The Murrieta Valley Chamber of Commerce High School Student of the Month Recognition Program recognized eight Murrieta students on February 27, 2012.
The Murrieta students and their families attended a breakfast sponsored by numerous local businesses. At the monthly event students shared personal stories of their most significant life lesson, stories of victory over challenging life circumstances, where they plan to attend college and how they plan to ‘pay it forward’ when they return from college.
Students received numerous gift certificates from community businesses along with certificates of recognition, congratulations and accolades from local, county, state and federal dignitaries.
Vista Murrieta High School Senior David Sabio is known as a servant leader on campus, always putting others before himself. David is a member of the school’s Student Senate, Student Venture club and the BBC club. David has also helped organize blood drives and food drives at school. David plans to attend Calvary Chapel Bible College after he graduates. David recently went on a missions trip to Haiti where he mentored eight orphaned boys. David said seeing the needs of the people in Haiti helped him realize that his passion and goal is to reach out and help people throughout the world who have limited means for survival.
Vista Murrieta High School Senior Nazia Rahman is a student who delivers, both in and out of the classroom. She maintains a 4.3 GPA while taking five AP classes and she has already completed four AP classes. Nazia is ASB Vice President and a member of the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. Nazia hopes to go to Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania or the University of Chicago. Nazia wants to make a difference in the world by serving others and she plans to pursue a career in medicine or law.
Tenaja Canyon Academy Senior Bretta Maldonado has made the most of her time at Tenaja after transferring there at the beginning of her junior year. Bretta went through some difficult transitions in her family and out of those experiences she learned that life won’t change for you, you have to change for life. Her ability to set goals and follow through has enabled her to maintain a 4.0 GPA while holding down two jobs. Bretta has earned the respect and admiration of her teachers at Tenaja who describe her as intelligent and wise beyond her years. Bretta loves to read and she is also interested in writing, nursing and photography. She plans to enroll in the Honors program at Mt San Jacinto Community College.
Calvary Murrieta Christian High School Senior Cody McClelland loves life, God, his family and friends. Cody has wanted o follow in his father’s footsteps and become a fire fighter since he was four years old. He will enroll in Riverside City College’s fire science program next year. Cody is currently in Murrieta Fire Department’s Explorer program. He is also a member of his school’s ASB and boys’ volleyball team and he plays ice hockey. Cody has a heart for people and he recently went on a mission trip to Haiti which reinforced his goal to serve others. Cody leads by example and he is a positive role model on campus.
Murrieta Valley High School Senior Vinayak Pillai is an accomplished, yet humble young man. Vinayak has a 4.3 GPA and he has well over 300 hours of community service which includes summer internships at UCSD and Loma Linda University Medical Center where he was involved in behavioral health and cancer research. Vinayak is a National Merit Scholar, President of his school’s California Scholarship Federation chapter, a member of National Honor Society, the Interact Club and a gifted pianist. As Captain of his school’s Robotics Team, Vinayak has competed in the World Robotics Championship. By working through the challenges his team faced, he learned to never give up. Vinayak recently went on a two week trip to India where he taught math and English to children. Vinayak will attend USC or UCLA and he plans to become a surgeon and use his engineering skills pursuing a career in biomedical engineering
Murrieta Valley High School Senior Katya Abelsky was a child actor for twelve years, appearing in numerous commercials and movies. She decided to quit acting so she could become more involved in high school and find her own voice. Katya serves as President of the school’s Model United Nations Club, the Chess Club, Mock Trial, National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. She is also in the challenging International Baccalaureate program at MVHS and she will earn the internationally recognized IB diploma when she graduates. Katya maintains a 4.2 GPA and she hopes to attend Columbia University where she will major in political science and pursue a career in law.
Murrieta Mesa High School Senior Austin Davis is the epitome of RAM PRIDE. He serves in the school’s student government association and he is the spirit leader on campus at athletic events and pep rallies. Austin plans to attend Northern Arizona University and major in sports marketing and advertising. Someday he would like to work for ESPN and be a sports agent. Austin said he has gone from being a shy student as a freshman to being outgoing and able to speak in front of hundreds of people. He has a great heart and he has earned the respect and admiration of his teachers and peers.
Murrieta Mesa High School Senior Emily Minor counts herself as fortunate to be alive following a serious jet ski accident two years ago that resulted in life-threatening injuries. She came back to school for her junior year in a wheelchair and with a new appreciation for life. She said her accident taught her how precious and fragile life can be and how important it is to pursue your passion. Emily’s passion is drama and she is not only talented on stage, she is also a gifted writer. She will attend Azusa Pacific University next year and major in theater and education. Her goal is to become a drama teacher. Emily is involved in Student Senate and she also serves in the children’s ministry at her church.
The Student of the Month Program greatly appreciates the community’s support and interest in the lives of our young people. If you wish to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, please contact Founder Sally Myers at 951-506-8024. If you would like to become a sponsor of the Student of the Month program, please contact Margaret Jones at 951-677-4856.
*Contributed by Murrieta Unified School District