SEBASTOPOL, Calif. - ABC7 has celebrated student achievement with our Star Scholars program for 12 yeras. Each year, ABC7 recognizes seven Bay Area high school seniors for their extraordinary achievements and awards each with a $1,000 scholarship toward his or her college education.
ABC7's Eric Thomas met with one Star Scholar winner from Sebastopol whose take on everything attitude has put her on the fast track to success and Silicon Valley.
Kimberly Juarez-Rico prides herself on taking advantage of all Analy High School had to offer, from academics and social activities to athletics before graduating last month.
Kimberly: "Wrestling, track and field, cross country, band, choir, swimming, journalism, and martial arts."
Eric: "I mean gosh, you need both hands to count all that stuff."
Kimberly: "Coming from a Mexican background, where my parents didn't have all these opportunities all these activities that they could have done, I really just want to make the best out of them."
An educator added, "(She's) extremely smart and very hard-working, very dedicated."
Kimberly calls herself curious and that's pretty evident with all the activities she's involved at Analy, but it's her ability to swim that makes it all so satisfying.
Eric: "You mentioned sort of a metaphorical aspect to it. What is that?"
Kimberly: "Staying afloat for my family because none of them have been able to continue on in their education, and since I have the opportunity to do what they didn't have the opportunity to do then I will want to take advantage of that. Stay afloat."
This ABC7 Star Scholar plans to continue making her family proud as she seeks new opportunities at Stanford University this fall while studying chemical engineering and possibly computer science.
"I have worked my hardest in everything I do to get where I am," she said.
You can watch our ABC7 Star Scholar special on Sunday on July 23, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. Click here to learn about our other Star Scholars.
Do you know a change-maker in your community? They can apply for a $500 Summer of Service grant for their community project. Just go to ysa.org/beinspired.
Written and produced by Jennifer Rumple.