Chamber honors local students

Newport Beach's top performing high school students attended a celebration Tuesday morning, anticipating their journey to prestigious colleges around the nation.

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted its 52nd annual Scholarship Awards Breakfast at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, where 33 seniors from Corona del Mar High School, Newport Harbor High School and Sage Hill School were honored for their academic achievements.

"They're all super smart and going to super impressive schools," chamber President Steve Rosansky said.

All with GPAs pushing well past 4.0 and long lists of plaudits to their names, each students received certificates of recognition from the chamber and local politicians.

And in a nod to dorm life, each honoree got a laundry bag with his or her name embroidered on it.

"It's kind of a send-off," Rosansky said.

But there was a message for those students, too.

The executive director of the Newport Beach nonprofit Esteem Dream Network told students to look inward as they leave home for college.

"Really you're going to be defined by your integrity, your character and the effort you put into things," Keith O'Neill said.

His message was for students to take what they've learned at home in Newport and build on that foundation.

"They're going to make decisions for themselves," O'Neill said. "They're going to really not have Mom and Dad to fall back on when they're out and about."

That includes self-evaluation and decision-making, he added.

"What I challenge you to do is look at yourself as if you're one of your best friends," O'Neill told them. "If one of your best friends was getting into a car drunk, would you let them drive?"

This was the first year students from Sage Hill were included in the breakfast, Rosansky said.

The private school selected three students to join the 15 each from Harbor and CdM.

"It's just great for the chamber to be able to recognize talent in the young adults in our community," Rosansky said.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World