Are you an Asian American student graduating from high school or college? You may be eligible for the Northwest Asian Weekly’s Outstanding Graduates column.
To qualify, you must have a minimum GPA of 3.6, have overcome personal adversity, or are an outstanding athlete, community volunteer, or artist.
Mountlake Terrace High School
“I am very happy [being a lifeguard]. Like I said, I can’t stay away from the water.”
Shalea Semana is a student full of diverse passions. She is a photographer, swimmer, actress, school officer, and a philanthropist. When she was only a few months old, her mother introduced her to a swimming pool. Since then, Semana has loved swimming. This year, she was elected as the captain of her high school swim team. She also enjoys taking pictures and hopes to take pictures of London, Australia, and Barcelona in the future.
Not only is Semana a photographer, but she is also an actress. In her spare time, she dabbles in acting.
She was nominated among her peers to be her junior class secretary. She represented her high school in Edmonds School District conferences. Along with these achievements, she gives back to the community by being a camp counselor and fundraising for the Central Asia Institute.
Semana graduated with a GPA of 3.86 and will be attending the University of Washington next fall.
Roosevelt High School
“I am enthusiastic about helping underrepresented groups because I know spending time to help them can make a huge difference.”
Karen Wong helps those in need. She is an active volunteer for Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development (WILD).
Through the organization, she works as a translator for elderly Chinese-speaking immigrants. She attentively listens to their problems and accurately translates the issues.
She also helps teach conversational English phrases to Chinese immigrants. In addition, Wong works as a basic aid instructor for the American Red Cross.
Through this experience, she realized that children in low-income areas are less prepared for natural disasters. This dilemma drove her to study international relations and business. She is also a certified nurse assistant and volunteered at a local veteran hospital.
Wong is also the president of her school’s Japanese club and is a strong advocate for cultural awareness. She is also an active member of the National Honor Society and has helped distribute water filters internationally. Wong dreams of one day creating a foundation to help economically and socially disadvantaged students.
Wong graduated with a 3.9 GPA and will be attending the University of Washington.
Mountlake Terrace High School
“I think that engineering is really important in our life because it helps to develop our society.”
Though An Ho has only been in the United States for three and a half years, Ho is one of the four students with the highest GPA at Mountlake Terrace High School. Ho acknowledges how difficult it was to learn a new language. However, after studying hard, Ho was able to overcome these obstacles.
With a passion for mathematics and science, Ho is recognized for excellence in Advanced Placement chemistry, physical science, physics, biology, and pre-calculus. With her astounding abilities in math and science, Ho dreams of becoming an electrical engineer. Ho pursues this dream because she believes that engineers are vital for society to develop.
As an active member of the National Honor Society, after spending countless hours studying, Ho helps students and teachers on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Ho graduated with a 3.933 GPA and will be attending Shoreline Community College.
Hazen High School
“I have always aspired and worked to becoming a model student, citizen, and an outstanding role model for others to follow.”
Being a cheerleader, mentor, honor student, and philanthropist are only a few of the roles that Alyssa Arinobu plays.
At her school, Arinobu is known to be someone who can juggle clubs, sports, music, community service, and academics. Since her freshman year, she has been cheering for her school’s sport teams.
She is a member of several different organizations, such as concert band, the National Honor Society, thinker’s club, link crew, and the yearbook committee.
Her school has also recognized her strong leadership qualities and nominated her to attend the Jostens Leadership Conference for high school leaders.
Arinobu volunteered for a breast cancer awareness barbeque, the Chinatown spring clean-up, Walk for Rice, Relay for Life, and a prostate cancer barbeque.
It is her goal in life is to become a model student, citizen, and an outstanding role model for others to follow. Arinobu wants to become a dentist to provide free dental care for third world countries.
She graduated with a 3.94 GPA and will be attending the University of Washington. ♦