Semper Fi Always Faithful By Mason Ford
Chris Chang grew up in the San Mateo and Hillsborough areas, graduating from The Carey School in the summer of 2002. He moved on to Crocker for middle school, followed by Serra for high school. At Serra, Chris stood out as a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and crew. Incidentally, Serra was only one of two area high schools that had rowing as a varsity sport at that time. Yet it would be rowing that attracted the attention of college coaches.
As a standout rower at Serra, Chris was actively recruited for crew at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. This is no small feat: "NAVY" has one of the oldest and most respected crew teams in the nation. For Chris, attending one of the US military academies for college was "an amazing and unique experience." He graduated in 2013. In our interview it was quite clear that Chris is an unbelievably kind person. But don't mistake his kindness for weakness; Chris is one tough Marine officer, due to be promoted to First Lieutenant next month!
Chris has fond memories of Carey. He noted that it was a fun place to attend elementary school with lots of positive energy overall. He also cited how much he learned and how wonderful the academic program was. He made a large number of close friends with whom he stayed connected through middle school and high school. His favorite memories include playing kickball on the hardtop and dressing up along with all the other students for Halloween. After he graduated from Carey, Chris returned now and again, but one drop-in stands out in his mind: In a visit more than a decade after he had graduated, our esteemed Betty Angell still remembered him. Wow!
Chris is now back on the left coast, stationed in San Diego. He looks forward to reconnecting with some hometown friends and Carey alums. Thanks, Chris, for all that you do!
Passing Expectations By Kim Pepper
Elizabeth Lacy likes to see how fast she can go and pass everyone's expectations along the way! A senior at Menlo School, Lizzie placed 10th in the Footlocker National Cross Country meet in December, breaking a few course records. She continued with her success this season during track as she set new school records in the longer-distance events. Lizzie has always had an interest in athletics. She said, "I've done many different sports in my youth, including being a black belt in Korean martial arts and doing soccer, basketball, lacrosse – you name it."
In the fall, Lizzie will be attending Amherst College and was recruited for the cross-country team. Lizzie started at Menlo School in sixth grade and began running cross country her freshman year. She joined the track team the spring of her senior year. Lizzie shared, "I love the thrill of running, and seeing how far I can push myself has led to much of my success. There are many challenges to being a runner, and they vary from person to person. But for me, the most difficult part of running is how disciplined you must be to perform your best. You can't miss practices because every day is vital to keeping in shape, and I've gotten really into nutrition and eating things that are only going to make me healthier and a better athlete."
As for Carey, Lizzie has many fun memories from her time on the playground. She remembers playing four square "Mr. Clary style." She recalls, "I remember the tricycles and the gaga ball game that our class played every day. And I remember the Pauline Murray Sports Day very well." Lizzie's favorite class was Mrs. Miller's first grade class and playing with the class guinea pig, Cindy. She said, "First grade was the time before responsibility but also when we were aware of our surroundings."
Lizzie has attended a few Carey alumni events, including Sky High and some spaghetti dinners. She attends school with seven other Carey alumni, including two of her best friends, Nicola and Kenzie Mayer. Lizzie remembers going to Betty Angell's office and not being tall enough to see much over her desk. She remarks, "I always knew she was a really nice person."
Always having goals in mind, Lizzie is thinking of studying economics and environmental science, maybe focusing on environmental policy in her future. She concludes, "I'm passionate about the environment as well as athletics and also just the study of health/healthy living." The Carey School can be proud that Lizzie Lacy is an enthusiastic life-long learner with many miles to run in her future.
Music is My Air By Kim Bottoms
Melinda Ma, class of 2012 and a current eighth grader at Keys middle school, is happy to reflect upon her years at Carey. Melinda fondly remembers playing with friends, expressing herself creatively in art class and enjoying spaghetti dinner, a time-honored Carey tradition.
Two special ladies stand out forMelinda: Joan Donar and BettyAngell. Ms. Donar taught fourthgrade, and Melinda remembers awarm and wonderful classroomdecorated with funny pictures ofGarfield the Cat, Ms. Donar's favorite cartoon character. Throughout the classroom, a collection of costumed Garfield stuffed animals set a fun-loving vibe. In a fitting tribute to Ms. Donar's last yearat Carey, each student chose one of the stuffed Garfield animals to take home at year's end; that special Garfield serves as a dear reminder for Melinda of her inspirational teacher.
