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A SALUTE TO SENIORS ’97 / ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS

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EL TORO HIGH SCHOOL: Vidyadhar Upasani

Vidyadhar wants to be a doctor and has begun his training. He spent last summer in Bombay observing his uncle’s surgical team and was permitted to prepare patients for surgery. Once, he made the opening incision in an operation. Though medicine is his ultimate goal, this co-valedictorian’s varied interests range from music (playing Indian drums and piano) to athletics (as a varsity tennis player) to languages (as a member of the Spanish Club.)

He has a 4.73 weighted grade-point average and is treasurer of the National Honor Society, vice president of the California Scholarship Federation and a member of the Key Club.

He volunteers for Meals on Wheels at Saddleback Hospital and participates in Adopt-A-Neighbor drives.

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A resident of Trabuco Canyon, Vidyadhar plans to attend UCLA.

ESPERANZA HIGH SCHOOL: Anita Joseph

Anita is a skilled vocalist and pianist and has contributed to many events on campus, including acting as vice president and section leader of the school’s vocal ensemble and concert choir.

She also participates in her church choir and the All-State Honor Choir. She has won National Guild piano awards and was a finalist in the Southern California Vocal Assn. solo operatic competition.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and a campus peer-support group as well as the Speech, Debate and Ecology clubs. She has a 3.98 weighted grade-point average.

She has been a weekly volunteer for six years at a soup kitchen and has been a Christian education instructor for four years at her church, where she also is a lay reader and a member of the youth group.

The Yorba Linda resident will attend the University of Redlands with a double major in music and psychology to prepare for a career as a music therapist for the disabled.

ESTANCIA HIGH SCHOOL: Amy Decker

As a gifted musician, Amy has distinguished herself both on and off campus. Having studied piano for 10 years and voice for seven, she was a member of the production drama class and had the lead role in numerous school productions. She is a freelance musician, church soloist, wedding soloist and has a recording contract with LPM Records.

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She has a 3.98 grade-point average and was a member of the California Scholastic Federation and the Key Club. She was captain of the track team and named the most valuable player.

The Costa Mesa resident will attend the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where she will study vocal performance.

FAIRMONT HIGH SCHOOL: Pradeep Prasad

Intelligence, energy and dedication have distinguished Pradeep. He earned a perfect 800 score in the math portion of the SAT exam and served as senior class president. He has a 4.79 weighted grade-point average and was the school’s top scorer on the American High School Math Exam for three years.

He was active with the Key Club, played on the varsity basketball team for two years and studied piano for 10 years.

The Whittier resident will attend USC, where he has been admitted to a select program that guarantees his admission to the USC School of Medicine following his undergraduate study.

FOOTHILL HIGH SCHOOL: Thomas Castillo

During his junior year, Thomas was selected to be a member of a lipid research team at Chapman University in Orange. The published results of the study were written by Thomas and edited by the chairman of the university’s science department.

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He also participated in ozone research at University of California, Davis, as a member of the Young Scholars Program.

Thomas has a 4.68 weighted grade-point average and is the recipient of three Parent Teacher Organization medallions, for science, journalism and social science. He served as co-editor of the school newspaper.

He does volunteer tutoring in math, science and English.

The Santa Ana resident will attend Harvard University in Massachusetts, where he plans to focus on a career in biotechnology or neuroscience.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL: Samuel Jiawei Ng

A valedictorian with a 4.65 weighted grade-point average, Samuel was a Cal State Fullerton Seal Bearer and an AP Scholar of Distinction.

At school, he was on the yearbook staff, a member of the Kiwins and a participant in the Baron Academy of Science.

Outside interests include volunteering at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, tutoring for the California Scholastic Federation, playing piano, attending church and volunteering at the Fountain Valley Library.

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A Fountain Valley resident, he plans to major in engineering at UC Irvine, UC Davis or UC San Diego.

FULLERTON UNION HIGH SCHOOL: Julie Grinfeld

Julie is gifted in both arts and letters. As a student performer, she was dance production president, a member of the vocal ensemble and concert choir and a choreographer of school plays. Referred to as a “true Renaissance scholar,” Julie has a 4.62 weighted grade-point average and was recognized by the California Scholastic Federation and National Honor Society.

She was president and secretary of the drama club, a secretary and treasurer in the Choir Club, a secretary and vice president in the French Club and a member of the biology and Big F athletic clubs.

She volunteers with the National Charity League, the B’Nai B’rith Youth Organization, AltaMesa Health Services, Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton Children’s Repertory and the Fullerton Public Library. She works as an usher at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton.

The Fullerton resident plans to study dance at Columbia University in New York.

GARDEN GROVE HIGH SCHOOL: Charlene Sargeant

Charlene is recognized as a prolific writer. She recently took first and second place in categories for short story and autobiographical incident in a creative writing contest. She was a staff writer on the student newspaper and represented California at the Washington Journalism Conference in April.

She carried a 3.76 weighted grade-point average and won a $10,000 USC leadership award.

She was Associated Student Body vice president and junior class president, named the best personality among seniors and chosen as homecoming queen. She competed on the varsity track and soccer teams and junior varsity girl’s basketball.

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She is president of the African-American Student Union, is a member of the NAACP’s teen chapter, served as a student representative on the school board and is active in her church youth group.

The Garden Grove resident plans to study communications at University of Southern California.

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL: Melissa Caparino

Melissa has been captain of the cheerleading team for two years and serves as secretary of the Associated Student Body.

