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Canyon valedictorian wants to make family proud

Posted: June 3, 2008 1:53 a.m.
Updated: August 4, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Bryce DeFiguierido, the top grad from Canyon High School, stands in front of the school on Friday. DeFiguierido will attend Brigham Young University in Utah in the fall on a Thomas Monson Presidential Scholarship. He intends to study mechanical engineering.

This is the second in a series of six interviews with the Hart District's top graduates.

As a recipient of the Thomas S. Monson Presidential Scholarship, Canyon High School valedictorian Bryce DeFigueiredo will be headed to Brigham Young University next fall to study engineering. The Signal asked Bryce a series of questions about his current successes and future goals, and these are his answers.

What is the secret to your academic success?

A long time ago, I decided to work hard and never settle for less than my best.

What person has been a role model, or has inspired you, during your high school years?

My family has been a huge influence in my life. We spend a lot of time together, and my parents and siblings are very important to me. They have helped shape me into the person I am. I am very grateful for the relationship we share. I always try to do my best and make them proud of me.

What activities, clubs, or organizations have you been involved with the past four years?

I play trumpet in band (Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, and Jazz Ensemble); I am a member of the National Honor Society; I am president of the California Scholarship Federation; I am in Key Club; I was president last year of Tri-M (a musical honor society); I have been active in Boy Scouts, where I earned the rank of Eagle Scout; and I am very active in church and church youth group.

What are your plans and goals for the future?

I am enrolling at Brigham Young University this fall. After a year, I will serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I return, I will finish my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in music. I then plan to earn a graduate degree in either business or biotechnology. I want to go into neuroprosthetics, designing robotic prostheses that can be controlled by the human nervous system.

Starting a family is also very important to me. I hope to be able to have a close family and raise my children to be people of character.

What do you feel is the most important quality your generation has to offer society?

One of my generation's greatest strengths is its ability to come up with creative solutions to problems. As we enter the 21st century, the world faces countless issues, both new and old, that we will have to deal with. My generation has grown up in a time of unprecedented technological advances. As we become adults, we will use this technology to do great things and come up with even more solutions to the problems we face.

What do you think are the biggest challenges your generation will face?

In my opinion, one of the biggest problems facing my generation is information overload. We have so many distractions with the Internet, television, video games, cell phones, and iPods, that a lot of times, it's hard to filter out the background noise and focus on the things that are really important. In addition, a lot of us are so overscheduled that we can't find time to relax. This is hard on individuals and families. One of the biggest challenges we face is deciding who to listen to and where to spend our time.


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