When Melinda learned of Betty Angell's imminent retirement, she was full of praise for a woman who has deeply touched the entire Carey community. Melinda fondly remembers Betty's kind and helpful manner, always there to lend a hand, calling home when Melinda forgot something or patching up a boo-boo with a Band- Aid and smile. "Like her last name, she was definitely an angel to me and my family since we've known her as a family friend for so long. My family wishes her the best for her retirement years and for the rest of her life."
The youngest of three girls, all of whom went to Carey, Melindais immensely proud of her heritage. Her parents, both Chinese immigrants, have instilled a great appreciation and respect for their culture. Her cultural heritage has shaped her into the person she is today, and she is grateful that her parents have instilled their values – including the celebration of Chinese holidays and delicious food – as a core part of her upbringing.
Today Melinda is a busy and curious young lady with deep interests and passions in the classroom and beyond. AtKeys, her favorite subject is science, where she spends time studying animals and how to care for them. She is keenly interested in the emotionalbenefits animals have on the human spirit, and she has her sights set on becoming a veterinarian one day. Melinda is also greatly fulfilled by art and music. She says, "Music is my air; I can't live without it or ever get enough." She studies piano and enjoys listening to different kinds of music. In her spare time, she loves to draw and doodle, and hopes to learn to oil paint soon. Melinda greatly values a healthy lifestyle and the positive impact it has on her mood and school studies. She plays tennis regularly and enjoys whipping up delicious and healthy food.
Next year, Melinda is off to Aragon High School where she will no doubt develop new bonds and continue to pursue her passions in science, music and art. As she builds on the foundation of curiosity and a love of learning from her years at Carey, Melinda is destined for great things in the years ahead.
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss: An Interview with the Unstoppable Jordan Fowler By Laura Agarwal
Jordan Fowler embodies the old proverb that encourages constant motion. In her 20 short years, she has accomplished more than manydo in a lifetime. With a combination of hardwork, determination, passion and boundless energy, Jordan is well on her way to fulfilling her professional dream of using design for social change. Already looking ahead to when and where to attend graduate school, she is taking the right steps to make sure her dream becomes a reality. Never one to sit idly by, Jordan approaches all her responsibilities with thoughtful gustoand asks herself how she can make anything she works on better. Her leadership makes a tremendous impact on the many people she represents both on her college campus and her community at large.
Currently Jordan is a junior at USC majoring in Media Arts and Practice at USC's School of Cinematic Arts and minoring in Web Technologies and Applications at the Viterbi School of Engineering. Jordan’s journey to realizing technology would play an important role in her life began many years ago as a student at Carey. Technology with Mr. Desroches was her favorite class. She remembers how he taught fundamental, important skills to the students. "I’m in college now, but there are still students who don’t know how to type. I remember Mr. Desroches teaching me to sit up straight in my chair and type correctly. And we had fun doing creative projects culminating in the creation of our own website. To this day, everyone says I’m the fastest typist they know," Jordan exclaims proudly.
Other memories of Carey include the close relationships with classmates, the administration and teachers whom Jordan enjoyed while at the school for seven years. "I’ll never forget being with the same group of 17 kids for seven years, and it’s so fun to keep up with them now," she reflects.Even if the alumni don’t see each other for some time, Jordan says, "when we get together there’s some sort of bond that comes with being in school for so long, and we quickly make up for lost time." Crediting Carey with carefully creating a classroom environment that encouraged students to interactwith others with different skills and personalities, Jordan brought those skills to both Castilleja School and USC.
Memories from both inside and outside the classroom are endless. Ms. Carli was a favorite teacher. "I always thought she was so cool," Jordan recalls. "If I were older, I would totally want her to be a friend. She was the perfect balance of being a teacher, but also a friend when you needed her." Jordan also remembers Ms. Donar getting mad at her for wearinga short skirt, studying penguins with Mrs. Zirelli, and going through the middle school admissions process with Mrs. Bloom. Jordan remembers that "the idea of the upper playground became very important and being old enough to play up there was so memorable." And of course what memory of Carey is complete without a Mrs. Angell moment? Jordan remembers the fun of hanging out and chatting with Mrs. Angell after delivering the Pledge of Allegiance, even to the point of needing to be called back into the classroom by Ms. Donar.
