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A Salute To Seniors '97 / Orange County High Schools

June 13, 1997

EL TORO HIGH SCHOOL: Vidyadhar Upasani

Vidyadhar wants to be a doctor and has begun his training. He spent last summer in Bombay observing his uncle's surgical team and was permitted to prepare patients for surgery. Once, he made the opening incision in an operation. Though medicine is his ultimate goal, this co-valedictorian's varied interests range from music (playing Indian drums and piano) to athletics (as a varsity tennis player) to languages (as a member of the Spanish Club.)

He has a 4.73 weighted grade-point average and is treasurer of the National Honor Society, vice president of the California Scholarship Federation and a member of the Key Club.

He volunteers for Meals on Wheels at Saddleback Hospital and participates in Adopt-A-Neighbor drives.

A resident of Trabuco Canyon, Vidyadhar plans to attend UCLA.

ESPERANZA HIGH SCHOOL: Anita Joseph

Anita is a skilled vocalist and pianist and has contributed to many events on campus, including acting as vice president and section leader of the school's vocal ensemble and concert choir.

She also participates in her church choir and the All-State Honor Choir. She has won National Guild piano awards and was a finalist in the Southern California Vocal Assn. solo operatic competition.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and a campus peer-support group as well as the Speech, Debate and Ecology clubs. She has a 3.98 weighted grade-point average.

She has been a weekly volunteer for six years at a soup kitchen and has been a Christian education instructor for four years at her church, where she also is a lay reader and a member of the youth group.

The Yorba Linda resident will attend the University of Redlands with a double major in music and psychology to prepare for a career as a music therapist for the disabled.

ESTANCIA HIGH SCHOOL: Amy Decker

As a gifted musician, Amy has distinguished herself both on and off campus. Having studied piano for 10 years and voice for seven, she was a member of the production drama class and had the lead role in numerous school productions. She is a freelance musician, church soloist, wedding soloist and has a recording contract with LPM Records.

She has a 3.98 grade-point average and was a member of the California Scholastic Federation and the Key Club. She was captain of the track team and named the most valuable player.

The Costa Mesa resident will attend the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where she will study vocal performance.

FAIRMONT HIGH SCHOOL: Pradeep Prasad

Intelligence, energy and dedication have distinguished Pradeep. He earned a perfect 800 score in the math portion of the SAT exam and served as senior class president. He has a 4.79 weighted grade-point average and was the school's top scorer on the American High School Math Exam for three years.

He was active with the Key Club, played on the varsity basketball team for two years and studied piano for 10 years.

The Whittier resident will attend USC, where he has been admitted to a select program that guarantees his admission to the USC School of Medicine following his undergraduate study.

FOOTHILL HIGH SCHOOL: Thomas Castillo

During his junior year, Thomas was selected to be a member of a lipid research team at Chapman University in Orange. The published results of the study were written by Thomas and edited by the chairman of the university's science department.

He also participated in ozone research at University of California, Davis, as a member of the Young Scholars Program.

Thomas has a 4.68 weighted grade-point average and is the recipient of three Parent Teacher Organization medallions, for science, journalism and social science. He served as co-editor of the school newspaper.

He does volunteer tutoring in math, science and English.

The Santa Ana resident will attend Harvard University in Massachusetts, where he plans to focus on a career in biotechnology or neuroscience.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL: Samuel Jiawei Ng

A valedictorian with a 4.65 weighted grade-point average, Samuel was a Cal State Fullerton Seal Bearer and an AP Scholar of Distinction.

At school, he was on the yearbook staff, a member of the Kiwins and a participant in the Baron Academy of Science.

Outside interests include volunteering at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, tutoring for the California Scholastic Federation, playing piano, attending church and volunteering at the Fountain Valley Library.

A Fountain Valley resident, he plans to major in engineering at UC Irvine, UC Davis or UC San Diego.

FULLERTON UNION HIGH SCHOOL: Julie Grinfeld

Julie is gifted in both arts and letters. As a student performer, she was dance production president, a member of the vocal ensemble and concert choir and a choreographer of school plays. Referred to as a "true Renaissance scholar," Julie has a 4.62 weighted grade-point average and was recognized by the California Scholastic Federation and National Honor Society.

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