Senior Spotlight: Big things this year and for those to come!

Ellie Hung (12)

Where do you hope to go after high school and what about that dream makes you so passionate?

“I hope to attend a private college after high school and then head to finish my education in a graduate program. Though I am not a hundred percent sure about what exactly I want to do in the future, I am interested in optometry and consulting. Being able to feed my drive to be an active contributor is something that keeps me going and feeds my passion to make a difference at my school and in my community.”

What is your prospective college major and why do you feel like that suits you the most?

“My prospective college major is Public Policy. I feel like Public Policy suits me most because it is the study of institutionalized proposals that are intended to solve relevant and real-world problems. Problem-solving is something that I have been actively doing, which is why I believe that my strengths can be effectively utilized in this field.”

What are some challenges you have faced at the start of your senior year?

“The challenge that I faced at the start of senior year is time management. Not only am I continuing to keep my academic courses rigorous, but have also taken on additional leadership roles, co-created a club, and inherited several clubs. I do my best to put my all into my commitments and responsibilities, which is why it has been so challenging for me to juggle it all and still input quality work.”

What is your workload like this year?

“My workload is much heavier this year. There are many extracurriculars that I split my time between, as well as keeping up with my academic coursework. My school responsibilities have consumed all of my time, but I enjoy the opportunities that I have, as well as the tasks that I get to handle.”

Do you have any major leadership positions in extracurriculars on or off campus this year?

“Yes! This year I am a student senator, HOSA Vice President, HOSA Leadership Committee Chairperson, School Site Council Member, NHS President, EcoBuds President, American Heart Association President and Connect President.”

What are some things that contribute to your good work ethic?

“Things that contribute to my good work ethic are my willingness to be proactive, collaborative, and outspoken. Many of the opportunities that I have encountered have come to me as a result of my willingness to speak up and verbally demonstrate the passion that I have for many things on and off campus. The quality of my work ethic developed within me at an early age and still continues to grow, flourish, and develop.”

Which Wilson staff do you appreciate the most or feel has had a positive impact on your high school career?

“Truthfully, there is no singular staff member that I appreciate the most at Wilson. There is a variety of Wilson staff that have supported me in a diverse amount of ways throughout high school that I attribute my success to. Mr. Han, Ms. Jara, Mr. Eusebi, Dr. Ramirez, Dr. Kenfield, Mr. Purcey, Ms. Padilla, Mr. Pham, and Ms. Kim are all staff members at Wilson that I greatly appreciate and have enjoyed interacting with.”

Max Padilla (12)

What kind of school year do you hope to have this year?

“A successful one. I hope I will not get senioritis and want to keep my grades up to be as prepared for college as I can. More than anything, I want to make a lot of memories through it all.”

What are some of your favorite memories that you have made just starting your senior year?

“I would say the Beat LA football game was the best for sure because I saw a lot of people from our school and friends from other schools too. [My friends and I] all went to eat after the game. That night along with Senior Beach Day in August was the most memorable.”

What are some things you want to experience before you graduate?

“I want to have a good homecoming and prom experience, a successful basketball year, get accepted into colleges, and experience all the senior events.”

Where do you hope to go after high school and what makes you so passionate about that dream?

“I want to go to college, get a degree, and either go into sports broadcasting and commentary or piloting. I am passionate about these dreams because they are both things I am really interested in and provide career opportunities that offer a lot of money.”

Who have been some of the most influential staff or teachers that you felt have supported you these past four years?

“Mr. Kakimoto! I love Mr. K just for everything he does and how he teaches. His teaching style always kept me engaged and he was always there for me and I could talk to him about anything. Shoutout to Mr. Gomez too, I loved that guy freshman year. I had him for freshman year English and I created a great bond with him. He gave me my first positive experience at Wilson and really made me feel welcome.”

What community or group of students do you think has been your support group throughout the past four years of high school?

“Definitely the basketball team and choir. Choir was always a good community because not only do we sing together, but we also go through life together. As for the basketball team, we can share our pain and we’re all in the same boat. That’s really what has brought us closer together.”

Katrina Liang (12)

Where do you hope to go after high school and what about that dream makes you so passionate?

“I am honestly really excited to have new experiences and meet new people. I am a big people-person and the ability to go out into the world and experience new things, good and bad, is really enticing for me.”

What extracurriculars/activities do you feel have kept you busy this year so far?

Definitely KIWIN’S! I serve as their District KFF Chair so I have been in charge of leading a committee in regards to everything Kiwanis Family-related. With my committee I create resources and head spread awareness about the KFAM for all of the District. I also have other basic duties such as meetings, lots of emails, and stuff that comes with such. In addition, I attend a multitude of events being hosted from the club to the District level keeping me busy!

What classes are you taking?

“AP Statistics, AP Literature and the rest are my pathways: AP Computer Science, Design and Development Honors, and Choir.”

What is your favorite thing about being a senior?

“I think my favorite part of being a senior is being able to be a mentor in a way to the underclassmen. I’ve always had upperclassmen looking over me so I am really excited to be able to do that for others.”

Which teachers or staff members do you think you will have good relationships with this year?

“Definitely Mr. Ro, my engineering teacher as well as Mr.Brown. Both of them have known me the longest since my freshman year so I seem to just have a closer bond with them!”

Spencer Kung (12)

How has your senior year been going so far? 

“My senior year has been really fun so far. I have been able to attend a football game with my friends and also enjoy messing around with them in class. I feel that I have a lot more time compared to the prior year. My classes and teachers this year are both fantastic.”

Where do you hope to go after high school and what about that dream makes you so passionate?

“I hope to attend UC San Diego after high school because of its status and also because they have a great computer science program. I know alumni that have been able to attend there and I hope to follow in their path. My passion comes from my hope to pursue a computer science career in the future.”

