for this summer are to work with a program called No Barriers, where she’ll take a trip to the Grand Canyon and assist students who are blind or visually impaired. After she graduates, Emily hopes to continue her education at a four-year college, studying either environmental science or teaching, and in the meantime wants to become a rafting guide. This young scholar loves the outdoors and is “always ready to go outside and do some hiking!”—AM


Escape: Hiking

Guilty pleasure: YouTube

Meal in town: The Farm Table

Local landmark: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

Movie: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Musician/band: Dion and the Belmonts

Saying: “You can’t change what you refuse to confront.”—Unknown

Mason Hardy, 17, Rocklin  

Mason Hardy

All of Mason’s experiences contribute in some way to his desire to live a life characterized by compassion. He’s travelled to the bush in Alaska where he served as a counselor to children, serves as the worship leader of his youth group where he loves to play guitar, is editor-in-chief of Rocklin High School’s yearbook, tutors his peers in mathematics, and aspires to become a teacher—all while maintaining a 4.0 unweighted GPA, taking 11 AP classes during high school, and scoring 1570 on the SAT. “I genuinely enjoy expanding my knowledge about the world in subjects I love,” he says. He’s also president of the Ping Pong Club and the ONE Club (an on-campus Christian club) and serves as an active member of the California Scholarship Federation and National Honor Society. His affinity to nature translates into his love of fishing and hiking—something he’s always enjoyed doing with his dad. Having battled depression and loneliness, Mason now thinks more deeply and analytically about events and people in his life. “I want to be a loving man,” he says sincerely. “I want to see my beliefs complemented by my love for others and my love for God so that all of these achievements will be made truly meaningful.”—TM 


Escape: Linda (my guitar)

Guilty pleasure: Mexican food (except I don’t feel much guilt from it)

Meal in town: Burritos from anywhere

Local landmark: The Chipotle sign

Movie: The Simpsons Movie

Musician/band: Twenty One Pilots

Saying: “D’oh!”—Homer Simpson

Lorenzo Madrigal, 17, El Dorado Hills

Lorenzo Madrigal

 Lorenzo has made his mark at Ponderosa High School and is now working on “changing the world for the better.” The young man is president of Key Club and has a true passion for volunteering. “Enabling other students to help the community and discover themselves through the power of volunteer work is truly amazing,” he says. Lorenzo’s older brother, Iñaki, has been an inspiration to him, along with his AP literature teacher, Mrs. Kessler; his band director, Mr. Sabado; and coach, Stephen Riley. He’s also an active member of the California Scholarship Federation and was the recipient of the National Hispanic Recognition Award for his scores on the PSAT, since they were within the top two percent of all Hispanic students who took the exam. Lorenzo’s talents don’t stop there, however. His musical abilities—he’s a talented alto saxophone and vibraphone player—are frequently used at his church, Holy Trinity, and at school in the symphonic band, winter percussion, jazz band, and marching band. In the fall, he’ll pursue a spot on UC Berkeley’s marching band to supplement his studies of biology and genetic research.—AM 


Escape: Playing music or playing video games online with friends

Guilty pleasure: Takis

Meal in town: Late night trips to Denny’s with the boys

Local landmark: Ponderosa High School’s football field

Movie: Back to the Future

Musician/band: Anything from the ’80s

Saying: “Through determination and grit, nothing is unachievable.”—Unknown

Pardhu Konakanchi, 17, Folsom 

Pardhu Konakanchi

 Valedictorian and National Honors Society member, Pardhu, counts being the first person from the Sacramento region to score over 9,000 at the Academic Decathlon State Championship as his greatest accomplishment. But that’s not his only achievement—he’s received more than 30 medals over the years in speech, science, math, music, art, economics, and social science. He also placed in the top 10 percent of writers nationally for the Profile in Courage Essay contest in 2017. To keep things interesting, Pardhu dabbles in dancing—having wowed his peers at junior prom—and cooking. “I believe it’s important to try new things and experiment to see what works and what doesn’t,” says the astute teen. “No path is defined for anyone at any age, nor should it be. It’s fluid and changes with interests, and people should simply try what they want.” He also plays soccer and volunteers at TOPSoccer to play with mentally or physically disabled children. With his father for inspiration, Pardhu has come to realize the value and power of knowledge and is ready to put forth his vision to the world. He hopes to work in the field of artificial intelligence, implementing machine learning algorithms to enhance modern technology and better our daily lives. —TM


