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Class of 2020 Seniors share Where they will be attending college in the fall and what their favorite high school memories are

Adanna Abraham-Igwe

Abraham-Igwe is attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology and majoring in math with computer science.

“My favorite thing about high school was eating with my friends and laughing with people in class. I loved hearing the interesting, weird and silly things that people in my grade had to say during lunch, in class and outside school. Laughing, talking and having long conversations with my friends is what I will miss most from high school.”

Unity Aldaco

Aldaco has committed to University of California Irvine as a business administration major.

“My favorite high school memory is when all of the seniors went to Luca [Scarra]’s party. It didn’t matter if one person was smarter than the other. It didn’t matter if we never talked at school. All the seniors connected that night, and we just had a good time.”

Natalia Alvarez

Alvarez will be attending University of Hawai’i at Mañoa. She is a psychology major with a minor in spanish.

“My favorite memory of high school was being able to dance in front of the whole school at rallies and my first day of senior year.”

Surafeal Aragaw

Aragaw will be attending San Jose State University and majoring in mechanical engineering.

“My favorite high school memory was on the junior trip. The best part was on the bus rides and the free time at the hotels.”

Meghana Bellam

Bellam will be attending University of California Santa Cruz and majoring in computer science.

“My favorite memory in high school would have to be developing the friendships that I have as a result of UPA. I am really grateful for all the opportunities I got and relationships I’ve built with people.”

Kevin Benjume

Benjume will be attending San Francisco State University and majoring in business administration (marketing).

“One of my favorite memories in high school would be my junior year when I passed my physics final with a very high score. Mr.Clark (physics teacher at the time) stood up and congratulated the class for their scores. We all clapped for one another, which made it a very memorable moment.”

Sania Bhella

Bhella will be attending University of California Davis and majoring in genetics and genomics.

"The rallies were probably my favorite part of high school. Sitting with my whole grade and laughing with my friends is something I always looked forward to. I’m definitely going to miss it."

Isabella Cayabyab

Cayabyab has committed to University of Hawai’i at Mañoa with a major in kinesiology: health and exercise science.

“Senior year as a whole has been my favorite part of high school. I feel like I definitely hung out with more people that I normally wouldn’t, and our class was honestly really bonding.”

Madelaine Coquilla

Coquilla will be attending Santa Clara University as a biology major.

“One of my favorite parts of high school was being able to connect with everyone I met, no matter what grade they were in or who they were. I interacted with every student and teacher I came across because I felt that it was important to be kind to everyone I met. You never know what someone may be going through.”

Kristian Crowther

Crowther will be attending Loyola Marymount University as a film production and journalism major.

“My favorite memory has to be the senior night basketball game against St.Thomas More. Even though we lost, that is the most amount of energy I have ever seen from my class and the entire night was an insanely memorable one. For those few hours of cheering on the boys, it felt like we were a family.”

Joffre "Jeremiah" de la Paz

De la Paz will be attending University of California Los Angeles and majoring in aerospace engineering.

“My favorite high school memory was the male pageant since it was something the whole senior class helped create, whether they were in the actual show, a commissioner or just watching.”

Paolo Dimacali

Dimacali will be attending San Jose State University as an aerospace engineering major.

“Doing the male pageant this year was a blast. At the start of high school, I had terrible stage fright, and I could barely even sing at small family gatherings. I’m really glad that I was able to confront that fear to the point where I would perform in school events just to have some fun with my friends.”

Lynneah Douthit

Douthit will be attending University of California Irvine as a microbiology and immunology major.

“My favorite part of high school was my friends who I grew very close with. High school is hard, and it sucks sometimes because people can be mean. But, once you find the people you work well with and who like you for who you are, you grow close with them and begin to grow yourself.”

Eryn Duong

Duong will be attending Saint Louis University as an exercise science therapy major as part of a physical therapy program.

“My favorite high school memory is probably my volleyball senior night because I was with my team and all my best friends were there to share the moment with me.”

Naseem Faridnia

Faridnia will be attending University of California Davis as a design major.

“The really good parts of senior year were all because of my friends. We would get together and have movie nights every once in a while and that was always a really great time. We grew really close this year, and I’m going to miss them so much.”

Dana Feng

Feng will be attending University of California Berkeley and majoring in data science.

