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Senior Spotlights

We have so many incredible Monsoons parting from our beloved school, and we'd love to share some of their amazing stories with you. Come along and learn about some of your fellow seniors and their stories below!

Sadie Saez

     Senior Sadie Saez is one of the many students that has dedicated her time, effort, and passion into the past four years of her life to prepare for a bright future. Like many other seniors she has been preparing for college and has even chosen to commit to Biola University where she will be majoring in Biological Sciences this upcoming fall. Sadie hopes to achieve a career as a Forensic DNA Analyst. 

     Sadie is very highly involved at Mayfair High School and in her community. One of the many things she does at Mayfair is helping with the yearbook and she is even the yearbook senior editor. She has also been a part of the Varsity Girls Golf team for all four years of high school. Aside from school activities she is a kids bible school teacher, summer camp counselor and is involved at her church as a drummer and singer.

     A couple of Sadie’s favorite things include her family, friends, music, the beach, Disneyland, and concerts. Her favorite motto demonstrates a lot about her character, the motto she likes to live by is “There is a huge difference between being alive and living”. As students there are teachers who make a life lasting impact on our lives, for Sadie these teachers are Mr. Fong, Mr. Eastham, Mr. Suttle, and Mrs. Valenzuela.

     These past four years have been a great experience, and like other seniors Sadie is excited to see what is next for her in the future.

“I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and my life. I hope everyone has an amazing end to their senior year and that they just soak up every last minute of it! We're going to do great things Class of 2024!”.  - Sadie Saez

     Abbie Simon has been a Monsoon since 7th grade. Since she was little, she had been in cheer and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was no doubt that once she started high school she was going to try out for the cheer team. This decision has positively impacted her high school career. Even though she had to deal with cheerleading being through zoom for one year during the pandemic, she has loved being a part of cheer and cheer leading for our school. 

     Abbie has been on Varsity cheer for the past two years and it has been a crucial part of her team by being base and back spot. Abbie has been a part of sideline cheer and takes pride in competition cheer as it is her favorite thing about cheer leading alongside making new friends each year. Even though she has been on varsity cheer for only 2 years, she had the opportunity to be a part of varsity comp for 3 years! 

     Not only is Abbie an amazing cheerleader, but she is also an excellent student. She has maintained a 3.9 GPA throughout her high school career, while managing cheer and a job as well. Her teachers can describe her academic career as what defines her. Valenuzela states “Abbie is a solid student who always puts her time and effort into her assignments who is capable and independent, she breaks the cheerleader stereotype.” Valenzuela can also describe her personality as “sarcastic” but in a refreshing way, she loves how real and honest Abbie can be. 

     Some of her favorite parts of being a cheerleader were cheerleading when the football team won CIF and team bonding with her cheer friends. Abbie is continuing her education at Long Beach City College to major in chemistry in hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. 

Abbie Simon

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Estela Vasquez

     Estela Vasquez is a senior here at Mayfair and is extremely involved in clubs on campus. She is in a total of ten clubs, holding positions in four and is active in all of them while still balancing schoolwork and a separate social life. Estela has been a large inspiration to many because of his involvement in so many clubs and so I wanted to dive deeper into how exactly she keeps it all straight. 

     Firstly, I wanted to see how Estela has perfected the balance between club work and school work. She told me that the biggest help has been making a master to-do list using an online resource. Through trial and error, he found that having a digital list was easier to access and keep track of than a physical planner. She tells me that on her to-do list, he has a note saying “don't leave anything for tomorrow that can be done today” because it keeps her motivated and 

not to fall behind when it is unnecessary to do so.

     Without a doubt, being so involved comes with a set of challenges. Estela says that the hardest part of balancing out all his work has been losing track of people in her clubs, especially in the Environmental Science Club where he is president. Making meaningful connections is important to Estela and he points out that “part of the reason I'm in so many clubs is because of the sense of community.” Also, having to prioritize certain tasks over others has been challenging. Estela says that choosing what to de-prioritize is a struggle, but talking to his teacher and letting them know her situation has helped take some stress off. 

     Asking Estela what she would say is that the benefits of being in so many clubs, he said that meeting different people is a big benefit. She says that “each club, regardless of if they are similar in what they do, have different people and vibes” and using the example of being in four community service clubs but each one has different levels of community service projects.

Overall, meeting new people and expanding your web is the biggest benefit of being in clubs. 

     Lastly, the advice Estela would give to those wanting to be very club active is to firstly, learn to manage time and prioritize tasks. She says that “club events will overlap… and you will have to learn to prioritize.” It is all about choosing what is more important. Also, he points out that carpooling is very, very recommended. Typically, she says, parents will not want to waste gas because of how expensive it can be and won’t be able to always drive somewhere. Being considerate of parents' time is important as well, Estela says. 