Jordan feels Carey prepared her well for the next phase of her life and even beyond. "Academically and socially I felt very prepared," she says. In addition, being fully engaged in the student experience – and inspiring others to do the same – is a trait that Jordan says was developed through her independent school experience. Currently a Peer Leadership Consultant for the Office of Campus Activities at USC, Jordan serves asa liaison and resource to leaders of nearly 900 student organizations. In this capacity, she fosters positive growth and development of her peers. Even the Carey buddy program set Jordan on a path. During the school year she participates in theUSC Best Buddies program,spending time with childrenwith special needs whoattend a school near the USCcampus. Jordan always findstime to give back to those inneed in her community.
In addition to the important soft skills she gained during her pre-college days, Jordan credits the discipline she learned in elementary school for getting her into the top cinema school in the country. With five years’ work experience as a host on an environmental television show, she entered USC with the intention of being a broadcast journalist, but soon realized that it wasn’t being in front of the camera that mattered most to her. It was giving others a chance for their voice to be heard and making a difference. She is determined to combine her interestin technology and her passion to helpothers to create social change. "Growingup in Silicon Valley, I was exposed to alltypes of technology and thoroughlyenjoyed each and every time I had theopportunity to be creative and to use itto enhance my projects. That, combinedwith my passion to help others, made myeducational pursuits an easy decision."
When not working on her academicsand serving those in her community,Jordan is busy working on activism andsocial change. She now serves as the vicepresident of USC’s student government.Her many accomplishments provided thefoundation of a platform that resonatedwith the student body. In fact, she and her running-mate – the first winning all-female ticket in Pac-12 history – captured 65 percent of the student vote. In this role, Jordan has implemented a partnership with Uber, created a happy hour at a restaurant on campus that was too expensive for many, advocated for and planned water-bottle filling stations on campus, helped advance a bike-share program, and created disability and accessibility advocacy programs on campus that included the first-of-many wheelchair basketball games.
This summer Jordan feels like she is taking it easy with only a few exciting activities on her calendar! She is continuing her work as an emceeand choreographer for a girls leadership organization, attending a leadership conference in Washington, D.C., with other student government leaders from across the county, supporting girls and women with disabilities at Miss Amazing, and somehow still finds time to have a few acting/hostinggigs lined up. She admits, "I actually like things being busy and hectic. Having a list of things to do is fulfilling for me. I can’t imagine life any other way."
Two aspects of Jordan’s personality that don’t get conveyed when one sees her long list of accomplishments, awards and accolades are her humility and sense of fun. Jordan loves to indulge in the L.A. restaurant scene. Sushi is a favorite, but shealso loves shaved ice with strawberries, chocolate and granola. She also enjoys kick-boxing and spending time with friends and family.
Claire Phibbs By Lydia Alexander
Claire Phibbs will be a senior this fall at the Menlo School. Nearing the end of her secondary school education, Claire looks back fondly and appreciatively on her time at The Carey School as helping her feel more comfortable in leadership roles, taking risks, and developing her love of performing arts and community service.
"Carey taught me a lot about being self-sufficient and an independent thinker. This was especially true in fifth grade." She recalls how the younger Carey kids looked up to the fifthgraders as the de facto school leaders."It made us all aware of the importanceto model good behavior and kindness," she says. "Younger buddies were a really important part of Carey for me – it was nice to mentor them and be the person they sought advice from."
These days, Claire continues to mentor by tutoring elementary and middle school students. "You can really make a big impact on kids this age and give them a love for learning," she says. "Because I'm a young mentor, they can relate to me really well." This summer Claire will continue teaching children as a volunteer at the Marine Science Institute.
Claire's favorite class was art with Mr. D. "I realized I really loved creating sculpture and clay art at Carey, in addition to painting." Being able to have the same specialists across all years at Carey "helped build a very close relationship with them so that I felt comfortable taking risks."
