Salutatorian Tanesha Le Demonstrates Passion is the Key to Success

Emma Truchan, Sports Editor

The title of Salutatorian is one that is earned from four years of hard work, commitment to one’s studies, and mental stamina. Salutatorian of the 2019 Graduating Class Tanesha Le embodies all of these traits, ending her high school career with a 4.82 grade point average, and an accompanying list of impressive accomplishments to match.

   To reach such outstanding academic achievement, Le dedicated her high school career to taking many Advanced Placement [AP] and Honors classes to challenge herself, while giving more weight to her grade. Le explained that much of her motivation in her studies comes from an intrinsic desire to strive for the very best, and a passion for her courses. “I’m kind of a perfectionist when it comes to school. I also think that it’s a lot easier to succeed in something when you’re interested [in the topic], so I try to find something that I like in each of my classes,” she elaborated. Le’s academic determination is infectious, as she pushes her peers to strive for their personal bests. As stated by Senior Sara Eckmann, “I greatly admire [Le’s] work ethic and academic integrity. She continually motivates me to work hard in my own classes.” Going through classes with an intention to not only perform well, but to also enjoy the material makes Le an exemplary student and peer.

   Over the years, Le has accomplished even more than an outstanding GPA, seeing success in a multitude of extracurricular activities. One of these includes holding the title of California Scholarship Federation [CSF] Co-President for the organization’s UC High Chapter. According to CSF’s official website, it is an organization that awards academic success and encourages involvement in community service ( Le remarked that her involvement in CSF, both as a Co-President and a Treasurer, helped to get her involved with the UC High community. Eckmann, Le’s fellow CSF Co-President, mentioned that Le’s responsibility, attention to organization, and strong leadership help keep the club running smoothly. “She truly cares about CSF and about getting other [students] involved. She carefully keeps track of all of the members and makes sure that everyone gets what they deserve in their involvement with the club,” Eckmann added.

   In another display of her strong work ethic outside of the  classroom, Le was an intern for the Congressman Scott Peters 2018 Re-Election Campaign. She explained that this opportunity in particular helped her break out of her shell, with first-hand experiences behind-the-scenes, enlightening her to the inner workings of a political campaign. It also gave her an insight as to what her future may bring: “The campaign helped me figure out that I want to pursue something in politics [as a career] and make the world a better place, so I’m really grateful for that experience,” Le explained.

   Le plans to apply her interest in politics by majoring in economics and mathematics at University of California, San Diego [UCSD].  She hopes that her study in economics will help her in the political world and her aspirations to provide help to disadvantaged people. Le explained where her passion for politics originated, stating, “Right now, we have billionaires swimming in tax cuts and huge corporations paying no federal income tax. People insist we pay billions to fund a wall, while they turn a blind eye to teachers working paycheck-to-paycheck to afford rent, Flint [Michigan] residents living for a half of a decade without clean water, and parents struggling to put food on the table for their children… I think that being more informed about the economy in terms of what money we have and where we should be spending it is very important in helping our nation as a whole.”

     Balancing all of her extracurriculars with her hefty load of school work was in no way a simple task. “Not going to lie, sleeping was an issue, but I find that if I’m doing things that I love, making time for them comes easily. I just found my own pace, and everything worked out perfectly,” Le noted. Despite some hardship, Le looked back on her academic career positively, with the support of her loved ones allowing her to further blossom as a student. Le stated, “My family and friends […] supported me in [allowing me to] push myself on my own terms, which I am thankful for. They also encouraged me to explore my own interests with different extracurriculars.” Seeing such great amounts of success in her high school career, Le reflected on her time spent at UC High, and offered some advice to her freshman-self. “Step out of your comfort zone and find something you love to do, because developing your interests and gaining life experience will take you farther in life that your GPA or SAT/ACT score ever will,” Le imparted.

   Le’s passion for academics, determination to succeed, and dedication to community involvement brought her the honor of being this year’s Salutatorian. “I’m very grateful to have earned [the title],” said Le humbly. Armed with this accomplishment, in addition to many more, Le is set on a path for big things in life.