“My favorite part of high school was building Art Club. Not only was I able to fuel my interest in art, but I was also able to meet and work with an amazing community of talented artists. High school has given me the opportunity to come out of my comfort zone and create long lasting friendships.”

Arin Flandez

Flandez will be attending the University of Hawai’i at Mañoa as a nursing major.

“I don’t have a particular favorite high school memory, but it’s probably most fun when the entire senior class is together. Despite the circumstances, the senior retreat was really fun and I think we bonded a lot as a class outside of a classroom setting. A notable mention might be when at the rally Mr. Porter and Glenn did the three legged race together.”

Veronica Gonzalez

Gonzalez is an undeclared major who will be attending San Jose State University.

“My favorite high school memory would be organizing the club showcase in November. There were so many seniors that came together to make it work and the show was a success. My favorite part was at the end, once the curtains had closed, we all came into a group hug, celebrating what we had accomplished.”

Jack Grzegorzyk

Grzegorzyk will be attending San Jose State University as a political science major.

“My favorite high school memory would have to be mascotting as Glenn. I’m really grateful that I got to have the opportunity to make my fellow peers as well as teachers and administrators smile and laugh. At the end of the day, bringing joy to other people’s lives is what really matters to me.”

Greg Haessner

Haessner is going to University of California Riverside. He will be majoring in global studies.

“I really enjoyed my times in Mrs. Rodriguez’s class as the conversations I had in her class and out really helped me understand what I am really passionate about.”

Samuel Hagos

Hagos has committed to San Jose State University and is majoring in electrical engineering.

“My favorite high school memory was probably the junior trip. It was an opportunity for students to bond with each other as well as see colleges we were interested in. It was a new experience because it’s not something we usually do in UPA, which I think is one of the main reasons why so many people enjoyed it. It was planned greatly by the administrators and advisors and overall a great trip.”

Amber Huynh

Huynh will be attending University of California Irvine as a bioscience major.

“My favorite memory of high school was when my friends and I took daily pictures with the countdown poster.”

Ashlyn Huynh

Huynh will be attending University of California Santa Cruz as a biomedical engineering major.

“My favorite part of high school would be switching classes with my [twin] sister. Around a month ago we switched classes, I went to my sister’s physics and she went to my Spanish. In Spanish, [Spanish teacher Aimee] Verapinto called Amber “Amber” instead of “Ashlyn” and we thought we got caught for the first time, but she accidentally said “Amber" instead of “Ashlyn.” At the end of class we both told Ms. Verapinto we switched and she started laughing and told us she wanted us to do it again to see if she would notice, but we never got the chance to do it again.”

Reuel Indurkar

Indurkar will be attending Colorado State University and majoring in mechanical engineering.

“My favorite memory of high school is watching Jason [Plasschaert] play basketball. His signature move is hitting deep threes in front of people’s faces. Dylan [Ziegler] and I would always sit in the stands for his games and go wild whenever he did it.”

Joel Jaison

Jaison will be attending Universtiy of California Berkeley as a computer science major.

“My favorite memory was probably when Reuel [Indurkar] ran through the school playing his trombone. It was literally the last thing I was expecting."

Kyle James

James will be attending San Jose State University as a computer science major.

“My favorite high school memory has to be the time when the school participated in the Super Smash Brothers for Wii U tournament. I didn't actually participate in it, but I had a chance to cheer for my friends as they played against other players. I was happy that the school was actually allowing us to play a video game together during school hours, and I'm kinda sad that we never got to do another sort of event like that. I kinda wish that we were able to do more events involving video games throughout the years, because I love playing video games and hate doing other things like sports and such.”

Simrat Jolly

Jolly will be attending San Jose State University as a business administration (management information systems) major.

“My favorite memory at UPA was senior night. Senior night was amazing. All my friends showed up to the game and it was one of the most intense games of basketball I’ve ever played. The amount of support from the crowd made it one of the most special nights ever.”

Jasmine Lee

Lee has committed to California State University Long Beach as a communications major.

“My favorite part of high school is hanging out with my friends at lunch. I always loved it when we joked around and always ended up laughing so hard together. I also had so much fun during junior prom because I got to get all fancy and dressed up with my friends, plus we had a photo shoot before the dance and that personally was the best part of the prom experience.”

Elaine Liu

Lui will be attending California State University Fullerton and majoring in mechanical engineering.

“My favorite thing about high school were the memories and friends that I made. Even if we may be going to different schools in a matter of months, I’ve made connections with people that I will never forget and have changed me for the better.”