A fifth grade highlight for Claire was painting part of the Operetta set as well as getting her first solo! "I loved to sing, but my previous comfort zone was to do it in groups. Ms. Linda giving me the opportunity to sing solo helped me get over my stage fright." Because of that early experience, Claire has felt confident singing solos freshman and sophomore years at her school's spring concerts.
While at Carey, Claire took her love of music a step further and sang with the Peninsula Girls Chorus of Burlingame, later learning guitar on the side. When choir didn't fitinto the junior year schedule, Claire and half a dozen other Menlo students took the lead to form a smaller choral group practicing a few mornings a week. "That way, I'm still able to do what I enjoy and participate in some of the concerts at school,"she says.
This past year Claire decided to participate in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) student-section of the People of Color Conference (PoCC) in an effort to gain more knowledge about this critical topic. She and two other Carey students, Harrison Plate and Janet Chavez, shared their newfound knowledge with the Menlo eighth graders – again mentoring like they used to at Carey.
It's clear that the warm and close-knit Carey community Claire was part of has served her well. It has allowed her to 'pay-it-forward' through volunteerism and participation in student-led diversity efforts at Menlo School. It has also helped her love of musicand singing to blossom from the seeds planted early on at The Carey School.
Fond Memories at Carey By Jean Chiang
When John Levy attended Carey, there was only one class per grade. But aside from that, his experience and the memories he has make Carey sound exactly like the Carey we know now.
John attended Carey from pre-K through fifth grade and graduated in 1994. He has tons of great memories from his Carey years! One of his favorite is that of "Friday Fun Day" in Mrs. Zirelli'sfirst grade class. He says,"Every Friday we started theday with a spelling quiz,and then the rest of the day was fun activities. There was always such a sigh of relief after the quiz knowing that the rest of theday was going to be enjoyable!" John also loved sports day. He loved competition, being outside and of course getting ribbons. Sports day was pure joy for him, but he says it also taught him a lot about how to be a good person. He remembers teachers (and his parents) reminding me not to gloat or be rude, and conversely, he learned how to be a good loser by not getting too upset whenhe lost.
John says when he looks back on his years at Carey, he can now appreciate how great the teachers were. "They all had their strong and unique personalities but with a common thread of enthusiasm, engagement and love for their students. I left Carey eager to learn, and I 'Carey' on (pun intended) that enthusiasm for learning today." He also believes that the greatest impact his teachers had on himwas instilling a great senseof self-confidence, kindness and curiosity. To this day he is comfortable speaking in front of large crowds, voicing his opinion even if it isn't popular, and is able to lead – all traits developed and nurtured while at Carey.
John has very fond memories of Betty Angell and bets she remembers him! "You can't put on that many Band-Aids and forget a person; a Band-Aidis a bond for life! Betty waseveryone's 'mom away from mom.' She was so kind and caring. When I was at Carey, almost theentire playground was hard and rough cement. I loved running and playing touch football with my class, and I probably scraped my knee or elbow at least every other day. Betty always knew how to make me feel better – so much so that I forgot about my ouchy and went right back to playing. She made sure everything ran smoothly not just for the teachers, staff and parents, but for us students too."
John works at Franklin Templeton in San Mateo as a VP Portfolio Manager/Director of Research and manages a team of eight analysts and associates that analyze and recommend mutual funds forretail and institutional accounts. He is also happy and lucky on the homefront: married with two children, a daughter who is three and son who is one. John and his wife have their hands full but love nothing more than playing in the backyard with their kids.
Full STEAM Ahead with Nickie Pereira By Devon Gold
Nickie Pereira was a new sixth grader at Castilleja School in the fall of 2007 when I ran into her on the sidelines of her younger brother's soccer game. I asked her how middle school was going, andin her gracious, engaged, "there's no one else I'd rather be talking to" way, she answered, "Oh, it's so much fun. I love it!" I then asked her if classes were hard, and she laughed a little, saying, "Oh, gosh, not really! I probably shouldn't say that, but I just feel so prepared, thanks to Mrs. Bloom and my Carey experience. So far, it's kind of easy."