She is a member of the Key Club and a life member of both the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. She has a 3.93 grade-point average.

She was captain of the basketball team in her senior year and enjoys singing, Filipino folk dancing and activities at her church, where she is a Sunday school teacher and coordinates cleanup days. She also volunteers time at senior citizen facilities.

Melissa, a resident of La Mirada, plans to concentrate on musical performance and education at Biola College.

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HUNTINGTON BEACH HIGH SCHOOL: Hora Bastas

Hora has worked with the Red Cross for more than six years. As a member of the Youth in Emergency Service team, she worked at the Laguna Beach fire and helped coordinate local efforts to line up volunteers for the Northridge area after the earthquake. On campus, she was president of the school Red Cross Club and headed the group’s blood drive and canned food collection.

She worked on the yearbook staff for four years, serving as chief editor for two years. She played junior varsity field hockey for two years and was senior class representative to the Associated Student Body executive board.

She has a 4.05 weighted grade-point average.

A resident of Huntington Beach, Hora will attend Cal State Long Beach.

IRVINE HIGH SCHOOL: Michael Sieber

Michael is a gifted student actor and performer who was deeply involved in the campus drama and choral programs. He was president of the Irvine Singers and a member of the drama club. He performs in civic light operas and in community theater.

His offstage hobbies include painting, writing and design.

The Irvine resident plans to attend Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle to pursue a bachelor of fine arts degree.

KATELLA HIGH SCHOOL: Terry Giang

Terry is a top academic student who was a member of the Key Club and played varsity tennis for four years.

As president of the United Cultures Club, he increased membership and raised the group’s recognition on campus. He also helped plan drug- and alcohol-free social activities for the Friday Night Live group and participated on the Mock Trial team.

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He has a 4.37 weighted grade-point average and is a member of the California Scholastic Federation and the National Honor Society. His received a Bank of America academic excellence award and was on the Academic Decathlon team.

He helped with the Salvation Army literacy tutoring program, spent time with seniors at a retirement home, played with children on a weekly basis at a shelter for the homeless, worked with the Wipe-Out Graffiti painting program and helped build a Rose Parade float.

The Anaheim resident plans to attend Yale University in Connecticut.

JOHN F. KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL: Kinjal Patel

Kinjal completed high school in three years and contributed to a host of activities. A finalist for the National Merit and Boys’ State scholarships, he placed first in his class and was bi-state champion of the Kiwanis Bowl. He was a member of the California Scholarship Federation, the Key Club and Future Business Leaders of America.

Earning a 4.53 weighted grade-point average, he also played varsity tennis and junior varsity soccer.

He volunteered many hours as a member of the associate board of La Palma Intercommunity Hospital and helped with the hospital’s outpatient therapy. He tutored students at Han Sam Academy and worked for the school newspaper.

The Buena Park resident will enter a six-year medical program at Pennsylvania State University.

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LAGUNA BEACH HIGH SCHOOL: Kraigher A. O’Keefe

Kraigher balanced a vigorous basketball career with academics. He was a member of the National Honor Society, the California Scholarship Federation and a leader of the Model United Nations.

He played varsity basketball for four years, making the 2nd Team All-League last year and winning the title of co-captain in his senior year.

Kraigher volunteers as a basketball coach and offers his services to Safe Rides and other groups through his membership in the National Honor The Laguna Beach resident plans to study medicine at UC Berkeley.

LAGUNA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL: Nathaniel Dawkins III

Nathaniel is an accomplished speaker, having won student competitions sponsored by the Rotary and Lions clubs. He received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen’s Award. Senior class president of the Associated Student Body, Nathaniel was also chief coordinator of the Senior Senate and a committee leader with the Multi-Cultural Club.

He is interested in poetry, trumpet, journalism and public broadcasting and has a weighted grade-point average of 4.48.

The Laguna Hills resident will attend the University of Southern California.

LA HABRA HIGH SCHOOL: Abby Kallas

Abby is a theater devotee who was vice president and historian of Thespian International. She has volunteered many hours at the La Habra Depot Playhouse and has served as historian and vice president of her school’s drama club. She has a 4.33 weighted grade-point average and served as a National Honor Society president. She is a member of the California Scholarship Federation and Heritage of the Americans.

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She spends her spare time volunteering at Friendly Hills Regional Medical Center in La Habra and the Children’s Museum at La Habra.

The La Habra resident has received academic and theater scholarships from Whittier College.

LA QUINTA HIGH SCHOOL: Cindy Ann Duong

Cindy, the school valedictorian, has had many academic achievements, including being president of the Advanced Placement Club, vice president of the National Honor Society, belonging to the California Scholarship Federation and earning a 4.0 grade-point average.

She is a gifted pianist and was the recipient of the senior medallion presented by the California Music Teacher’s Assn.

She has been a member of the Key Club and the Science, Computer and Ecology clubs. Other interests include badminton and ceramics.

She has made Christmas baskets for the homeless, participated in the AIDS Walk and Race for the Cure and helped as a Project Cherish volunteer, performing household chores for senior citizens.

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Cindy, a resident of Westminster, will attend UC Irvine and plans to become a pediatrician.

LIBERTY CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL: Jonathan Stephens

A valedictorian with a 4.07 weighted grade-point average, Jonathan established himself in academics but was also considered a leader among his classmates as captain of the varsity football team, a basketball player, a member of the student council and a singer in the choir.

He volunteers at his church and has an interest in fine arts.

The Huntington Beach resident plans to attend Cal State Long Beach as a presidential scholar.

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