7th, 8th, 9th

Seventh grade Student of the Month winner Sneha Rajkumar (third from the left) posted this image to a Padlet, stating, “My family and I play different games, watch movies, and hangout together. I think this was my dad’s birthday like 2 years ago so I put cake on his nose.” Quarantine has given her the opportunity to spend more time with family. (Provided by Sneha Rajkumar)

7th Grade: Sneha Rajkumar

Seventh grader Sneha Rajkumar is a very goal oriented, positive person. Just like everyone right now, quarantine has been a sad time for her, but has allowed her to spend time with family and people she did not have a chance to be with before, including her dad and sister from college. 

Rajkumar has spent this at-home time crafting, drawing, coloring, and going on walks. With her family, she enjoys playing board games and watching different shows or movies. She has many hobbies such as learning to play the piano, finishing puzzles, and reading Harry Potter books. 

The shift from an old school to UP can be difficult. As for her first year at UP, she was very stressed at first not knowing how much homework she would get and not being able to make new friends. But after some struggle, she said, “Recently, I have been thinking more positively; like when we go back I will have more in class time to do my work so I will have less homework, and I will get to make friends.” This year she has been very passionate about participating in school events; for instance, she took part in the pumpkin carving contest, the cookie decorating contest, and spirit week in general. This is one of the reasons why she thinks she was nominated for December. She thinks her straight A’s could also be a reason.

In the future, she wishes to go to UCLA just as her sister did and after she plans to go to medical school and become a doctor. “I want to possibly become an eye doctor because when I was young my mom told me that there are not many eye doctors in the world.” 

 

Eighth grader Katie Lujan thinks she was elected for Student of the Month due to her participation in clubs and ASB. She has a passion for soccer, and is also in the cooking club. (Provided by Jamie Lujan)

8th Grade: Katie Lujan

Coming into eighth grade for Katie Lujan during the pandemic has made her have to adjust a lot. At home, she does not really have a quiet spot for herself so school can be troubling. “After school, I have to try [hard] to find a good area to study for tests and do homework so it’s really hard to stay motivated and concentrate.” Even if it is difficult at times, she still keeps up with her work to make sure nothing piles up later. 

During her time in quarantine, Lujan has had more time to study and play with her friends. She loves to talk to them and play games like Minecraft or Among Us. She also has a passion for soccer and although she could not play this year, she was on the team last year and hopes she can start again soon. 

This year, she also joined the cooking club which she finds really fun. There they are able to make recipes together on camera. Even with school being set up differently this year, she loves science and her teacher Mrs. Barr. Despite not being able to do labs in class, she still enjoys it. 

After high school, she dreams of becoming a nurse, possibly a trauma nurse. “I’ve always thought about it when I was little.” She also hopes to travel the world. Lujan believes that she got elected for Student of the Month because of her participation in clubs and ASB, as well as being on top of her grades. 

 

Freshman Isobella Camacho first got into drawing around 10 years of age. She says that she prefers doodling small art pieces as drawing larger ones give her more stress.  (Provided by Isobella Camacho)

9th Grade: Isobella Camacho

Freshman Isobella Camacho is a hard working and goal oriented student. She focuses on school and has a GPA of 4.0. She is currently enrolled in VVC to take a class on Anthropology in 2021. Her favorite class is psychology because she finds the subject interesting. Isobella is not in any clubs this year due to the circumstances but she wants to learn to play the ukulele. 

With free time on her hands, Camacho likes to draw or read. “I [enjoy] drawing people from Anime or cartoon characters and flowers.” Isobella first got into drawing when she was 10 or 11. She took an art class to improve her drawing skills. “[When I’m drawing], I typically use regular pencils. [I sometimes] use references if I’m trying something accurately or a bit more realistic-looking. Besides that, I do free-hand,” she remarked. Camacho prefers doodling small art pieces because drawing bigger pieces gives her a lot of stress about trying to finish them.  

When asked about her career path, she said, “I don’t exactly know yet. I’ve had trouble trying to figure that out, [but] I’m interested in English, writing, or maybe art.” Isobella wants to ensure her academic success because, “it makes me secure in a way so that I know I’ll have a chance at getting into a good college.” As of now, Isobella is currently taking Spanish III. “I don’t know if I want to be fluent, but I do want to understand it because half of my family speaks Spanish so it would be nice to communicate with them,” she stated.

Camacho was very surprised when she heard of her nomination. “I think it was probably because of my grades. I have straight A’s right now, and I’ve never done that before but I think it’s a big accomplishment,” she commented when asked about why she got picked.