     All in all, Estela has proven that being part of clubs, while being stressful sometimes, has given her connections and communities that he wouldn’t have had without it. Through being organized and on top of tasks, managing everything is possible and manageable.

     As Mayfair Monsoon, Stephanie de Guzman is a wonderful senior who shows a passion for music and arts, along with engagement with the community. They are involved in Mayfair High School’s Mariners choir group and is a certified historian in Key Club. As they transition from high school to college, they are able to reflect on their memories as a Monsoon. They display academic excellence, a helping hand for others, and musical expertise. 

When Stephanie first entered Mayfair, they considered themselves the shy, introverted freshman. “This would be the first time I’d ever fully step out of my comfort zone as I’d be the first out of me and my two younger siblings to enter middle school and discover the world outside of our elementary school for the first time! I had to learn to socialize more and break out of my shell,” they say. Since they were in MHS during quarantine, it was difficult for them to communicate through a screen. Fortunately, they found themselves at a club called K-pop Club. Additionally, they were surrounded by support from their teachers and friendships which allowed them to become academically successful. 

     Since they are now a senior high school student, they describe their final year as “beautiful chaos”. With their being in Mariners and Key Club, they continue to be active in their school community. They joined Key Club first, encouraged by a friend. It was difficult in the beginning since it was quarantined, but their perspective of the club changed. Stephanie says, “Over time, the ignited spark of passion within me grew and I began taking on bigger and bigger challenges each year that I was involved in Key Club. I’ve attended a bunch of events on different levels, taken the challenge of different leadership positions and met so many amazing and inspiring people that I continue to hold close to my heart.” As a result, they developed their skills and were able to find themself among people with the same passion for Key Club. 

     As for Mariners, they also joined in freshman year, especially because they take a liking to singing. They were shy at first, but what really made them comfortable was the concept of “Bigs” and “Littles” (which were upperclassmen and lower classmen supporting each other in Mariners). “With my big, I was able to feel more comfortable and we had shared the same interests and aesthetics. I’ll forever be grateful for my first big and their kindness and lovingness!” they said. As they continued to devote themself to Mariners, they were able to grow as a singer and find themself among delightful people. “Over time, I’ve been able to grow so much as a singer over the 3 years that I’ve been in this group and it’s been such a crucial part of my development as a person. I’ve also been able to meet so many lovely individuals that I can now call my closest, dearest friends!” 

     As the future approaches, they plan to attend college to possibly double major in graphic design and computer science. They are determined to learn more about themself and further expand their knowledge in the wondrous art industry. Stephanie quotes, “Hopefully I’ll be able to be successful in pursuing my love for art in the future and being able to create projects that I’m proud of and that will contribute to the creativity of the world. I hope to share my work that I can feel proud and happy for in the future!” their artistic eye for graphic design will ensure that they will be successful—especially with help of their inspirations.

     Stephanie’s inspirations are their family, peers, interests, personal affirmations, and effort. They say, “Knowing that I can put in the effort to improve and work to be the best version of me that I can be inspires me! Even when I experience bumps in the road along the way, I always do my best to remember that I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again.” Above all, they believe that their parents are the reason they are the courageous, confident young individual they are now. “Lastly, I wouldn’t have been able to learn how to preserve through everything and anything without my parents. They’ve done and sacrificed so much for me to be able to do the things I love, and I’ll forever be grateful for them, their support, and what they’ve taught me thus far,” they quote. 

Stephanie is a soon-to-be graduating high school student, who cherished many memories with fellow friends and peers who allowed them to persevere through the challenges of high school. They believe that Mariners and Key Club are the most beautiful experiences they loved, which unlocked new opportunities that are extraordinary. “One of my most fondest memories I had in the 4 years I’ve been involved in Key Club has been being able to serve as a Vice President during my Junior year,” they say. “Mariners has also opened me to experiences I wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else. I’ve been able to meet so many amazing friends, travel to Hawaii for a Tour Trip, perform my heart out, and improve as a singer and individual.” They were able to take advantage of their time as a Monsoon to explore communities and find people that make them become the best version of themself. They may be graduating this year, but we are astounded by how they represent the result of determination and hard work.

