10th, 11th, 12th

Sophomore Ivan Isabeles (left), shown here with his mom (right), is fluent in Spanish and English. However, he wants to learn a third language: Nahuatl. He states, “…languages are how we communicate, how we live, how we think more about ourselves abstractly.” (Provided by Ivan Isabeles)

10th Grade: Ivan Isabeles

Sophomore Ivan Isabeles considers himself to be a shy and introverted person. Isabeles came to UP for the smaller environment in his freshman year and was not as socially active as he would have liked to have been. “[It] was hard to get out there, it’s a small school and everyone already had their foundations.” Isabeles is trying to break out of his shell; he is considering joining track or cross country and clubs like GSA. 

Isabeles has a 4.0 GPA and many different interests like law, nursing, and psychology. He is even interested in opening a restaurant and wants to work on his culinary skills. 

Right now, Isabeles is fluent in two languages and is learning a third. He speaks Spanish and English as they were taught to him from a very young age, but is on his way to knowing Nahuatl, an old Aztec language. Languages fascinate him because he thinks, “languages are how we communicate, how we live, how we think more about ourselves abstractly.’’

Isabeles believes he was nominated for Student of the Month because, “I do what I’m told and I’m told that I am mature for my age.” 

Biology teacher Summer Zimmerman comments, “He was always very polite and positive to other students; he enjoyed being challenged. He was a fun student to have in class.”


Junior Olivia Pearson aspires to become a music composer. In her free time, she plays many musical instruments and reads too. (Provided by Olivia Pearson)

11th Grade: Olivia Pearson

Moving to new schools can be very challenging for some teenagers, but not for Olivia Pearson. In fact, her transition from Victor Valley Christian to University Preparatory has been smooth. She states, “Although it has been hard to meet new people with the situation right now, teachers and students have been very welcoming.” Pearson has a strong interest in fine arts, playing many musical instruments to pass her time. She states that she wants to be a music composer when she grows up.

When asked about how University Preparatory has helped her reach her goals she states, “My choir teacher, Mr. Lopez, has [gotten] me in contact with an actual music composer and it was a good opportunity that he has given me.” Talking to a music composer has helped her have insight on what to prepare for in the future.

Along with her love for fine arts, Pearson also manages to balance it with school, with her 4.0 GPA really showing it. She states that her favorite subjects are English and History, and also adds that she likes reading in her free time too [along with fine arts]. When asked about her nomination she answers, “To be honest I don’t know why they nominated me… I try to be engaged in classes by answering questions and un-muting my mic, but other than that I don’t know why.”

12th Grade: Janelle White

Senior Janelle White is passionate about her two main extracurriculars: journalism and drama. One of the schools she would love to go to is UC Irvine because it offers both narrative journalism and film production majors. (Provided by Janelle White)

Janelle White has learned so much during her high school years. All the personal struggles that she has faced has led to her becoming a successful senior. Transitioning from middle school to high school has made her realize the importance of taking initiative. She spends her time with her extracurriculars: journalism and drama. In journalism, she is in charge of multimedia and is also the Co-Editor in Chief. Tying in with taking journalism in high school, she states that she wants to be a broadcast journalist in the future.

Back in in-person learning, she used to stay up to 12 hours at school for drama, but now she spends that time with her sisters, dancing, and going outside if she can.

Just like all seniors this time of year, White also applied to colleges. She has applied to UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UCLA, CSU Long Beach, and many more. The school that she really wants to go to is UC Irvine, because they offer narrative journalism and film production majors- both of which she is interested in.

When asked what her teachers would describe her as she states, “They would describe me as quiet and self-reserved because I don’t really talk in class.” When it came to her nomination, she states, “I actually don’t know, I never participate and unmute to answer questions, but I’m pretty loud when it comes to the chat box. When I do type in the chat box I get the class engaged.”