Calayan, who will be honored as valedictorian at West High School’s graduation Saturday, hopes her studies will lead to a job as a forensic scientist someday. She’s always been interested in science, she said, and she plans to study biology at Fresno Pacific University next year.
“It’s good to know that all my hard work has paid off,” Calayan said. “But I’m also sad, because I’m going to miss a lot of my friends and my teachers.”
In addition to being named valedictorian, Calayan also earned the distinction of being the school’s science student of the year and received the U.S. Air Force Science and Mathematics honor.
“I like learning about the world, especially about genetics and DNA,” she said. “I’ve always had an interest in science, ever since I could remember.”
While Calayan loved doing lab experiments at West High, her interests were varied. She was the vice president of the Pink Ladies, a student group that helped raise money for breast cancer research. Calayan also helped start the AP Club, which helps fellow students pay for part of the $90 fee to take an Advanced Placement exam through fundraising.
Calayan, who was born in the Philippines but moved to Milpitas in 1999, said she wants to keep being a part of campus activities after she starts her studies at Fresno Pacific.
“I just want to be successful in my career and definitely be involved in school spirit,” she said.
• Contact Our Town editor Justin Lafferty at 830-4221 or firstname.lastname@example.org. West High School: Czarina Calayan
• Age: 17
• How long in Tracy: Seven years
• Birthplace: Manila, Philippines
• GPA: 4.46
• Achievement: Valedictorian, West High School
• College: Fresno Pacific University