Top Scholar Sarah Tsou attends Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. She will be attending Harvard College next fall, studying biology. She is an accomplished violinist, named concertmaster of the California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. That's a big honor reserved for the best of the best. Sarah earned it after years of hard work that started with a challenge at a music school audition.
Sarah says, "I was 7-years-old. I guess I was a little older than most people would start violin. So, they actually told me, 'Maybe you're too old for this. Maybe you should try cello.' I was like wait, whoa, stop right there. At that point, I had to play violin just to prove a point."
Sarah is also a gifted pianist and thrives on community service. She has taken her love for music to a whole new audience through her Music For Hearts club which performs for senior citizens. She says the "cool part is we don't just play. We try to talk to them, interact. We don't want to be just like those random people that come in and play a couple songs and leave."
Sarah's academic record is stunning. She has a 4.7 GPA. She has taken 13 college level Advanced Placement classes and earned the highest possible scores on her exams. She's a top competitor in speech and debate and she was on the diving team.
Her math teacher, Ronald Nicoletti, says, "Grades really never came into play for her. She's an ultimate student. She wants to learn. She loves to learn."
Sarah spent last summer in China in an immersion program based on volunteer work. "We were given a plot of land that had been devastated and we actually helped to plant trees, and the trees will help rejuvenate the land," she says.
Sarah was named class valedictorian and has straight-forward advice for her classmates -- "Three words. Don't be afraid."
Congratulations Sarah Tsou, ABC7 Top Scholar!
Join ABC7 on Sunday, June 30, at 3 p.m. for a special on all seven of this year's Top Scholars.