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Williams High top students get high-fives
Juanita Hernandez: Aspires to be a compute software engineer. Her favorite memory at Williams High is learning with her friends about the "squirrel mafia" in New York City's Central Park. She and her two friends are part of the "squirrel club." She enjoys reading, particularly the Japanese comic manga, watching movies, working on computers and sleeping.
Erik Knight: Aspires to be an engineer. He also will play football at college. Her favorite memory at Williams High is beating Maxwell on a last-second field goal his junior year. He enjoys working and flying at the Williams Soaring Center.
Daisy Rios: Aspires to have a career in medicine. Her favorite memory at Williams High is the family feeling of attending a school with students she grew up with since kindergarten. She enjoys reading, sight-seeing, meeting new people and camping with her family.
Evangelina Sandoval: Aspires to be a pediatrician. Her favorite memories at Williams High have been her senior year. She enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and spending time with family and friends.
Gabriela Silva: Aspires to attend college to "acquire enough skills and experience to take on life and everything that comes with it." Her favorite memories at Williams High are classes with her friends, special school events, and the study groups with positive endings. She enjoys reading, writing, and going to movies with friends and talking about them later.
Samantha Coombs: Aspires to be an anesthesiologist. Her favorite memories at Williams High are as a cheerleader at football games, and witnessing the maturity gained through the learning experience. She enjoys cooking, traveling and photography.
Josiany Madrigal: Aspires to a career in medicine or marine biology. Her favorite memories at Williams High are the Upward Bound trips, and bus rides to and from sporting events. She enjoys soccer and volleyball, reading, kayaking and snowboarding.
Liz Mendez: Aspires to be a surgeon. Her favorite memories at Williams High are the bus rides back from basketball and softball games with her teammates. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music and being outdoors.
Alma Pina: Aspires to be a physician. Her favorite memories at Williams High are the Upward Bound trips. She enjoys her school activities and volunteer work at Valley West Care Center; and just having fun.
Rebecca White: Aspires to be an orchestra conductor. Her favorite memories at Williams High are playing music with her sister, which led to the start of their own band. She started her musical interests by playing violin, and now plays a number of instruments, including the bass guitar.
A group of future doctors, scientists, engineers and at least one symphony conductor took center stage Wednesday night at the 14th annual Super Five Dinner and Awards ceremony held at the Williams Community Church.
The top-five senior and top-five junior academic achievers at Williams High School were recognized and, in turn, each recognized their parents, teachers and other mentors who have played critical roles in their lives.
"I love this night," said Irmalee Schumacher, who introduced and talked to the honorees. "I just love to hear about what you are going to do, and what you have done. It invigorates me."
The senior honorees are Juanita Hernandez, Erik Knight, Gabriela Silva, Evangelina Sandoval and Daisy Rios. The juniors are Alama Pina, Josiany Madrigal, Samantha Coombs and Rebecca White.
"You are in the spotlight and you deserve all the recognition," Schumacher said. "We are very proud of you."
The event is put on by Delta Theta Pi, with the support of a number of individuals and businesses.
The Rev. Ken Edwards, the keynote speaker at the event, told the students life is about choices and decisions, and very much like climbing a ladder.
"Some people are satisfied to be on the bottom rung. It is safer to be on the bottom rung," Edwards said. "But you here tonight at not like that."
He encouraged each student to reach high.
"You cannot go any higher than your bottom hand," Edwards said. "You will never go anywhere unless you let go ... and reach up."
At the same time, he said, you cannot let go of the ladder completely. He told them they have to hold on as they climb — and what they are holding on to are the morals and principles instilled in them by their parents and others who have helped shape their lives.
Stil, it is their lives to live.
"Don't let anyone tell you you can't make it to the top," Edwards said. "Don't listen to those voices."
He accentuated that point by recounting his own daughter's remarkable journey into adulthood, a global journey he admits he and his wife were not always sure was correct or safe for her to do.
"It comes down to choices and decisions, and you are the ones who make those choices and make those decisions," Edwards said.ï¿½