What is your current schedule like as a senior and how do you feel it differs from your other three years of high school?

“My current schedule is pretty relaxed as a senior. This is my first year having a free sixth period and I enjoy the extra time I can use to either hang with my friends or get my homework done. I am not sure if I can really compare it to my sophomore year because it was online, but compared to my junior year, this year is a lot more chill. I still am taking AP classes but definitely less than last year.”

What extracurriculars do you want to invest the most time into this year?

“I hope to engage myself more in clubs this year as I don’t think I really did that much regarding that last year. The organization I plan to spend the most time on is the code team. We have projects coming up where we must try to build an app that solves a problem. Outside of school however, I hope to dedicate some time to the gym every day.”

How do you want to finish your last year of high school?

“I hope to finish my last year of high school holding some fun and meaningful memories. My dad always told me that high school was some of the best times of his life and that you only get these 4 years once in your life. I hope to hang out more with my friends and attend more school events. I also hope to build some strong relations I may be able to keep after high school.”

Kailyne Zaarour (12)

Where do you hope to go after high school and what about that dream makes you so passionate?

“After high school I plan to attend a UC and finish all my credits. From there I hope to enter a medical school and intern at a hospital. As I keep changing my major in the medical field, I hope to become a pediatrician. These dreams make me passionate since I can’t wait to work with little kids and make them feel better.”

How do you deal with the stress of the college decision-making process?

“I always ask my teachers or previous college graduates. They are always willing to help give advice when I feel stressed. Knowing that I can start early helps me not feel rushed to just get it turned in in November.”

Who do you think has helped you the most throughout these four years in becoming who you are today?

“Definitely my parents. They have always encouraged me to become the best person I can be. They support me by taking me to practice every other day especially since competition season gets really busy. And if I ever feel like I need someone to talk to, they have always been very understanding.”

What career path do you have in mind and why do you think that suits you the most?

“Once again I dream to become in the medical field. Our school has given me many opportunities to take a glance into the medical field and see how it feels to help other patients and watch them heal. It suits me the most since I have dealt with my little sister spending most of her childhood in the hospital, it only makes me feel proud to help kids also get better.”

What are you currently learning as a senior about leaving high school?

“As a senior I am currently learning that I have a long path ahead of me and I am nowhere near done. Adulthood is right around the corner and I will have to challenge obstacles I may never think of. High school has taught me how to be social and not procrastinate. So I hope to take these lessons with me into college and in my future.

Do you look forward to graduation? 

Of course! I cannot wait to wear our gowns and finally finish high school. However, my first day of freshman year felt like yesterday.

What short-term goals do you hope to accomplish within these next few months?

“I hope to finish my college applications, make it to championships for the RWMA, and prepare myself for the AP exams at the end of the year. I plan to continue to work hard and not procrastinate!”

Isidro Pena (12)

Where do you hope to go after high school and what makes you passionate about the future?

I hope to go to a 4-year university to pursue a degree in physics and after that either find a job or continue on and get a Ph.D. My curiosity of how the world works is what makes me so passionate about pursuing higher education.

How do you stay motivated to finish off your last year of high school strong?

College applications seem more and more competitive and it is becoming more important to put your best foot forward. Many seniors choose a light course load for their last year but I am taking all APs/IBs to get ahead of the game.

What are some upcoming big things going on in your life or extracurriculars before graduation?

I have some interviews with physics graduates and those working in the field to learn more about my major as well as campus tours. I am also excited for all my cross country and track races this year to finish my four years in the sport as strong as possible.

Have you been experiencing senioritis?

Personally, I have not been experiencing senioritis because I am too busy right now to think about it. So much homework and extracurriculars as well as the college application has my mind full. However, I can imagine the senioritis hitting hard during the second semester as college applications are done and I no longer have to worry about completing them.

Is there any advice you could give to any other seniors?

For my fellow seniors, I would advise not taking the college application process so seriously. College decisions are not a measure of your character and no matter where you go you will be receiving an amazing education and be on the road to a successful future.

Sophia Friedman (12)

Where do you hope to go after high school and what about that dream makes you so passionate?

“After high school, I hope to attend a university and continue afterward in medical school. The competition required in becoming a doctor is what has really motivated me to push myself and exceed my expectations.”

If you could go to any college, where would it be?

“If I were to go to any college it would be UCLA. I have always loved the campus and they are well known for many of their health programs.”

What advice would you give to your freshman self three years ago?

“The advice that I would give my freshman self three years ago is to start my service hours and to join clubs and sports as a freshman.”

What do you feel has made your high school experience so memorable?

“Honestly, being involved with my school has made my high school experience so memorable. It has made me find the best in the little things.”

What are some things you feel has helped make you a better student?

“My number one thing that helped me be a better student is self-motivation. The only person who can do it is yourself. Do not rely on others.”

Rafael Safin (12)

Where do you hope to go after high school and what about that dream makes you so passionate?

“I am still unsure what I would like to do after high school, but I am really looking forward to it to see what I will do this year.”

What have you been enjoying most about your senior year?

“I have been enjoying most parts of it. For some reason, I feel relieved as a senior.”

What are some goals you want to reach within your last year of high school?

“I would like to enjoy my last year of high school as much as I possibly can. I would like to participate in every  spirit week and come to a lot of our sports games.”

How do you feel about entering a new stage in life after high school?

“I am very nervous to enter a new life because I do not know what’s ahead of me, but I’ll make sure to do my best!”

What is your favorite memory in high school?

“I would say our most recent Beat LA football game is one of my favorite memories, but I cannot really decide. It is too long of a list.”

What are some things you think you will miss most about high school?

“I will definitely miss just everything at Wilson after finishing my last year. From the places I have created good memories and to the people I have met these past four years that have changed my life.”

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