Marty Marinda

Marinda will be attending California State University at East Bay. He is majoring in pre-nursing and minoring in business administration.

“My favorite high school memory would have to be during the junior trip exploring the scenery of every college campus. I bonded with plenty of my classmates and learned new advice from our previous alumni. It was truly a treasurable moment I will never forget.”

Dante McCormick

McCormick will be attending Temple University, Japan Campus and majoring in international affairs.

“My favorite memory from high school was playing Monopoly during lunch with my friends Dev and Eric and Andrew. I was very secluded for most of my high school years, and playing Monopoly with so many people brightened my day when all I did previous years was sit in the classroom eating my lunch. They allowed me to act freely without fear of judgement, and we formed a connection together that I did not have in my previous years in high school.”

Jovita Mi

Mi will be attending University of California Santa Cruz as a human biology major.

“While I can't pinpoint one or even several favorite memories from high school, I'm just happy to have met everyone I have. I think UPA, as ungrateful as I may have been, has given me some of the most amazing opportunities. I honestly can't think back and hate on any class, teacher, or peer because at one point, everyone I encountered made me laugh and create the happiest memories. My favorite part about high school, UPA specifically, has to be the extremely supportive teachers who want nothing more than to help their students succeed.”

Cynthia Montoya

Montoya will be attending San Jose State University as a criminology major.

“My favorite memory of high school was the junior trip. I loved the whole experience. It was so cool being able to go tour colleges in SoCal and stay in a hotel room with my friends. It definitely made me closer to some people I wasn’t close with before. Being in cheer was also fun because I was able to build friendships with girls who aren't in my grade. I’m most definitely going to miss performing at rallies and having the whole school hype us up.”

Mekhyle Ndah

Ndah will be attending San Francisco State University with a major in pre-design and a minor in cinematography.

“My favorite memory [from high school] was definitely my senior night because we worked so hard and there were so many people there. It just felt great to feel supported.”

Betty Nguyen

Nguyen will be attending Santa Clara University as a marketing major.

“[My favorite memory of high school] is growing as a person through all the different things and people I’ve been involved with during high school.”

Farah Noor

Noor will be attending University of San Francisco as a political science major.

“[My favorite memories] are those last days before any break where Ms. McClung is giving out candy and everyone is in a feel good mood with barely any homework.”

Kevin Ortiz

Ortiz will be attending San Jose State University and majoring in aerospace engineering.

“My favorite memory of high school was meeting my current friends during my freshman year. Finding out their sense of humor influenced me to stay in the school. And eating lunch everyday with them during school positively impacted my day.”

Dev Paul

Paul will be attending California State University Long Beach. He is double majoring in computer science and animation.

“One of my favorite parts of high school was playing cards or board games or even just hanging out with friends during Lunch, open seventh period, or the weekends. It was pretty fun. Another one of my favorite parts of high school was going on the LA FBLA trip, that was pretty fun and chill. Another favorite part of high school was taking the classes. I mainly got the classes I wanted to take in my high school career, and yeah there's definitely a lot of positive things I could say about the fun times I had in the classes I've had so far.”

Grace Pham

Pham is attending San Jose State University and majoring in environmental studies.

“My favorite part of high school was when during lunch, my friends and I would be talking nonsense and laughing so hard it hurt, and this was everyday. My favorite memory was when I walked into WHAP the first day of sophomore year (I was new) and I was late, which made it 10 times more embarrassing. I gave a full introduction to my name which was definitely not needed. Luckily, everyone in the class was super nice and chill and made me feel very welcome.”

Adrian Phuong

Phuong will be attending University of California Santa Cruz as a computer science major.

“One of my favorite memories from high school was when I started interacting with some of my classmates in freshman year. To see how far I’ve come and having so many friendly people around myself amazes me. I started off with one or two friends when I came to UPA, and now a lot of people know me and it makes me happy to know that I can be someone’s friend.”

Jason Plasschaert

Plasschaert will be attending California State University Fullerton with a major in business administration.

“My favorite high school memory was my basketball senior night. It was a big game because it was my last home game and if we won, we would clinch the league championship. The gym was packed and we even streamed the game live on YouTube. Although we lost, I had a great game and felt so much love and support from my friends and family.”

Kunal Puri

Puri will be attending University of California Berkeley. He is double majoring in molecular and cell biology and business administration.

