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GRADUATION:
Special section

Tribute to the
Class of 2014

Congratulations
to graduates

In their own words

Bishop O'Dowd

Carondelet
High School

De La Salle
High School

Holy Names
High School

Moreau Catholic
High School

St. Elizabeth
High School

Salesian College
Preparatory

St. Joseph Notre
Dame High School

Bishop O'Dowd
student gets
perfect SAT score

4 students complete
almost 18,000 hours
as volunteers

Bequest funds scholarships for
two at SJND

De La Salle breaks
ground for $20M
Innovation Center

Holy Names
students bring technology
education to pupils

Celebrating a
garden, and
Catholic education

Helping others
knows no age limits
at St. Agnes

Our Lady of
Guadalupe School
celebrates its
50th anniversary

50th anniversary
of Salesian's first
graduating class

Support for
missing girls

Honoring Mary,
honoring mothers

Young kitchen
volunteer

Joy Through
Toys Walk

Singing for
the bishop

St. Isidore car wash

For city kids, city neighborhoods

College graduations work around, even embrace social media

 
placeholder June 9, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA
Tribute to the Class of 2014

Here are some of this year's outstanding graduates of the Catholic high schools in the Oakland Diocese. The Catholic Voice salutes them and all graduates of the Class of 2014.


Bishop O'Dowd High School, Oakland


Tara Viviani
Tara Viviani

COLLEGE ATTENDING: Georgetown University

TO STUDY: Biology and Spanish

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire my parents more than anyone else. Neither of them was able to attend college, and I really admire all the years they have worked and sacrifices they have made so my siblings and I can achieve higher education.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? High school has taught me the value of trying new things. Between starting softball my freshman year, transferring schools junior year and giving parliamentary debate a whirl senior year, I have learned that trying new things allows one to find new skills and passions as well as teaches one how to contend with new situations.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I love biology and interdisciplinary courses that connect biology directly to philosophy, politics and human applications. I want to use these interests to become a doctor that can volunteer in clinics, assist in drafting health policies and help set up health care systems in other countries.




Yishan 'Ethan' Wang
Yishan 'Ethan' Wang

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California, Berkeley

TO STUDY: Political Science/International Relations

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire Nelson Mandela the most. His great passion, wisdom, and ability to forgive have inspired me greatly. He is my role model.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? The most important lesson I learned was to be passionate and live truly. This school contains so many people who are passionate for what they are doing. This has encouraged me to step out and pursue what I want.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I hope to create a new political structure for the world. I also hope to contribute in my own way for a peaceful world, and mending the relationship between the countries of the world.


Carondelet High School, Concord

Megan Medeiros

Megan Medeiros

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of Portland

TO STUDY: Nursing

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I most admire Malala Yousafzai because she is an advocate for girls' education in Pakistan, despite being targeted by the Taliban. As a student at an all-girls high school, I find her bravery in the face of adversity inspirational.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? The most important lesson I learned in high school was the importance of serving others. As a teenager, it is easy to be selfish, but this is not the right thing to do. When we serve others, we create a better, more just world, for all to live in.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? After I graduate nursing school, I want to work with Doctors Without Borders, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to spread health care and vaccinations to politically unstable third world countries. Locally, I would also like to volunteer at health clinics for the homeless in the Bay Area.




Elizabeth Whiteman
Elizabeth Whiteman

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of Notre Dame

TO STUDY: Biology

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire my mom most because she is such a strong example of faith and love in my life. She has constantly supported me in all of my endeavors and has made sure I have had all opportunities possible to succeed.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? When I look back on my four years, the truly most important lesson I learned was not in the classroom or from a textbook. By making lifelong friends and volunteering with the less fortunate, I have learned the power of love and how it can overcome prejudice and hate.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I think there are many people in the world who are deemed less important than others and I want to change that opinion to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect. I plan to change the injustices I see in society and refuse to stand by and watch it happen.



Grant Butler
De La Salle High School, Concord

Grant Butler

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California,
Santa Barbara

TO STUDY: Economics

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire my former basketball coach, Frank Allocoo Sr., because of his constant pursuit of excellence and the many life lessons I have gained from him throughout the years.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? The most important lesson that I learned in high school was that many opportunities in life only come around once, so you need to live in the present moment and take full advantage of them.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I hope to someday become involved in politics, where I'll have a chance to make decisions that will lead to a brighter and more responsible future. But until then I simply hope to spread positivity and compassion to those around me.




