2016-06-10 / Schools
Editor’s note: Senior standouts are selected by their respective schools, and profiles are compiled from questionnaires filled out by the students. Photos provided by O’Connor Bros. Photography.
Before he heads to UC Berkeley this fall, 19-year-old Jacob will take a trip to Paris with his French class and his favorite teacher, Melissa Coco.
“She helped inspire a passion for languages and foreign culture . . . and I plan to explore that passion in college and beyond,” he said.
The son of David and Christine Solzberg, Jacob spent two years mentoring younger students at Hillside Middle School’s Friday Night Live program, a local youth development and substance abuse prevention program.
He was part of the Key Club and the French club and a member of the Ronald Reagan Citizen Scholar Institute.
The graduate is the recipient of the scholar academic achievement award and the president’s education award, which recognizes success in the classroom.
In 10 years, Jacob would like to be a diplomat with the U.S. State Department, working on foreign and humanitarian affairs.
High school was all about cheerleading for Kelley, 18.
The daughter of Phoan Lam and Yen Tang, Kelley received the scholar-athlete award for cheerleading and was named Most Dedicated.
The graduate was a member of the National Honor Society, the PTSA and the volunteer leadership committee. She participated in the science club, the International Baccalaureate fundraising club and the Key Club.
After graduation, Kelley plans to study business administration or civil engineering at UC Irvine. Ten years from now, she sees herself with a family and a successful career.
Her biggest influence is her father, Phoan Lam, who left Vietnam long ago for a better life in the U.S.
“He has worked so hard (on giving my family a better life), and it has inspired me to work hard also,” she said.
Dylan, 17, said his love of science was fostered from a young age by his father, Lawrence, who is his biggest supporter.
The graduate said he plans to continue his passion when he attends UCLA in the fall, where he will study aerospace engineering.
“I hope that in 10 years I will have a rewarding job in the aerospace engineering industry. I expect to spend most of the intervening years getting . . . both a master’s degree and Ph.D.,” he said.
The son of Lawrence and Jennifer House, Dylan participated in several clubs, including the science club, Key Club, botany club and Smash club.
Dylan said his most rewarding volunteer activity took place last summer when he organized a jazz combo to play for the residents of the Simi Valley Care Center. In high school, he played with the marching band, wind ensemble and jazz band.
Throughout high school, Rebecca kept her eye on the ball— literally.
“I have been playing softball since I was 4 and have been involved in travel softball since I was 12,” the 17-year-old daughter of Kevin and Ronda Duncan said.
For three years, Rebecca played varsity softball and received several honors for her skills, including the athletic scholar award in her sophomore and junior years.
She was part of the First Team All Marmonte League and the First Team Coastal Canyon and was an all-state player nominee.
In her spare time, she teaches young girls how to pitch, throw and catch.
Rebecca said her favorite class at school was English with Kari Lev because the teacher challenged her to always do her best.
Rebecca will attend Williams College in Massachusetts in the fall and continue playing softball. While she is undecided on her major, Rebecca said, she sees herself doing what makes her happy and making the world a better place in 10 years.
Robert, 18, focused his high school years on academic achievements.
He was a member of the Mu Alpha The t a Mathematics Society, National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation and the Société Honoraire de Français, an international organization that recognizes students who have maintained excellent grades in at least three semesters of French courses.
The son of Dale and Julianne Ota, Robert plans to study abroad in Paris during the summer before starting at USC in the fall, where he will major in aerospace engineering.
“Both of my parents have always encouraged me to challenge myself,” he said about his biggest influences.
The graduate is an Eagle Scout, National Merit Scholar and member of the Ventura County Mock Trial program and Key Club.
Ten years down the road, he hopes to be “a promising young engineer.”
—Compiled by Melissa Simon