South Pasadena High
University of Pennsylvania
Hoyt Gong’s accomplishments are incredible and his passion to help the underserved is an inspiration. Hoyt graduated as a valedictorian for his graduating class. He obtained this honor while juggling numerous extracurricular activities, including being Editor-in-Chief of his high school yearbook, President of the Leo Club, and Youth Board Executive President for the Los Angeles American Red Cross. Hoyt has been a laboratory intern for the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, where he researched cancer tumor suppression, and a laboratory intern for the Geological and Planetary Science Department at CalTech, where he researched on climate change. We were, however, more impressed with Hoyt’s empathy for the underprivileged and his sincere commitment to help others who grew up disadvantaged, as he did. We are thrilled to help Hoyt achieve his goal of pursuing a career in nonprofit management.
Gabrielino High School
Sheena Horiki has a steadfast commitment to serving others. Sheena plans to major in molecular cell biology and eventually go to medical school. Her hope is to serve the Japanese American community, especially seniors, through her language fluency. She also intends to break professional barriers. We have no doubt she will succeed based on her past achievements. Sheena graduated first in her class while sitting as first violinist for the Olympia Youth Orchestra and while performing as a ballet soloist. She was a student researcher for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where she nurtured beating mouse embryonic stem cells. Sheena also interned for San Gabriel City Councilmember Jason Pu and strategized on ways to encourage collaboration between businesses and city government.
South El Monte High School
John Hua has achieved incredible success in the face of tremendous adversity. Growing up, John’s family moved around frequently, forcing him to change schools on numerous occasions. He was raised by his mother and they, along with his siblings, had to rely on social programs and food banks. Rather than allow these circumstances to limit him, John has used these adversities to motivate him to do better. He graduated valedictorian of his graduating class with a weighted G.P.A. of 4.29 and was elected California Boys State Representative by the American Legion. He was also captain of his Varsity Tennis team. John intends to major in computer science or engineering at U.C. Irvine. We cannot wait to see John’s continued success in college and beyond.
Nogales High School
Laura Martinez has an individual voice that shines through, and we know her strong sense of identity and history will carry her far toward her goals. Laura recalls how she and her family escaped a dangerous life in Mexico and began again as newcomers in California. Despite these difficult beginnings, Laura has racked up an incredible raft of accomplishments, including serving as ASB Executive President and student representative to the District Board, obtaining a GPA well above 4.0, and having a dedicated record of volunteering. Laura hopes to one day help future immigrant communities by creating full service shelters for those in need. We know she will do everything she sets her mind to do.