Jarrett Taylor
Jarrett Taylor

COLLEGE ATTENDING: Dartmouth College

TO STUDY: Biophysical Chemistry

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? Leonardo da Vinci has been a constant source of fascination and inspiration for me since I saw Ever After as a kid. Growing up I have always tried to emulate the eccentric curiosity and kind nature displayed by da Vinci in both that film and his actual life.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? In Alan Lightman's article "A Brief Version of Time" for the New York Times, he predicts the population would split in two if they had endless time: the Laters and the Nows. Although rest and relaxation are important, I learned it is generally more rewarding to live Now.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? Quite honestly, I don't know with any specificity what I would like to do with my life but I have the feeling I will try to revolutionize whatever field I enter, which definitely draws me towards the cutting edge of scientific endeavors such as bio- and nanotechnology.


Holy Names High School, Oakland


Jenny Ly
Jenny Ly

COLLEGE ATTENDING: Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts

TO STUDY: Undecided

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire my parents and my older brother for their nerve to go after what they want, their honesty, and how they have a strong sense of who they are, especially as I am trying to figure out who I am and what my place in the world will be.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? I've learned not to join clubs just to impress colleges. Colleges ask you what you like about those activities and you don't want to be left grasping at straws to prove your lukewarm "passion." So you do "you" and go be that unique, interesting person you are.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I want to make deep impressions on the people around me. I really loved tutoring kids and playing Ping-Pong with the folks at the senior daycare. My contribution may not be as grand or universal as finding the cure for cancer but I feel it's a worthy, realistic one.




Coralie Rodriguez
Coralie Rodriguez

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California,
Los Angeles

TO STUDY: Applied Geophysics

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire all "glass ceiling breakers." I appreciate people who contribute positively to our society but also defy a norm that in turn advances the way we think about our situation. Even the smallest defiance of the expected can create a big impact. Lindsey Stirling is a dancing violinist who was told she wasn't "marketable," however she worked hard and is going on another tour right now.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? I learned two lessons that serve each other: stand up for what you believe in and you can accomplish anything you put your mind to with hard work. Although these are hackneyed, I've seen these lessons play out first hand this year, and it was inspirational.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I talked with some girls in the geoscience department at UCLA, and one of the things they told me was that they wanted to change the world. When I heard that, I realized that such a simple statement was so powerful and possible. So, I would like to change the world, whether that be in a small act of kindness in my everyday life or a significant research finding in my academia.


Moreau Catholic High School, Hayward


Khloe Heath
Khloe Heath

COLLEGE ATTENDING: Cornell University

TO STUDY: Chemical engineering

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire my mother. As shown by my peers and teachers' love for her, she is a wonderful person to know. Her hard work ranges from my home life, to her job at Moreau, to the badminton court as an assistant coach. Without her organization, my life would be a mess. She's sacrificed so much for me, and I owe her everything.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? I've learned to try to go through my life without regrets. I learned this lesson the hard way; my freshman year, I was a shy student who barely got involved with school activities. Now that I'm a graduating senior looking back on my experiences, I've realized that I have had the most fun when I've been the most engaged in my school, and I regret my lack of enthusiasm four years ago.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? As cliché as it sounds, I've always wanted to help people. My career path as of now, chemical engineering, will help me do so by making life better for both the citizens of the world and the world itself. I hope to use my skills to make products cheaper and more efficient, while also attempting to reduce our negative impact on the environment.




John "Jack" Alexander
John "Jack" Alexander

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California, Santa Barbara

TO STUDY: Double major: computer science and electrical engineering

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire entrepreneur Elon Musk because of his choice to promote and lead three very different companies — Solar City, Tesla and SpaceX — based primarily on improving the future of our world and the human race. His decisions are guided by an incredibly long-term and humanitarian perspective that is, I believe, what engineering should be all about.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? People behave completely differently when you can see them and when you can't. Chatting with a person online, they are funnier, less reserved and occasionally scarier. I always find this experience refreshing because it seems to allow both participants to express their personalities much more accurately.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? Whatever I do and wherever I go, I would like to maximize my contribution. A dollar for a homeless person in America will buy a hamburger, but a dollar for a third-world worker can be more than an entire day's salary. Just so, an astronaut will receive training, glory, fame, but the engineers are the ones who put the astronaut into orbit.


Salesian College Preparatory, Richmond


Samuel Patrick Pajuleras
Samuel Patrick Pajuleras

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California, Berkeley

TO STUDY: Biochemistry/Molecular Cell Biology

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? My father has impacted my life in words that I cannot explain. His persevering attitude and drive to succeed inspire me to accomplish achievements that I've dreamed of attaining. He advises me about the reality of life, and he always has an open ear whenever I need someone to talk to.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? Progressively through my four years at Salesian, I've learned that one has to be involved in an interdependent world. As an only child, I've always done things by myself, but have learned that social interaction is key to getting the job done easier and faster.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I believe that service is important to a healthy society. Being involved in community service projects in and out of school, I plan to work in a place where my time and talent are needed the most. Working in the medical field will allow me to achieve that goal.