But "easy" isn't what Nickie ever looks for in anexperience, and Castilleja and her life beyond haven't disappointed. Having just completed her freshman year at Yale University (where she's pursuing a Bachelor of Science in quantum-level physics), Nickie reflects with fondness and gratitude on the formative years she spent at Carey and Castilleja, where opportunities in STEAM courses and activities, and incredibly supportive people, ignited and fueled her current passions. Vibrant and curious communities with supportive teachers and mentors who instilled an insatiable love of learning: Nickie feels fortunate that her educational journey began and continues in extraordinary schools that have inspired her.
A self-described "shy and reserved" middle schooler, Nickie knew she should take advantage of every opportunity to grow. So Nickie ran for student government and served as secretary and treasurer. She shared her developing passion for academics by serving as a peer tutor, and she competed on the water polo, basketball and swim teams. In high school, Nickie hit her stride. "Castilleja is just so good at what they do: educating girls," says Nickie, and everyone there "really supported me and made me see value in myself."
In high school, Nickie delved deeper into science opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom. Beyond taking advanced science courses, Nickie engaged deeply with the robotics team, serving as build lead and then team captain. She led the effort to build a 120-pound robot from scratch and headed up the team's business end, raising up to $55,000 each year through sponsorship presentations and conference speaking engagements. Nickie also took her STEAM passion beyond her community, helping initiate Casti's partnership with Shanghai No. 3 Girls School in China and forming the first all-girls robotics team in China. And closer to home, Nickie and her robotics teammates ran Science Saturday, a science outreach program for underserved girls in East Palo Alto.
As engaged and passionate as Nickie is about science, she is equally committed to a balanced life. Throughout high school, she competed on the water polo and swim teams, and coached in the middle school. She wrote and cartooned for Counterpoint, Casti's school newspaper, and served as a peer tutor, teaching assistant and admissions speaker. An art student from the age of seven, she also continued to nurture her love and talent in the visual arts, helping to redesign and then teach the Advanced Drawing and Painting curriculum. Integrating her science and technology skills with her artistic passion, she developed a program to incorporate computer-aided design (CAD) with the art curriculum and instructed fellow students in laser cutting as part of Casti's STEAM initiatives. For this work, she was honored with the Visual Art Award her senior year.
But what excites Nickie now about her life at Yale is "the vibrant and vivacious community – both academic and social" that is her college home. Surrounded by "people who really care about everything they do,"her passion for learning, discovering and serving has been fueled even further. As she pursues her degree in physics,she aspires to a life in academia, with a goal of graduate school and, ultimately, a research professorship at a university. "I'm a student at heart, and I want to spend the rest of my life trying to learn more about whatI love," Nickie says. And she's gotten a jump-start on that goal, currently conducting grant-funded research in neutrino oscillation: "We'[re] search[ing] for proof of the existence of the sterile neutrino – a neutrino that interacts exclusively by gravity, an understanding of the behavioral differences between neutrinos and antineutrinos (or even whether or not they are the same particle!), and ultimately, how the Big Bang created so much matter without antimatter counterparts to annihilate each other and create energy." (Remember, Nickie doesn't do "easy.")
When Nickie isn't researching, she continues to share her passion with others, helping redesign Yale's Girls Science Initiative to bring hands-on science learning to underserved girls in the community. She also finds time to compete in intramural sports for her residential college.
To what does Nickie attribute her drive and curiosity? For Nickie, it's a "who" not a "what." She says, "In all honesty, I think we're all products of those around us. I was very lucky to be placed near people who helped me grow, were personally invested in my success, and made personal sacrifices to help me see my own potential." At the top of the list ofthose important people? Nickie's parents. "My parents are definitely my biggest influences. My dad is brilliant, and I've always aspired to know and understand as much as he does . . . My mom is the person I look up to most. I hope that one day I'll be half as good a person as she is. She is the single most caring, organized and generally inspiring person I know." Beyond her parents, Nickie says she is indebted to teachers that have changed her life, including Carey's Michele Zirelli, Joan Donar and Sharon Bloom, and Casti's Christina Nawas, Joseph Mitchell and Doris Mourad. As Nickie puts it, "My teachers are some of my closest mentors because they helped me grow up."
