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Valedictorian thanks family for support

• Alina Kim is tops at Golden Valley High School

Posted: June 4, 2008 1:16 a.m.
Updated: August 5, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Golden Valley High School's top graduate, Alina Kim, tosses her cap in the air.

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

Golden Valley High School valedictorian Alina Kim said support from family, teachers and counselors helped her achieve academic success. The Signal asked top graduates a series of questions about their current successes and their future goals, and these are Alina's answers.

Q: What is the secret to your academic success?

A: I definitely wouldn't have been able to be as successful as I was in high school if it hadn't been for the great support from everyone around me. But for me, I believe that perseverance and effort played the greatest part. Dedication to all the activities I took part in and the ability to keep in mind my goals kept me strong throughout the years. My greatest fear in high school was regret, and so I put in my best effort in everything I did so that I wouldn't regret anything in the future; I believe success is measured in huge part by time and effort.

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

A: There are so many people I would love to thank. I know this must be such a cliched answer, but my family has always supported me to move forward and trusted me and my decisions. My cousin, Kristine, has often reminded me to make the best of what I have and not to get caught up in the past. She taught me that my academics are not the greatest factors in life and that it is my character that will carry me forward and leave lasting impressions. I've also been so blessed to have been with and taught by some of the greatest counselors and teachers, most of whom genuinely care for their students and are extremely knowledgeable, which helped make the past four years extremely enjoyable.

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

A: I've been the president of Key Club at our school for the past four years. Because Golden Valley was a new school in 2003, all the students and staff worked together to create a new, lasting tradition for our school; and so, I founded Key Club, a community-service oriented club, at Golden Valley my freshman year. I've also been able to work as an intern for a microbiology laboratory, with the help of my counselor, and for Santa Clarita City Hall's traffic engineering department, as part of our city's Youth in Government/Visions in Progress program. Both these internships helped me broaden my interests and set a direction for my future area of study. I've also taken part in various other activities, such as Golden Valley's swim and tennis teams, piano, and studio art. I spent weekends volunteering for a hospital in Los Angeles. I am also a member of our school's National Honor Society, Christian Club, and Link Crew.

Q: What are your plans and goals for the future?

A: I'll be attending University of Pennsylvania this fall and will be majoring in the sciences. However, I'm still unsure as to what I will pursue as a career.

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

A: I think it is our willingness and readiness for change that will make a difference in our society, whether it be in rapidly advancing technology, our struggling economy, or our worsening environment. We have all seen so much change in the past several years, such as in our government, societal norms, and world issues. As a result of our readily accessible mass media, knowledge and understanding of issues around us are more easily obtainable, allowing us to develop our own opinions on these issues through knowledge and to learn from the past. I believe our generation is more likely to have an open mind about change and, hopefully, this will encourage more people to act and get involved in our society.

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

A: I think the greatest challenge for our generation is apathy. Even with the readily accessible technology and opportunity for knowledge, I see many who choose to be indifferent to our societal issues. Because our generation is in a time of great prosperity in America and advancement in technology, I think many of us take for granted what we have been given from our nation and society. I see many people who choose not to vote and voice their opinions, but later complain about issues that they refused to get involved in. Also, although our access to mass media may serve as a tool for more knowledge, I think that many times it causes us to be too reliant on these things, often limiting not only our physical movement but also our thinking and the effort necessary in achieving progress and success.

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