The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The student website of Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Top 10 Seniors of 2017

By Tyler Jung

The Mirror Staff

By Amanda Godfrey

The Mirror Staff

By Chandler Beon

The Mirror Staff


Top 10 Seniors of 2017

June 7, 2017

FEATURE: The top ranked students of the class of 2017, based on their weighted GPA, give their final remarks and advice on academic success before they depart.

Keshan Huang

College: Columbia University

Major: Political Science & Economics, or Astrophysics

Reason for Major: There is no greater joy than finding your own way to serve others in society, whether that be in public service or in scientific endeavors.

Highlights: I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be on two conference calls with Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, respectively, to discuss and advocate issues concerning youth in politics. I’ve enjoyed being an integral part in the growth of our school’s first ever Science Olympiad team, which I founded in my freshman year.

Advice: Live a good life. Meet people and listen to their stories. Don’t limit yourself. Treasure the little moments. But more importantly, live your life.

Tanya Wastarastaporn

College: Stanford University

Major: Psychology

Reason for Major: Because of my own life experiences, it would be interesting to find out more about myself.

Advice: Don’t be afraid and apply for that program or college, you’ll never know. It’s perfectly okay to get rejected. Think about the little moments of your life and find a way to phrase it to make it seem interesting and important no matter what it is. Also, academic competition in our grade was a big inspiration and a motivation to do well in high school

Jay Garg

College: UC Berkeley

Major: Undecided

Reason for Major: Good school and explore where I want to on campus, I also got into a program to study in UC Berkeley during summer and study abroad in London for the rest

Advice: Prepare for your future, but make sure you’re still having fun in the present time.

Michael Chang

College: UC Berkeley

Major: Biology

Reason for Major: Biology has endless possibilities and countless ways to implement it to the world whether it’s microscopic or global.

Highlights:I loved playing basketball every lunch mainly because I’m not one to just study all day. I want to lead an active lifestyle. For the past two years, I’ve lead my club HEROES in volunteer activities. I worked hard to get to where I am today. Many people will discourage you in life just because you want to take that extra step forward, but don’t listen to them. I did what is best for me and my future, not considering if it satisfied what everyone else was doing.

Advice: Be yourself. Focus on what you need to do first before things you want to do. Subjects regarding relationships, drugs, and alcohol will only lead to temporary happiness especially in high school. Your future is much too precious to sacrifice for a high school relationship or partying all night. Focus on your studying and deserve your fun when you earned it; it’ll becomes a truly special moment.

Joya Monishi

College: UC Irvine

Major: Computer Science

Reason for Major: I chose this major because our society is becoming increasingly more technological, and learning about all of these important advancements will be very helpful in the future. I’ve taken courses in computer science and found enjoyment in applying my knowledge and accomplishing different tasks. I think college will be pretty rigorous; I won’t have to deal with courses I’m not interested in of course, instead dedicating myself to my main study, but I’m overall excited knowing that UCI will definitely give me a stable foundation and many opportunities in compsci.

Advice: Just don’t slack off in classes you don’t enjoy, power through it! And study with smart friends, I did that.

Lucy White

College: UC Berkeley

Major: Political Science (Maybe)

Reason for Major: I decided on Berkeley because of its history of political activism and because it’s a very highly rated school in the subjects I’m interested in. I intend on majoring in political science because I became very invested in the 2016 presidential election through volunteering and through Mr. Crosby’s AP Government class. I realized I loved politics and want to learn so much more.

Advice: Do what you love in high school and commit to it, because even if it isn’t academic, colleges will be impressed by your dedication and you’ll also have a ton of fun pursuing your passion. I’ve done theater and choir from freshman year, I’ve had an amazing time, and because of those electives and extracurriculars, my applications looked really well rounded.

Lauren Yu

College: UCLA

Major: Pre-International Development Studies

Reason for Major:At the end of sophomore year, I had no idea what  I wanted to do, but I was introduced to the Project Cookstoves club at school and through this I had the opportunity to experience helping impoverished citizens in Guatemala. I realized I had a passion for serving the people in third-world countries, which led me to my major choice.

Highlights: I would definitely say that the resources here helped me a lot since I communicated often with the College office for ACT and SAT information. Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) was also really important. I began from freshman year and it encouraged me to become more motivated. Journalism is where I learned how to talk to school administrators and how the complicated financial system works in this school.

Advice: You’re probably not going to have fun and you’re probably going to procrastinate. However, use your resources. Talk to the college offices and teachers around this school. Ms. Charlton, the college counselor, definitely knows what students are going through and she can recommend certain steps and books to prepare you for your future. It’s definitely more beneficial than what the colleges have on their websites.

Jeehyun Kim

College: UC Berkeley

Major: Applied Mathematics

Reason for Major:A lot of people think that this particular major is just math but, the major itself has three different types of major: applied, pure, and teaching. Applied mathematics is learning to apply math into reality. Alongside economics, I want to continue using math in the real world.

Highlights:  I made a simple decision to take on a lot for senior year. It was really painful and busy but at the same time I felt like I had a purpose. I used to go to high school just for the purpose of going, but once I took on positions like Senior Board Secretary and Journalism Editor-in-Chief, I finally actually wanted to go

Advice: I thought that I was going to go to a Community College. However, everything worked out for me in the end. No matter where you get accepted, everything will end up working out eventually and I wish I had known this sooner.

Angela Park

College: UC Irvine

Major: Electrical Engineering

Reason for Major: My brother motivated me to pursue electrical engineering, especially since he knew about my passion for mathematics.

Highlights:  JROTC is number one on my list. It’s like a second family in high school. Through this program, I was able to get handful of friends that I can call and depend on through tough situations. I was always scared of high school since I thought it was going to be like in High School Musical. However reflecting back, I honestly can say this has been the best experience of my life so far.

Advice: Don’t take APs if you’re not going to get an A. Our school’s honors and AP program are completely different. It’s better to get an A in honors than a B in AP. You don’t have to have school spirit in anything, but make sure to participate in school programs because it gives the chance of meeting new people and experiencing new things. Staying up all night to study has no effect. Just sleep.

Joanna Pham

College: UCLA

Major: Human Biology and Society

Reason for Major: I took honors physiology during my 11th grade year and I found out I really enjoyed learning about the human body. This class in UCLA combines this science and applications to human society.  

Advice: Even if you are a freshman start saving up for senior year. College and senior year is very expensive. Also, try out for anything you want. You never really know where you’re going to get into, and it really depends on that interview and essay. Have fun in high school, don’t stress out too much about your grade. Ranking and GPA isn’t as important as your application essays.



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