Escape: Dancing

Guilty pleasure: Cleaning whiteboards until they’re spotless

Meal in town: Pieology Pizzeria

Local landmark: Folsom Historic Truss Bridge

Movie: The Matrix

Musician/band: Linkin Park

Saying: “A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top.”—Simon Sinek

Charlie Bredahl, 19, Cameron Park

Charlie Bredahl

 Charlie, a student at EDUHSD Virtual Academy, is a warrior suffering from muscular dystrophy, a group of muscle diseases that weaken the body over time. He looks up to Jerry Lewis, a comedian and humanitarian, “for doing so many good things to advance medicine for muscular dystrophy.” Charlie may be confined to a wheelchair, but he doesn’t let that deter him from accomplishing greatness. Instead, he’s an active representative for others suffering from the same disease. In order to bring a personal angle to the genetic concepts his peers were learning about, Charlie created and gave an excellent presentation on muscular dystrophy. In school, Charlie is senior representative and activity manager of his leadership class and is currently working alongside other leadership students to create a fund-raiser for muscular dystrophy. He also interns at Green Valley Elementary School’s library. Charlie is most proud of graduating because “school has been a big challenge” for him. Not one to back down from an obstacle, however, he plans to attend Folsom Lake College to continue his education and would love to visit Japan someday.—AM


Escape: Playing video games and watching movies

Guilty pleasure: Sugary foods

Meal in town: Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q

Local landmark: Apple Hill

Movie: Toy Story

Taylor Hebert, 15, El Dorado Hills    

Taylor Herbert

 Taylor is an achiever whose hobbies include playing junior varsity lacrosse for Oak Ridge High School (her team won the 14U Lacrosse Championships with an undefeated season in 2016) and being involved in Scrubs Club, which explores future careers in medicine. Her philanthropic efforts include volunteering with Hands4Hope and Feeding Children Everywhere, and she hopes of one day becoming a doctor—a goal she got one step closer to when she completed the selective Bio Boot Camp at UC Davis and Blechy Biology through the Academic Talent Search program at Sacramento State. Moving from Arizona to California in 2014 didn’t deter her from making friends and thriving at school. “Make yourself happy first and strive to do your very best,” she says.  A well-rounded individual who enjoys reading, math, and music, Taylor’s academic achievements include receiving the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. “Keep studying hard and be you,” she advises.—TM 


Escape: St. John U.S. Virgin Islands 

Guilty pleasure: Chocolate ice cream 

Meal in town: Romano’s Macaroni Grill  

Local landmark: Lake Tahoe 

Movie: The Maze Runner 

Musician/band: Cage the Elephant 

Saying: “Work hard to play hard.” —Unknown

Evan Burnett, 18, Roseville   

Evan Burnett

 Evan is happiest when he’s outside exploring nature. His love of the outdoors also lends itself well to his passion for photography, and he recently became a finalist in the National Geographic Student Expeditions 2018 Photo Contest. He loves to capture sights on his hiking, kayaking, and hunting trips where he gets to explore new habitats and landscapes that are chronicled on his business website ( His grandfather, Mike Stark, who volunteers with environmental groups, is an inspiration to Evan. “He helped me buy my first camera and we share many photo adventures together,” he says. One of Evan’s most memorable journeys was a camping trip to Mount Shasta with friends. “I had a crazy idea that we would climb Castle Peak and eat breakfast on the top at sunrise. This required getting up at 3 a.m. and hiking with headlamps on a trail we’d never hiked before. I was able to get a photo as the sun rose over Mount Shasta and lit up the mountain side,” he recalls. In addition to his photography skills, Evan has also received an Academic Merit Award at Oakmont High School and volunteers with the Dry Creek Conservancy. He hopes to study marine biology at Humbolt State University and would love to visit the Galapagos Islands one day to photograph the extraordinary landscapes and wildlife.—TM


Escape: Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

Guilty pleasure: Thin Mints 

Meal in town: Tandoori Nights

Local landmark: Yolo Bypass

Movie: Paul

Jordan Kane, 18, Folsom  

Jordan Kane

 Jordan Kane is a leader with high aspirations. Last summer, he was selected to represent his high school, Vista del Lago, as the delegate for American Legion Boys State. “I was elected to serve as a senator representing the top-achieving boys throughout California. This was a huge honor because I see a future in politics and public service,” he says. Ronald Reagan is his role model (after his amazing parents, of course) because of his spirit, compassion, and leadership. Following high school, Jordan plans to study business administration and political science at a four-year university before obtaining a master’s degree in business administration. Ultimately, the young man has his mind set on running his own business while pursuing a career in politics. Jordan is best known as Vista Del Lago’s student body president and is also the president of the Relay for Life Club, extremely involved in student government, and plays on Vista’s golf team. Despite his workload, Jordan remains friendly, honest, and always willing to lend a helping hand. He credits this to receiving his black belt in taekwondo at just nine years old. “Taekwondo taught me discipline, integrity, and internal motivation.” All those characteristics helped him succeed in high school, and there is no doubt he’ll go on to accomplish more great things.—AM