As Nickie looks ahead, she also looks back with fondness on her formative days at Carey. Being a fourth and fifth grade buddy, learning critical research and writing skills through the research paper process, developing public speaking skills in those "stand and deliver" moments, and just "being really excited to come to school every day" are defining memories for her. And all these years later, it's that same excitement for school, discovery and learning that fuels her. Full STEAM ahead, Nickie!
The Athlete’s Edge with a Carey Edge By Kim Pepper
Anthony Gilbert is the owner and founder of The Athlete's Edge, a sports medicine practice basedin San Mateo, California. I have worked with Anthony over the years to help with some of my sports injuries. Just recently, I was in his office for my lower back/hip, and he asked me where my kids go to school. Much to my surprise, I learned that Anthony is a Carey graduate from 1973 when Carey had one class per grade, including a middle school. He quickly began to describe a school with many similarities to today but also some real differences.
Anthony went to Carey from sixthto eighth grade and described itas "small, intimate, like a family."Miss Carey and Mrs. Willard were in charge of the school. He describes them as having a large presence. "Mrs. Willard especially had a large personality. I always got along with them and didn't remember getting in much mischief there." Some of Anthony's favorite memories were Sports Day at Serra High School, Ski Week at Squaw Valley, and Ping-Pong on the patio at lunch! He remembers Operetta in sixth grade. The play was Me and My Shadow, and he wore a black tux, tights, and top hat and had a fluorescent cane. Anthony's favorite class was history in seventh grade with Mr. Nau. "He was a great presenter and would always keep our attention."In eighth grade, he enjoyed math with Mr. Fillian. Anthony shares, "He explained the work in an easy-to-understand way, and with only eight students in the eighth grade class, we had plenty of individualized attention." One field trip that is hard to imagine today featured weekends in the Sierra mountains with the custodian. Anthony explains, "It was his grandfather's cabin, and he would take three or four of us in his old panel wagon. We would shoot .22 rifles, fix fences and learn cooking over the fire. His cabin had no electricity or running water."
Anthony has not been back on campus but would like to come see all the changes.
Always passionate about health and fitness, Anthony focuseson healing from a holistic direction with real organicfood, correct exercise and little or no medications. Anthony works with both professional and amateur athletes, including Olympic athletes, triathletes, football players, baseball players, bodybuilders and dancers. He also works with fitness enthusiasts and "corporate athletes" (anyone who has chronic pain that affects them at work or home) in order to help them regain the qualityof life compromised by overuse injuries. Nationally certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork, Anthony is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. He is a graduate of the Sports Massage Training Institute and has extensive training in active release techniques (ART), Swedish massage, deep tissue integration and neuromuscular therapy. Anthony is one of the few therapists in the country certified to teach the ART method and is one of only four ART instructors in the Bay Area.
Having been an athlete all of his life, Anthony regularly participates in numerous adventure sports, including ultra cycling events, such as centuries and double centuries, Randonneuring (unsupported long-distance rides from 200 to 1200 kilometers for up to four days/nights), and marathons. He also enjoys cycle touring, white- water rafting, camping and fire-walking. These events have taken him to destinations such as France, Spain, Honduras, Mexico and Canada. If you happen to meet Anthony, let him know your Carey connection. He would be more than happy to share more stories!
I loved Carey! It built such a strong foundation for the rest of my education. I remember Mrs. Bloom's fifth grade class gave me organization skills, one of the biggest takeaways from Carey. I loved how warm and welcoming all the teachers were and the close-knit environment. Overall, I had a wonderful experience that shaped my academic skills.
After elementary school, I went to Menlo School from 6th to 12th grade and am now a senior in college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. I am graduating in June with a bachelor's degree in business administration and a minor in psychology.
Along the way, I have learned so much about myself and what I value in life. I have learned that you should surround yourself with people who will support and love you unconditionally. I have learned that you should always take a leap of faith with new opportunities, even if it is really scary. The experiences that I was most scared of at the beginning, ended up being the most incredible and rewarding in the end. The biggest takeaway would definitely be to not take anything too seriously -- everything in life is temporary and you'll get through all your struggles and come out stronger on the other side.
