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Senior successes

"All great achievements require time." --Maya Angelou

The+path+to+success+is+in+your+hands.+Photo+by+Andrew+Barron.+
The path to success is in your hands. Photo by Andrew Barron.

The path to success is in your hands. Photo by Andrew Barron.

The path to success is in your hands. Photo by Andrew Barron.

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We get the notion that we will be a scientist or a doctor or fire fighter, maybe even a rockstar in kindergarten. The possibilities seem so possible at five, but as we grow older, our future starts to shift, as if on a teeter-totter, of what we actually can become. There are the students who plan their life, always six months ahead, while other students who are in a quandry as to which direction to take. But senior year is when possibilities come face-to-face with reality, and dreams come true or crumble. 

College acceptances are a reality check for many. All of the cards are laid out in front of you: grades, the GPA, academic successes and failures, participation in extra-curriculars. Then begins the lottery with your future: emails begin arriving either congratulating you with admission or denying you. Some of Charter Oak’s senior are seeing their dreams come true–and even dreams they didn’t dare have materialize.

A few of Charter Oak’ s own are attending highly competitive schools to attend for the next four-to-eight years, depending on their major. Valedictorian Sharon Lau never had the slightest idea of receiving acceptance to UC Berkeley. “I didn’t really cry because I was making dinner for my sister, but she cried. I was thankful because I always want to set an example for her,” said Sharon. When asked if there was a piece of advice she could give to underclassmen, she said, “Set small goals for yourself. Learn to accept your flaws and enjoy the little things.”

Ashvir Toor will be attending UC Irvine where she was surprised to find how competitive it was to get into the major of her choice; she is grateful for the opportunity. She will take her CO memories with her: she will never forget Mrs. Turner “because she was almost always willing to talk to us without her being a teacher and more like a person-to-person conversation.”

Alexis Pinela and Joel Rafter will be attending highly competitive and respected schools in California, USC and UCLA.

As the seniors look back on their success of their high school career, Ryan Martinez had a particular memory he would not forget: “During my sophomore year, Mr. Guggino had taken the time to make sure I was all right when I was feeling pretty down, but just the fact that he took the time to talk to me without me having to say anything was important.” Ryan Martinez will be attending UC San Diego, where he was particularly honored to have gotten in.

Some seniors had more than a few acceptances, and making the decision was a bit complicated. Jillian Smith will be attending Pepperdine University in sunny Malibu. However, Pepperdine wasn’t her initial choice. She had come down between UCLA and Pepperdine, but decided to chose the latter due to the surprising financial aide she would receive, as she was offered the Regent’s Scholars Program. When asked for advice, she said, “Focus on what is important to you. If I didn’t have my extracurriculars, I wouldn’t have gotten through high school or IB.” She would love to thank Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Shockey and Mrs. Archer for “being my moms.”

“Dream big. Push yourself. That means different things to different people. Some people choose arts or academics, but whatever it is, push yourself to get you there. Don’t let other people dictate the decisions you will make. What you do today will influence the opportunities you will have tomorrow,” said Camille Castro who will be attending Emerson College for journalism and political science. Camille would like to thank her sister who attends NYU for inspiring her to be brave and dream bigger. “Initially, I figured I would end up in my small bubble attending somewhere local,” said Camille.

For Camille, one of the teachers who have impacted her is Ms. Schmalzbach. “I’ve been with her for six years, and she has been there always pushing me to do better musically and in my own life. She has been highly influential to me. There isn’t one particular memory I can think of because there are so many.” When asked what it was like to find she had been accepted into Emerson, she recounted receiving the email just before the last meeting for CAS. And at first she was fearful of opening because she didn’t want to face another rejection, but she said, “I remember opening the email and watching the confetti pop up and dropping my binder and screaming. I had gotten in. I was utterly ecstatic.”

Take it from these high achieving seniors: anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Congratulations to these graduating seniors who will be attending highly competitive schools. Take the next stop in becoming who you will become.

 

 

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Senior successes