Escape: Golf

Guilty pleasure:

Meal in town: The Old Spaghetti Factory

Local landmark: Palladio at Broadstone

Movie: The Great Gatsby

Musician/band: Frank Sinatra

Saying: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, which is why it’s called the present.”—Bil Keane

Kelley Renner, 18, El Dorado Hills  

Kelley Renner

 Just give Kelley Renner, a dual USA/New Zealand citizen, a bat and a glove. When she started playing softball at the young age of nine, she had no idea the journey it would take her on. Kelley switched from right-handed batting to left-handed batting at 14, and shortly after, broke and dislocated her left wrist. After bouncing back, she became part of the New Zealand national and junior national squads and made it to the Junior World Championships last year. What’s even more exciting is that Kelley is competing in the 2018 Women’s Softball World Championship in Japan and pushing for the Olympics in 2020. Softball aside, Kelley is a country girl at heart and loves animals. “I have always been a fan of horses and cattle as opposed to my twin sister who is a city girl.” What’s more, Kelley is an honor roll student and was nominated for the American Legion Girls State in 2017. This fall, she’ll start her four-year athletic scholarship at UC San Diego, where she’ll study biology or neurobiology with hopes of eventually attending vet school to become a large animal veterinarian.—AM 


Escape: Drawing and sports

Guilty pleasure: Disney music

Meal in town: Red Robin

Local landmark: Folsom Lake

Movie: Secretariat

Musician/band: Sam Hunt

Saying: “The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.” —Les Brown

Maya Mysore, 18, Rocklin  

Maya Mysore

 It’s the little things that Maya takes most pride in, like looking after her sister and being responsible. “I would much rather be known for being a kind and supportive friend than for having good grades,” says the humble teen. With that, she’s pretty content with her 4.8 weighted GPA, ACT score of 36, and her placement in the top 300 of a national science research competition (Regeneron Science Talent Search). A music lover, short-distance sprinter, and peer tutor volunteer, Maya also enjoys being team captain/president of the Science Olympiad, Academic Decathlon, and Biology Olympiad (which she founded). She looks up to Katherine Johnson (the mathematician whose life was dramatized in the movie Hidden Figures) for her tenacity and brilliant work at NASA and plans to pursue a biomedical engineering major and possible MD-PhD program. A self-professed nerd, she’d love to travel to New Zealand to see where The Lord of the Rings was shot. “I actually asked for a New Zealand guidebook for my 17th birthday,” she admits. Maya firmly believes in never letting fear get in the way of asking for help or grabbing an opportunity. “I heard a quote that goes: ‘I’m not here to play, I’m here to slay,’ and that kind of reminds me of myself,” she says.—TM 


Escape: Driving around Rocklin and watching Netflix

Guilty pleasure: Watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix

Meal: Nachos at Don Quixote’s Mexican Grill

Local landmark: Origin Coffee and Tea—they donate to stop human trafficking and have a great chai latte

Movie: Wonder Woman

Musician/band: Train and Eric Clapton

Saying: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”—Gandalf or J.R.R. Tolkien

Allyson Jolly13, Rescue  

Allyson Jolly

 Young Allyson has already accrued many feathers in her cap. The honor roll student has received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award two years in a row as well as the 2017 Citizenship Award at Golden Hills School. She’s also the Tahoe regional manager for Warm Winters, a nonprofit that provides warm clothing from lost-and-found departments at ski resorts, plus socks and toiletry items to those in need. Her team has donated over 10,000 items of warm clothing to homeless community members over the last three years and recently acquired a Vail Resorts Epic Promise grant. What’s more, the sprightly teen is a Girl Scout and member of the Kirkwood Mountain Resort ski team, El Dorado County 4H, and the Rescue Up ‘N’ Comin’ Club. Her keen love for nature leads her to volunteer annually at El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom’s Farm Day where she helps teach third graders about Nigerian dairy goats and 4H. “I enjoy helping others just for the experience of making someone else’s life a little better,” she says. The teen is also working on her Future Farmers of America Discovery degree with the Ponderosa High School chapter and hopes to study veterinary science at UC Davis. “Do what you think is best for everyone, not just yourself,” she says.—TM