I currently volunteer at our local humane society by helping make videos of the animals at the shelter to get them adopted faster. It has been such an incredibly rewarding and amazing experience, especially because videography is one of my passions. Besides volunteering, I have actually studied abroad twice in my time at Cal Poly. In the fall of 2016, I studied in Florence, Italy, for a semester and traveled throughout Europe. During the Summer of 2017 I went to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Both of these experiences helped open my mind about international cultures and taught me how to problem solve in so many different scenarios. Studying abroad was easily the highlight of my college career.
Right now, I am wrapping up my senior year of college and am planning on moving back to the Bay Area to pursue a career. I'm not exactly sure what career path I want, but I am extremely interested in the hospitality and wedding industries. I'm excited for the next phase of my life and can't wait to see where it goes!
I loved my time at Carey, the teachers, the small community and the joyous learning environment. While at Carey, I formed strong, lifelong friendships. In Mrs. Zirelli’s first grade classroom, I learned independence and creativity. Mrs. Bloom’s fifth grade classroom was my first lesson in collaboration that has been an invaluable tool for me through middle and high school. At Carey, I found a safe place to make mistakes and grow. I learned resilience and persistence. I still remember Operetta fondly, not just the music, but also the camaraderie and the joy of creating something beautiful with my friends.
At the moment, I am finishing up high school at Carlmont. I have continued to nurture my interest in the areas of psychology and neuroscience. I have read and learned from several interesting books such as Ramachandran’s The Tell-Tale Brain, Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight and Oliver Sack’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. The stories of advancements in the fields of psychology and neurology in these texts have sparked in me a deep interest to tackle and address the most challenging mental health issues of our time.
I continue to participate in the science lecture series at school to expand my knowledge of the current research in these areas. My “For a Child’s Smile” club continues to thrive and grow in membership. I have already identified the new leaders who share my passion of creating a more just world and will continue the mission of the club after I graduate. In December, I received the National Merit Commendation for my achievement in the PSAT. I continue to achieve high grades in my classes.
I just wrapped up a project with the Carlmont and Belmont police departments to educate high school students about the perils of drinking and driving. It was a three-month project that culminated in an assembly; it was fun, challenging and a real learning experience. I am enjoying the last few days of high school with my friends. In the fall, I am headed to Berkeley so I’m busy getting ready for that and excited to start my college career.
My career goals are to bring high quality, affordable healthcare to all members of our society, regardless of their background. This is a critical need and a formidable challenge, which truly compels me. It also presents opportunities to explore how advances in fields like neuroscience can contribute to finding innovative solutions. I built upon this deep interest during my summers through UPenn’s Chemistry Research Academy, USC’s Big Mechanism Project, and the Stanford Clinical Neuroscience Internship Program. Experiences like these, advanced science classes, joining the STEM club, and attending weekly science lectures have opened my eyes to the possibilities within the realm of science and medicine, inspiring me to pursue these fields even more. Utilizing scientific research to solve real-world problems, like providing quality healthcare to all, is what motivates me to learn. At Berkeley, I intend to major in neuroscience and behavioral biology, take a pre-med track and pursuing a career in medicine.
I have been very fortunate to be a part of the Carey, Crystal Springs and Carlmont communities, where service has been an important focus of student life, and adults lead by example. Volunteering has been a very important part of my high school experience. I spent three weeks in the summer of my freshman year in China working with children, tutoring English. I volunteered as a camp counselor for Shelter Network the same summer; coached soccer to kids with special needs; worked as a tour guide at the Stanford Cantor Arts museum; and have been tutoring once a week for the past four years at my local public school. My volunteer work has been a tremendous growth experience for me.
I have learned so much during my elementary, middle and high school years. Some of the most important lessons I have learned with the support of my parents and teachers are: to not be afraid of taking risks, follow my passions at school and beyond, ask questions, always show kindness and compassion in my interaction with others, not to treat learning as a chore but finding the true joy in the process. Most importantly, to set my own goals and aim to surpass them instead of competing with others, and always being grateful for people in my life who support me.