Alyssa Rubio
Alyssa Rubio

COLLEGE ATTENDING: Emerson College

TO STUDY: Film and Video Production

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? While I admire many people, my mother takes the cake. She works extremely hard to provide for my family, while still being the kindest and most understanding woman I have ever known. She is my best friend and biggest supporter, and I love her to pieces.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? I have learned that hope keeps dreams alive. It is incredibly important to me to hold out hope for things so that I am able to make those dreams a reality.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I want to make it known that no one is truly alone in this world by creating films that relate to many different people, and unify everyone with a common idea.


St. Elizabeth High School, Oakland


Jefferson Cortave
Jefferson Cortave

COLLEGE ATTENDING: Holy Names University

TO STUDY: Business

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire my parents the most because they have cultivated an attitude of positivity and productivity within me. They have taught me to work hard for what I need.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? The most important lesson I learned in high school was to never give up. There have been times when I've fallen and wanted to throw in the towel, but with the help of my family and friends I've been able to get back up and keep going.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I hope to be able to give back to the community that raised me and help those in need, regardless of race or gender. I believe that we are all created in the image and likeness of God; therefore we should all be of service to one another.




Karina Tavares Perez
Karina Tavares Perez

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California, Santa Cruz

TO STUDY: Art and Psychology

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I admire my parents because they are very hardworking people that motivate me to give it my all.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? Never give up and try your best.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I want to help people find happiness.




St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Alameda


Amelia Khoo
Amelia Khoo

COLLEGE ATTENDING: Brown University

TO STUDY: Biomedical Engineering and/or Literary Arts

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I most admire my sister. She has really paved the way for me. She handles all of life's difficulties well, and somehow always finds the time to help me with my sometimes-trivial problems.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? In middle school I was really shy; I literally did nothing outside of school. In high school that changed. It has taught me that challenging myself – academically, socially, and athletically – is always for the better. Taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone isn't fun at first, but it really, really pays off in so many ways.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I don't think I have any single defined thing I want to contribute like "curing cancer" or "discovering time travel." I think what I want more is to leave the world a little better than it was when I came here, even if it's just in a small way. (Although, curing cancer or discovering time travel would be pretty cool too.)




Isabela Reid
Isabela Reid

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California, Berkeley

TO STUDY: Business Administration & Film and Media

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? My grandma has been a huge source of inspiration for me throughout my life. Growing up in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, she experienced events that no child should have to endure. Nevertheless, her gentleness and forgiveness during difficult times is admirable, and I strive to be more like her. Without her unceasing support, I would not have been able to succeed as I have.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? The most important lesson I learned is that managing your time is the most important aspect in approaching any project, and that you can't do it all – you have to choose a few activities you truly enjoy and devote time to those. By giving your all, you will receive the best results.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I want to enter the film world, but specifically, I want to make people laugh and momentarily forget any troubles, by means of a film. Laughter is the best medicine, and making films is the most effective way to make as many people as possible laugh and have a good time.


Saint Mary’s College High School, Berkeley


Barbara Montano
Barbara Montano

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California, Berkeley

TO STUDY: Undeclared

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? My grandmother has always been the person I admire most. Her commitment to her education, her dedication to helping others, her strength of character, and her never-ending love have always inspired me.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? Of all the many and wonderful things I have learned in high school, perhaps the most important lesson was how to step outside of myself and engage in my world. Saint Mary's has taught me to be aware of everything and everyone around me.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? As many people say, I want to make the world a better place. I want to contribute to the world with the skills I have learned in high school, and then in college, by attempting to alleviate poverty and hunger so that the world can be a positive place for everyone.




Joshua Pena
Joshua Pena

COLLEGE ATTENDING: University of California, Santa Cruz

TO STUDY: Math and Computer Science or Math and Computer Engineering

WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I am not sure about whom I admire most, but I know I admire many people, from my parents, to friends, to the teachers I have the honor of working with. Everyone has qualities and abilities that amaze, impress, and put me in awe.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL? The most important lesson that I have learned is to have the confidence and courage to do what I set out to do and not procrastinate too much.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD? I want to continue doing what I am currently doing, which is helping and supporting others to achieve their goals and to be the best they can be.

 
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