Escape: The barn where I board my horse or Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Guilty pleasure: Minty gum/mints and sweets

Meal in town: Pizza Factory

Local landmark: Emerald Bay

Movie: Mama Mia

Musician/band: Of Monsters and Men

Saying: “Never get tired of doing the little things for others. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.”—Unknown

Ethan Huang, 17, El Dorado Hills

Ethan Huang

 Meet El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce’s “Aspiring Entrepreneur of the Year” for 2017: Ethan Huang. His nonprofit, JustTalk, helps foreign students improve their English communication skills by talking to high school instructors in the U.S. through video chat platforms like Google Hangouts and Skype. What started in 2015 with two instructors and eight students has now expanded to over 50 instructors and 40 students. They’re now looking to add more schools in Taiwan and expand to Korea and Vietnam. Ethan’s also been selected as a USA Taekwondo team member for the last two consecutive years. “Competing for Team USA [has been] an amazing and life-changing experience,” he shares. He and his teammates became Pan American bronze medalists in 2017 and World Championships bronze medalists in 2016. Ethan also takes six AP courses and has maintained straight As at Oak Ridge High School. He’d like to major in pre-med in college and become a sports medicine physician in order to help other high-caliber athletes. His mentors are his parents, taekwondo instructor Master Olson from El Dorado Hills Taekwondo Center, and his taekwondo coaches from Team-M Taekwondo—who inspired him to start JustTalk. “They reinforced the message that we, the ‘little people,’ can make an immense impact on our world,” he says.—TM


Escape: Playing video games

Guilty pleasure: Boba milk tea

Meal in town: Kochi Sushi

Local landmark: “The Rocks” on El Dorado Hills Boulevard

Movie: Coco (Spanish version)

Musician/band: I listen to all types of music!

Saying: “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Annaka Barragan, 17, Folsom  

Annaka Barragan

 Student athlete, Annaka, is living life one cross country victory at a time. Taking after her parents (her dad was the ninth fastest mile runner in California during his senior year), Annaka weathered multiple injuries in order to help her team place second in the last CIF California State Meet, among many other victories. She’s competed with her team four years in a row and they’ve gotten better each season. “My work ethic is fueled by my team,” she says with conviction. Captain of the cross country and track and field teams, she knows a thing or two about discipline and perseverance and is lucky to have great inspirations and role models in the form of her coaches and Aunt Christine. She also looks up to runner and world champion, Emma Coburn. Running aside, Annaka has been a violinist for the last eight years and plays with her school’s orchestra. Following high school, she plans to run cross country in college and major in chemistry with a focus in biosciences, eventually aiming to become a pharmacist. “Always put in the work—it pays off in the long run,” she says. “Even when it’s not fun it makes life easier or more enjoyable later on.”—TM 


Escape: A long run in a beautiful location

Guilty pleasure: Old Disney Channel movies like High School Musical and Lemonade Mouth

Meal in Town: Urban Fries from Jack’s Urban Eats

Local Landmark: Rainbow Bridge

Movie: Wonder Woman

Musician/band: Josh Groban

Saying: “Don’t do stupid.”—Robert Grove (cross country coach)

Kayla Darabi, 13, Granite Bay   

Kayla Darabi

 Kayla has her future planned out at just 13 years old. She wants to attend either Stanford or UC Berkeley and become a forensic pathologist or work at the robotics company Boston Dynamics; when she retires, she’d like to become a professional bassoon player in an orchestra that plays for movies and TV shows. Currently, she’s vice president of the California Junior Scholarship Federation program, plays softball, and is on the symphonic band and jazz band. This youngster is most proud of getting into the California Music Educators Association Capitol Section Honor Band after playing bassoon for merely five months. Although Kayla was bullied from second to fourth grade, she strives to succeed at extracurricular activities and maintain a 4.0 GPA. “[What] inspires me is the fact that there is more I can do to make the world a better place,” she says. She keeps her creative juices flowing by crafting handmade cards and fake food out of felt—including sushi bento boxes and tacos! In her opinion, “the amount of time, energy, and money some people spend trying to fit in can totally be used to be someone or do something they enjoy.” Oh, and get your beauty sleep, she advises: It’ll help you perform better at school and keep you from being grumpy.—TM 


