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Mother inspired valedictorian

• Valencia High's Del Vecchio plans to attend Berkeley

Posted: June 5, 2008 2:54 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2008 5:03 a.m.
Valencia High School's top grad, Megan Del Vecchio, cites her mother as the inspiration behind her success. She plans to attend UC Berkeley this fall. Valencia High School's top grad, Megan Del Vecchio, cites her mother as the inspiration behind her success. She plans to attend UC Berkeley this fall.
Valencia High School's top grad, Megan Del Vecchio, cites her mother as the inspiration behind her success. She plans to attend UC Berkeley this fall.

Megan Del Vecchio, this year's valedictorian at Valencia High School, said that her mother has been one of her most powerful influences and biggest supporters. The Signal asked top graduates at each of the six Hart district high schools questions about their current successes and their future goals, and these are Megan's answers.

Q: What is the secret to your academic success?
A: The secret to my success is that I am a perfectionist and very competitive. These are both strengths and weaknesses, since I had many sleepless nights throughout high school! I would keep studying for as long as it took to master any concept. I took two AP classes and one honors class my freshman year because I wanted to challenge myself. When I realized that I could actually handle these types of classes, it became a personal challenge to see how many honors and AP classes I could take. My perfectionism and competitive nature helped me become valedictorian.

Q: What person has been a role model, or has inspired you, during your high school years?
A: My mother has been an amazing role model for me while growing up and throughout high school. She was one of my Girl Scout leaders and always encouraged our troop to do community service activities. She encouraged me to earn my Gold Award (equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award), which became one of my best achievements. Beyond Scouting, my mom is very supportive of whatever interests I have. When I made the girl's softball team at Valencia High School, she eagerly became the Team Mom and came to all of my games, cheering and rooting. When I studied late, she always made me ice cream sundaes to get me through the night. She instilled within me a competitive drive to continue to challenge myself in school and in life. Even though I took 11 AP classes and six honors classes throughout high school, the most valuable lessons I learned were from my mother. Her best advice was this; Make sure that the path you choose in life leads to happiness.

Q: What activities, clubs or organizations have you been involved with the past four years?
A: I have been a Girl Scout for the past 13 years, culminating in earning the Gold Award. For my Gold Award project, I created a puppet therapy program at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. It entailed creating and donating over 200 puppets which I gave to children in the emergency room to ease their fears.

I was a member of California Scholarship Federation for four years and a member of National Honors Society for 3 years. In my junior year, I became vice president and in my senior year I became the president of both organizations.
I was also a member of Valencia High's Science Olympiad team and competed for three years at the annual Southern California tournament.

In my junior year, I created my own club at Valencia High School called Scrubs Club which was devoted to students interested in becoming healthcare professionals. My freshman year of high school, I played on the Lady Vikings freshman softball team. I was the starting left fielder and lead-off hitter. I received the Scholar Athlete award at the end of the year.

Q: What are your plans and goals for the future?
A: I am attending U.C. Berkeley in the fall as a biochemistry major. I plan on either going to medical school and becoming a doctor or getting a Ph.D. and working for a biotech/research company.

Q: What do you feel is the most important quality your generation has to offer society?
A: The most important quality our generation has to offer society is our desire to make a difference and a passion to make it happen. Everyone has a fervent passion for some cause, whether it's the Invisible Children of Uganda, Green Peace or finding a cure for cancer. I think our generation is more vocal of their opinions and has the motivation to truly have an impact on their schools, community, and the world. Our passion to make a difference will better society.

Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges your generation will face?
A: Our generation is going to encounter several obstacles in the near future. Problems with Social Security and finding alternative fuels will definitely be at the forefront of politics.

I think the biggest problems will be dealing with global warming and the ever-changing environment in combination with overpopulation and limited resources. There is no doubt in my mind that we can overcome these obstacles. My generation has the drive to succeed.


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