10th, 11th, 12th

10th Grade: Etta Montgomery

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Etta has many hobbies and things she’s interested in. She likes baking, writing, reading, playing instruments, listening to music, watching movies, drawing and playing video games. As of right now, Etta’s favorite games are Stardew Valley Minecraft and Hades. On top of Etta’s many hobbies, she currently owns a pet corn snake and has a growing collection of space themed calendars. She enjoys having many hobbies and thinks very highly of her pet snake. Although Etta isn’t in any clubs or sports she enjoys these hobbies, and hopes to maybe one day joining a cooking club. When Etta was asked why she believed she won Student of the Month she answered, “I’m assuming it’s either, because I have good grades or my name got pulled in a random lottery.” She was very confused on why she had gotten chosen as Student of the Month, but when she was asked about her grades they explained everything needed to know. Etta is a straight A student, and currently has all A+’s and 1 A. She said she is very proud of herself this year for getting these grades. Although Etta did not return to in person school, she still participates in class and gives the teachers the attention they deserve. Etta is surprised and happy that she got the opportunity to be Student of the Month for May. She appreciates that her teachers think so highly of her, and is happy for herself in the matter that she has won something for behaving good in school, and getting good grades. Etta hopes to continue succeeding in school and in her general life. 

11th Grade: Nora Meugniot

Her passion for ballet helped Nora throughout this difficult year, during which she faced struggles with motivation in her studies. (Provided by Nora Meugniot)

Staying motivated has been one of the hardest things throughout this 2020-2021 school year at University Preparatory for many students. Nora Meugniot shares, “I’ve been at UP for six years now, since seventh grade, and I’ve made a ton of friends to help me through classes.” Having to spend an entire school year online has its ups and downs. “There’s certainly tough parts about this year; struggling with motivation, not feeling like doing any of the work, procrastinating a lot. The end of the year, or graduating next year, that future, certainly has helped me push through my challenges.” Meugniot adds that her senior year works as motivation for her to wrap up her junior year quickly. “My motivation, especially this year, has been dance and it’s provided an extra outlet for me to be able to just express myself, and I hope to do that through college and my careers. I’ve been looking into Calstate Fullerton because it offers a lot of programs I’m interested in, and I look forward to that.”

As much as Meugniot mentions she adores ballet and pointe, she states she doesn’t have much time for any other hobbies or interests. “I’m always busy with life and homework… I love time to relax, I mean, who doesn’t?.. My time is mostly taken up by those two things and I just haven’t been able to find a different hobby… if I had the time I would probably want to help Key Club… or help out other people like maybe tutoring?” 

When asked about why she was chosen to be Student of the Month, Meugniot laughed and said she wasn’t sure. “I don’t know! I mean, I’ve done everything every other student has done… I really don’t know. I didn’t even tell my mom I got Student of the Month!” She exclaimed before adding, “I would say it’s because of my hard work and dedication throughout the school year!” Although she struggled with the lack of motivation, just as many UP students have, Nora Meugniot was able to push through in the hopes of achieving her future goals! 

11th Grade: Bibianna Rodriguez

(Provided by Bibianna Rodriguez)

Not available for comment.

12th Grade: Alroza Rasy

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Alroza found herself making many memories her senior year, despite being involuntarily tied to virtual learning. “Although online school was incredibly difficult at times, in terms of being motivated to continue on, I still found it memorable to sit at home on my screen with my classmates!” Many students have found it difficult to be able to focus and stay motivated this school year, though Rasy appreciated all of the memories she made. She responded with, “I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be able to continue my senior year and, with the help of faculty and staff, we were given as much as we could do.” when asked how she felt about graduating high school in the middle of a pandemic. Rasy mentioned that her biggest motivation was to help people. “… knowing that someone’s life can be impacted from my help, that’s my motivation.”

Beyond high school, Rasy has many goals she wishes to accomplish. “I want to have the best grades I can earn in college. I’m aware of the difficulty, but I strive to do the best I can push myself to do.” In regards to her hopes for this next year, she says. “As time progresses, and it’s time for me to move on, my hopes for the upcoming year is to have an adjustable first year in college and continue to push forward.” Rasy hopes to major in biology in the near future. 

Outside of school, Rasy is very in touch with her culture. “I love to dance! I do cultural dancing, belly dancing…. I’m also a henna artist, whenever I get the chance, I always draw!” Rasy mentioned she didn’t know exactly why she was chosen for Student of the Month. “I’m not sure why I was chosen… however, I am extremely grateful for it!” Rasy shows that despite her final year of high school at UP being virtual, she is excited for college and is ready to move towards a new chapter in her life.

12th Grade: Denisse Arana Bonales

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Dennise Arana Bonales shares she had a difficult time balancing school with many other of her responsibilities. “Online school was difficult this year, having to manage ASB, school work, work, and my personal life. Oftentimes, it was simple because of time management, but I had little time to myself.” Bonales admits she was able to surpass this year due to her good time management, but sacrificed personal time for herself in order to do so. “My hope for the following year is to be able to go to college in person and explore who I am outside of high school.” Bonales is hoping to grow outside of her high school life and flourish into college in person rather than virtually through screens like the past year and a half of school. 

Bonales has very ambitious goals for college. “My academic goal would be to finish my bachelors early, in two or two and a half years, so that I could focus on getting into medical school. I want to become a reconstructive plastic surgeon.” She tells the story as to why she chose her future career path. “I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field and work in a hospital. Growing up, I would visit some of my uncles who were cosmetic plastic surgeons and I wanted to do what they were doing. Once I reached high school and volunteered at a hospital, I realized I never wanted to open up my own clinic and have my own plastic surgery business. I wanted to work in the hospitals and work with emergency patients, in that way I wanted to help. After meeting a burn victim and the surgeon in that case, I decided that I wanted to specialize in reconstructive surgery rather than cosmetic.” She explains that through her uncles she realized her ambition for being a surgeon, and through the volunteering experience, she was able to see how exactly she wanted to be able to help others. 

Graduating in a pandemic can be an odd but very rewarding experience. Bonales says, “I felt very grateful to be graduating in the midst of a pandemic. I didn’t think we were going to be able to have a ‘normal’ graduation so being able to see all my classmates actually walk the stage and see their families with them on that day made it special.” Seeing what seemed like a close-to-normal graduation during the COVID-19 pandemic was reassuring to Bonales. “I do wish that we had a normal school year. It would’ve been amazing to get to experience all of the senior activities, but I am extremely grateful that some things did end up happening for us.” Although having her final high school year online and missing out on some of the normal senior traditions and experiences, Bonales was more than grateful that many things worked out in everyone’s favor and that her graduation was amazing.