Janette Perez Jimenez can’t wait for Saturday’s graduation at Newark Memorial High School.
“I feel that I have worked hard during all of my years in school and it’s nice to think that after all of that, my efforts are finally being repaid,” Jimenez wrote to Patch.
And her hard work is reason for what she calls her greatest achievement thus far: Graduating with a 4.125 GPA.
The 17-year-old does more than keep her head in the books though. She has danced ballet folklorico for six years, participated in track and field for one year, volunteered at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge for four years and worked at the for two years.
She is also a student of the Marine and Science Technology program at Newark Memorial in which students invite elementary-age students and teach them about astronomy and marine biology.
Her participation in that program and her volunteer work at Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge, where she helped with the annual summer camp for three years has helped her determine the next phase in her academic career.
“I realized how much I loved being able to teach children the joys and wonders that biology brings and also unveils, Biology has always interested me from a young age and I love working with kids, so after much thought I have realized that by combining these two aspects I have figured out what my calling in life is,” she said.
Jimenez plans to major in Fish and Wildlife Conservation Biology in college. She will be attending University of California, Davis in the fall.
What will she miss about high school?
Her involvement in the Marine and Science Technology program.
“I will miss MaST from every aspect, from the people in the program, to the animals and also the teacher,” she said. “MaST has helped me shape who I am now and leaving that behind is definitely difficult.”
Editor's Note: We have corrected our report. The Newark Memorial High School Marine and Science Technology program involves astronomy and marine biology.