Stephanie de Guzman

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Dana Velasquez

     Mayfair is full of hundreds of amazing seniors that will be moving on to great things in the future. One of these seniors is Dana Velasquez who is even top three in her senior class! Dana, plans to attend California State University Long Beach and pursue nursing. She wants to become a nurse practitioner. Aside from future goals, Dana has worked hard to pursue a great future such as getting heavily involved in various school activities. A couple of activities that she is a part of is the volleyball team. Dana has been a part of the volleyball team for the past three years, she spent her first year on jv and spent her junior and senior year on varsity. Along with her team they were able to become league champions for the 2023-2024 school year. Aside from sports she has also been a member of many clubs such as History club, Debate club, Environmental Science club, National Honors Society, and Leo club. Like many, she has a set of favorite teachers, her favorite teachers are, Mr. McCabe, Madame Fauben, Ms. Garvin, Mr. Heddley, and Mr. Nguyen. 

     Although Dana is heavily involved in school she is also a great person outside of school with various interests and hobbies. Something that Dana loves doing outside of school is thrifting and being with friends. A side hobby that she has is collecting lego mini figures, she is very proud of this collection. Her favorite figures are the baker figure, and the vegetables and fruits.     

     A couple of Dana’s favorite things are her family, her friends, her brother who is her biggest role model, and her two dogs that are each other's best friends and siblings. To the class of 2024 Dana says this, “Good luck on the journey ahead to the class of 2024!”.

     As the school year is coming to a close seniors like Adilene Mendoza are deciding what is next for their life. Adilene has chosen to commit to California State University of Long Beach where she will study and major in biology. She aspires to be a nurse in the future, specifically an OB/GYN nurse. In school she participated in many extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs, she was a part of the Mayfair junior varsity soccer team for both her sophomore and junior year of high school. Aside from sports she has also been involved in clubs such as Spanish Club and National Honors Society. Despite the difficulties with balancing sports and other extracurricular activities she has been able to keep her grades up and maintained a great overall gpa of 3.8 in her high school years. There are teachers who have impacted our lives throughout the years, these teachers for Adilene are Sra. Kodesh, Sra. Garcia, Ms. Chick, and Ms. Brown (ceramics teacher). 

     A couple of other things that have shaped Adilene into the person she is today are her off campus activities such as community service and being a worship leader at her church. Her favorite motto to live by is, “Do your best, and God will do the rest”. A couple of her favorite things are her family, her piano, Six Flags, and her dog named Buddy and her cat Athina. A couple of her hobbies consist of playing the piano which she has been doing for the past 7 years, participating in bible studies, and going to concerts. Overall, it has been a great 4 years for Adilene and although it is now coming to an end there are lots of great things in store for her in the future. To the class of 2024 she said this, “Although the road was bumpy and there were obstacles, we made it and I am so proud of the class of 2024!”

Adilene Mendoza

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Chisom Okoye

     As the school year comes to an end and seniors prepare to graduate from high school, opportunities to be a part of these exciting events have opened up. Chisom Okoye was recently chosen to give her written speech at graduation. She explains her writing process, drive for auditioning, and her advice for others.

     Firstly, I wanted to understand why she wanted to audition to speak at graduation in the first place, given how much pressure could come with the task. Chisom explains that she hadn’t realized that the audition would include graduation as well as the Senior Farewell Assembly. However, she does admit that “I think I had been dreaming of it since sophomore year…I didn’t think I’d make that dream come true.” In terms of choosing to audition in the first place, Chisom simply says that she had words that she wanted to share with the class and just went for it.

     The writing process was quite easy for Chisom because, as she explains, that the speech had been written back in October for her ERWC class. There was an assignment given to them to write their own commencement speech after watching a video of someone else doing it. Chisom took this base speech and, after watching many other examples and looking at tips, was able to create something unique to the Class of 2024. She explains that the structure of her speech is “like a book where each chapter corresponds to a year in our lives.” Overall, the process was quite easy since she had a solid start.

     Even through knowing that Chisom had an alright time writing the speech, I wanted to know if there was anything that was challenging for her throughout the entire process. Whether it be having to get over a fear of public speaking or keeping the speech under a certain time limit. Chisom explained that the one big issue she had was trying to keep the speech from being too formal. Obviously it is a formal event, however, “many speeches I saw were dry and boring,” as Chisom says. To combat this, she adds jokes and a few side comments to her speech to hopefully allow the audience to laugh. Being able to balance formal and “not boring” was something that Chisom had to master.

     Lastly, I asked Chisom if there was anything that she would like to say to students who are hesitant to speak in front of large crowds or who have a hard time going out for things, for fear of failing. She emphasizes that the most important thing is faking it until you make it. She says “ [faking] confidence really gets you far…I’ve been challenging myself with presentations and answering questions in class to practice my public speaking.” Though it is a big task, Chisom is ready to work to make this moment special for not only her, but the entire graduating class of 2024.

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