CHS valedictorian excited to become Brown’s newest bear
[Editor’s note: Feature stories highlighting the Claremont High School valedictorian and salutatorian are reprinted with permission from the Claremont High School student newspaper, The Wolfpacket. —KD]
From being the vice president of the Soup for Alzheimer’s Soul Club to competing in the state competition of the Science Olympiad, valedictorian Sarah Tran is ready to begin a new stage of her life at Brown University.
Sarah plans to major in health and human biology to achieve her ultimate goal of becoming an obstetrician-gynecologist. With a diverse community of energetic students, Sarah immediately felt at home when interacting with other admittees on the Brown Facebook page. She found that they were the most outspoken students of any college page that she joined and could not help but be drawn to their vivacity. Oftentimes, students would post trivia questions or even ask for fashion help on the Facebook page.
It was this energy and willingness to befriend total strangers that convinced Sarah that Brown was the school for her; however—it is not just the camaraderie that made her smile as she continuously saw people of all different races and religions join together and dissolve boundaries—but also the challenge of living in a new environment.
As she takes this next step in her life, Sarah looks to her role model, actor Ken Jeong, for encouragement. Mr. Jeong, the epitome of versatility in her eyes, has always been able to bring happiness to those around him through doing what he loves most, acting. With a desire to bring joy to others and a unique personality to match, Sarah feels a clear connection between the two of them and strives to embody his view of happiness.
“Just like him, I want to be able to bring joy to those around me with my quirks,” Sarah said. “Maybe I will accomplish this goal while interacting with patients in the hospital or possibly onscreen, but [either way], I want to be able to make other people happy.”
Throughout her high school career, Sarah immersed herself in not only the academic aspects of CHS but also the social life, always embracing her witty and outgoing personality. She will always remember the time she played Usher in the modern version of the Our Town play, as she did not hold back from expressing his quirky character or busting her own moves alongside her classmate.
“I think I scared him with my dance moves, but I have no regrets,” Sarah said.
With her experiences at CHS, Sarah will easily be able to begin a new life at Brown, for CHS has given her a foundation of diversity, one which offered her an introduction to new cultures and different perspectives that college will bring her.
As this valedictorian finishes her high school career, she does not want to simply be remembered for her hard work and dedication to her studies. Instead, she wants her charisma and wit to be thought of when her classmates and teachers hear the name Sarah Tran.
“I hope to leave behind the laughter and humor I brought to my classmates through my in-class performances, my ‘locas’ dance moves, and my duck face,” she said.
Sarah is sure to make the Wolfpack proud as she begins the next chapter of her life at Brown University this fall. She will take with her the experiences and memories had at CHS as she paves the way for a bright future as an obstetrician-gynecologist.
Salutatorian to become a Blue Devil at Duke University
Senior Vivian Luo has made the dream of many a reality: to become salutatorian of CHS. From working hard in her many AP classes to competitive figure skating to being a member and captain of the CHS dance team—not to mention many other extracurricular activities—Vivian has made the most out of her four years at CHS.
With high school behind her, Vivian is very excited to move on to the next step in her life: college at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Vivian has several fields that she is interested in going into at Duke. Duke does not have their students declare majors or minors until the end of sophomore year, so Vivian is going to explore the fields she is interested in now before she has to commit to a major and minor. When she toured and learned about the university, she was most interested in going into their pre-law program with a major in political science or public policy. She is also interested in double majoring or minoring in neuroscience. She believes expertise in that field will help her further her knowledge of the cognitive process if she goes into law, or it will help her become a more well-rounded medical student if she decides to go into medical science.
While remaining second in her class, Vivian participated in many extracurricular activities around CHS that made her well-known by many students on campus. At college, she plans to continue with speech in forensics, would like to continue skating in college, and is interested in joining many new groups when she gets to school.
Vivian received many scholarships for college as a result of her extracurricular activities, such as a scholarship from the National Figure Skating Association, a Scholastic Honors Team Award, and scholarship money from being a National Merit finalist.
Once seeing the schools that accepted her, Vivian had a hard time deciding between two leading schools in the US: Duke and UC Berkeley. Although the decision was tough, she knew that no matter what happened, she would find enjoyment in whatever school she chose.
“I knew I would be happy at both places. There is always a little regret for the school you didn’t choose, but I know I will be happy where I’m going,” Vivian said.
Vivian has many incredible memories from her four years at CHS, but a point where she believes she truly grew as a person was her freshman year on the dance team under the instruction of Dance Coach Lisa Germano. This was the year the team made it to finals in two events at nationals, which had not happened in recent years. Vivian believes the time she spent working with Ms. Germano shaped her high school experience and affected many of her decisions throughout school.
“She pushed me beyond my limits. She really taught me how to be a leader, and I learned a lot of how I lead today from her example,” Vivian said. “I am just very grateful that I was able to be one of her students.”
Along with being a member of the dance team for three years at CHS, Vivian dedicated much of her time to speech in forensics, National Honor Society and CSF. She volunteered, met new people and made lasting memories through participation with these different groups. One memory that stands out to her is the Senior Citizen Prom the National Honor Society recently held.
With her love of knowledge and growth at CHS, Vivian has advice that is valuable to all CHS students. Whether or not a person is planning on becoming valedictorian or salutatorian, her advice resonates with the value it has for all CHS students, no matter what the future holds.
“You have to know your priorities,” Vivian said. “And sometimes that might mean taking away from one aspect of your life, but know that your investment that you’re making right now is going to lead towards a better future.”
Vivian is on the fast track to success as CHS Class of 2015 Salutatorian. But beyond her incredible work in school, she has pushed herself in many sports and activities that have made her a hardworking and dedicated person who is devoted not only to her studies, but also to the world around her.
Assistant Editor-in-Chief, Wolfpacket