“One of my favorite memories of high school was when [former science teacher Richard] Prizznick gave my AP Chemistry group access to an incredibly high concentration of sulfuric acid for our final project. Using the sulfuric acid, our group corrupted a ton of sugar to create multiple 'carbon snakes' which emitted a terrible odor. It was a very fun experience though.”

Monica Rodriguez

Rodriguez has decided not to attend college for her first semester, but will be working full time. She sees herself going back to school the following semester and feels hopeful that this is the right path for her.

“[My favorite high school memory is] my last dance showcase in May of 2017. It was probably the last year I had an opportunity to be with all my girls at once and performing. Honestly, we had a lot of fun backstage, even though we did get in trouble a few times. I think it is my favorite memory because the school year after that, we all kind of went our separate ways and weren’t together as often.”

arielle rose-finn

Rose-Finn will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and majoring in architecture.

"My favorite memory from high school is performing in all the musicals and making many precious friends through that."

Kiana Saqui

Saqui will be attending Dominican University of California with a major in nursing.

“One of my favorite memories of high school was the talent show during my sophomore year. My friends and I performed for the first time and honestly I had so much fun dancing with them. I really enjoyed that night and I’m so glad that I decided to do the talent show that year.”

Rasleen Saran

Saran will be attending Mount Saint Mary's University of Los Angeles as a criminology major.

“My favorite memory of high school is prom. [The best part of prom was] dressing up, dancing with my friends and just enjoying life outside of school.”

Luca Scarra

Scarra will be attending Concordia University Montreal as a finance major with a minor in economics.

“My favorite memory is doing the male pageant this year. It gave me a chance to come out of my shell a bit. The guys were on their worst behavior and my mic got cut off, super fun night.”

Lena Serio

Serio will be attending California State University Long Beach as a social work major.

“My favorite part of high school was getting to meet new people. Transferring in as a junior, I was hesitant about being able to make friends, but everyone has been so friendly and open to me. I am so thankful for that.”

Aditya Sharma

Sharma will be attending California Northstate University College of Health and Sciences. His major is health science.

“My favorite high school memories are the junior trip and senior retreat. These trips helped me get closer with my friends.”

Kenneth Shem

Shem will be attending Tufts University and majoring in cognitive and brain sciences.

“I had a lot of fun spending time with my friends. We worked on many group projects together. We shared a lot of memories together, like prom and birthdays and dances and a spirit day.”

Anant Sherwal

Sherwal will be attending University of California Berkeley as a microbial biology major.

“I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time we all convinced [former science teacher Richard] Prizznick to give us a potluck instead of a final for HBS. Oh, and all the times Toby and I would tell each other we weren’t going to get anywhere in life as a joke, concerning everyone around us. Oh, and all the times I laughed at something with the Octonaughts and Bleacher Boys.”

Sophia Singh

Singh will be attending San Jose State University as a computer science major.

“Some of my favorite parts of high school are raving with my best friends in the bathroom and singing along to songs. I also loved when me and my friend group dressed up as a rainbow for spirit week with each of us as one color.”

Yerusaliyem Solomon

Solomon will be attending San Franscisco State University as a nursing major.

“[My favorite high school memory was] the UPA senior party that Luca held. I liked that everyone was there and laughing, eating and partying together.”

Rohan Tibrewal

Tibrewal will be attending University of California Berkeley. He is a computer science major and will potential double major with cognitive science.

“Some of my favorite memories from high school were in my chemistry classes. Honors Chem with Mr. Kent was a wild experience, and I will never forget Mr. Kent's numerous Cal Poly stories. AP Chem was an even wilder experience. I would consistently arrive at least 10 minutes late to zero periods, and I still remember Richard's expression when he cancelled the zero period and I still arrived 10 minutes late. Both classes were chaotic and often difficult, but nonetheless fun and memorable, just like many of my other memories of UPA.”

Kevin Tong

Tong will be attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will be double majoring in math and electrical engineering and computer science.

“One of my favorite memories from high school was the junior trip. It was a really nice break from the typical stress from school and also an amazing bonding experience with my classmates. It was a really unique experience to be able to be with classmates throughout the day rather than just at school and helped me build stronger bonds with many of my friends.”

Luis Torres

Torres will be attending San Jose State University as a mechanical engineering major.

