Stephanie Ordorica, who plans to study psychology or social work in college, says her personal experiences have directed her career aspirations.
She said because she had so many stresses as a teenager—among them, her parents are separated— she wants to make a difference by helping others learn about stress management and the importance of staying in school.
Her ambitions don’t stop there. Ordorica plans to work and pay her own college expenses in order not to burden her father financially. She hopes to save money for at least a semester before enrolling at Ohlone Community College next spring.
The senior at graduates tonight and turns 18 years old on Friday.
The teenager said this week marks a significant moment in her life.
“I’m so happy,” said Ordorica, who said gaining enough credits to graduate is what she is most proud about in her academic career.
Ordorica transferred to Bridgepoint from halfway through her junior year when she learned she was more than 100 credits behind.
She said peer pressure to cut class and the stresses of school and family were reason for the deficit.
Since then, she has made a transformation and has been involved with bringing the same senior year experiences to Bridgepoint students that Newark Memorial students often have.
As student body president, she coordinated a variety of events and played a key role in raising funds and hosting a prom for the school, which had not had one in at least five years.
Recently, Ordorica received recognition from the Newark Rotary Club and the City of Newark with a Student of the Year award.
What she’ll miss most about high school is her friends and the routine of going to class each week.
“I know it’s going to be a weird transition,” she said. “I’ll miss the comfort of going to school every day and seeing friends … all your friends you grew up with.”