Escape: Playing my bassoon

Guilty pleasure: Shopping at the mall

Meal in town: Grilled Korean BBQ Beef at Yard House

Local landmark: Fountains at Roseville 

Musician/band: The Chainsmokers

Saying: “Not all those who wander are lost.”—J. R. R. Tolkien

Haley Dean, 17, El Dorado Hills

Haley Dean

 Athlete, scholar, and musician, oh my! Haley is in the top four percent of her graduating class at Oak Ridge High School with a 4.21 GPA, and she has participated in varsity track and cross country all four years. Her dedication aided her in qualifying for the CIF State Cross Country Championship in 2015 (one of two girls from Oak Ridge), and her team placed 11th in the Team Cross Country State Championship in 2016. In addition to athletics, Haley also gives back. “Last fall, I volunteered as an assistant coach for the Oak Meadow Elementary School cross country team, and I’ve also volunteered as a docent for the Meet the Masters program at Oak Meadow.” Her accomplishments don’t end there, however. Haley is extremely gifted at the piano and has taken lessons since she was in kindergarten. She’s also a member of El Dorado Musical Theatre and has performed in nine productions. Visiting New York City to see every show playing on Broadway would make her the happiest girl in the world. After high school, Haley plans to attend a four-year university and double major in music and biology or neuroscience, and would ultimately love it if she were able to work outside of the U.S. in pediatrics or music therapy.—AM


Escape: Serrano running trails overlooking El Dorado Hills and Folsom Lake

Guilty pleasure: TED Talks on feminism, music, and culture

Meal in town: Chantara Thai Cuisine

Local landmark: Harris Center 

Movie: The Wizard of Oz

Musician/band: Ariana Grande, Troye Sivan, and Ben Platt

Saying: “Music is the universal language of the soul.”—Unknown

Zach Wong, 18, Granite Bay 

Zach Wong

 Zach describes himself as a laid-back guy but that hasn’t stopped him from achieving a 4.3 GPA, winning the Junior Academic Merit Award, being a varsity soccer player, winning the Granite Bay High School Scholar-Athlete Award four years in a row, and being part of National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. He’s also been recruited to play on the UC San Diego men’s soccer team this fall. “I’m motivated by my desire to get to the next level,” says the self-driven individual who’d like to go to medical school and become a sports medicine physician. “I want to help players navigate through their injuries, so they can get back on their feet and return even stronger than before,” he says. When he’s not taking advanced dance classes or refereeing soccer matches, he volunteers with TOPSoccer Club where he mentors children with disabilities on the soccer field. In the past, he’s been a youth aide for the Folsom Lake Junior Lifeguard program, has played in the international football tournament, Dallas Cup, and has set up soccer clinics in Mexicali with Bayside Church. When asked what advice he’d give his peers, Zach says, “Be yourself and don’t worry about what others think.” It’s something he lives by each day.—TM   


Escape: Beaches in La Jolla

Guilty pleasure: Oreo mint chip ice cream 

Meal in town: Blue Nami

Local landmark: Folsom Lake

Movie: Zero Dark Thirty

Musician/band: Saint Motel and The Eagles 

Saying: “Relentless means to never give up.” —Unknown

Autumn Fowler-Vogel, 17, Shingle Springs  

Autumn Fowler-Vogel

 Autumn, a Ponderosa High School student, has a passion for leadership and making a positive impact. To that end, she serves as Ponderosa’s ASB and Key Club vice president and is a representative for both the El Dorado County Office of Education Board and El Dorado County’s High School District Board. What’s more, she was recently chosen as Ponderosa’s delegate for Girls State. Autumn has also played the flute since fifth grade and is part of the school’s concert and marching bands. She’s even illuminated the Placerville Christmas tree more than once! Since seventh grade, the young woman has participated in the El Dorado County Teen Court program and last summer interned at the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office. This is a girl who knows what she wants: Her plans are “to attend Stanford University, major in political science for undergrad, and then move on to becoming a criminal prosecution attorney at Stanford Law School.” So far, she’s on the right track. Over the summer, Autumn was chosen to attend the Intensive Law and Trial program hosted at Stanford University, where she and her prosecution team proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Those 10 days gave her a real feel for college life and the drive to “further pursue [my] passion of becoming a criminal prosecution attorney [and strive] to make a positive difference in our world today.”—AM 


Escape: Cycling in spin class or pumping weight at the gym

Guilty pleasure: Dark chocolate

Meal in town: Olallieberry pancakes at Sweetie Pie’s

Local landmark: Apple Hill 

Movie: Gone with the Wind

Musician/band: The Script

Saying: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” Proverbs 31:25-26

By Alyssa Mielke & Tara Mendanha

Photos by Dante Fontana

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