“Hands down one of my favorite moments from high school was during the senior trip. I wasn’t expecting much from the activities. Halfway through the day we were all eating hamburgers and chips and then we started playing football. It was the first time I was able to play a football game with people from UPA and it was great.”

Jenny Tran

Tran will be attending University of California Irvine as a computer engineering major.

“My favorite part of high school was our last rally and homecoming. It was so exciting to be wearing our shirts for the first time and performing the dance that we had practiced for weeks. The seniors had so much pride during the rally and we were finally screaming the loudest. The seniors all dancing together on the floor and hanging out in the senior room made the last homecoming the best one.”

Giana Usac

Usac will be attending Dominican University of California as a nursing major.

“My favorite part of high school was honestly meeting the amazing friends I have and being with them for six years. My favorite memory would be singing with my friends for the first time during a rally.”

Catherine "Megan" Uy

Uy will be attending San Francisco University and majoring in child and adolescent development.

“My favorite high school memory would have to be all of the times I went out with my friends to the Haunt or Christmas in the park. Going through all of the mazes during the haunt and ice skating during the winter were so fun because it was just a nice break from school. These locations are close by and were overall really enjoyable.”

Hannah Van Gelder

Van Gelder will be attending Marymount Manhattan College as an undeclared liberal arts major.

“The junior trip was my favorite high school memory. It was one of the few times where we all were together and had good bonding time.”

Akhil Vemuri

Vemuri will be attending University of California Berkeley and majoring in computer science.

“One of my favorite memories in high school had to be junior year English 11 with [former English teacher Sheila] Billy. It was a pretty small class, and we were the only period that had Ms. Billy as a teacher. But, the questions that were asked and the remarks that were made, no matter how dumb they were, made me crack up all the time. It was just extremely funny to me to see everyone so clueless in a class as that one. And the memes that came from it were priceless.”

Faith Villarin

Villarin will be attending University of California Riverside as an undeclared major in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

“My favorite high school memory was senior night and all the cheerleaders and seniors making baskets and posters for all the senior players. And even though we lost our senior night and I cried, I’ve never seen the gym so full at a basketball game. It was so wholesome looking at the crowd and seeing my class cheering and being so together at an event.”

Justina Vystavilova

Vystavilova is attending San Jose State University as an undeclared major.

“Some of my favorite memories from high school are being with my friends in my classes and hanging out with [English teacher Andrea] Aquino during lunch who always happens to hear our weird out of context conversations. Obviously I had a lot of downs during high school but I genuinely came out of it with some amazing people that I am lucky to call my friends and teachers that have been there for me. UPA is for sure a unique school and if there’s any advice for anyone in the lower classes it’s to enjoy your senior year because it may go by sooner than you think.”

ISAIAH WEBB

Webb will be attending California State University Fullerton and majoring in Business Administration.

“My favorite high school memory is playing basketball and soccer intramurals with all my friends”

Kobe Woodworth

Woodworth will be attending California State University East Bay and majoring in pre-nursing.

“My favorite memory of high school would probably be junior year around prom time when a large group of guys decided to throw a party instead of going to prom. Some people were a little upset about this choice and especially now with us missing our senior prom, but I think we had more fun than if we went to prom and I don't regret it one bit.”

Meera Zalavadia

Zalavadia will be attending University of California Davis as a biological systems engineering major.

“One of my favorite memories from high school is right after I finished my AP World History test. As I sat outside having lunch with my friends, the sense of relief was overwhelming. I had World History later that day and my class relaxed while watching Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Nathnile Zemene

Zemene will be attending San Jose State University. He is currently a communications major but plans on changing to business.

“One of my favorite high school memories is performing last year during the rally. It was my first time performing, and to do it in front of my friends was really fun. Although, the most important memory I've made in high school was the friendships I created. They all carried on from middle school and I will never forget the people there. I love each and every one of them and I hope they do well in life.”

Annie Zhang

Zhang will be attending Binghamton University as a nursing major.

“[My favorite part of high school is] spending time with friends and being a part of Interact. [What makes being a part of Interact so special] is definitely the people. Even though I’ve only been a board member for two years, I have made so many connections with kids all over. It opened so many opportunities for me and I feel like I really grew as a person. I got to develop leadership skills and as a club we got to help so many organizations. It just opened my eyes and they’ve become way more than just friends or a club. I consider them family.”
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Jenna Plasschaert
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Cover photo by Chelsea Nguyen. Photos courtesy of the class of 2020.