SUNNYSIDE — Giving valedictorian speeches this coming Friday at Clem Senn Field will be Sunnyside High School graduates Annette Alcantar and Briteny Zhu.
The duo has 4.0 grade point averages.
Alcantar is the daughter of Leticia and Vicente Alcantar, and Zhu is the daughter of Anna Chi and Jason Zhu.
Zhu will attend University of California-Davis, while Alcantar has a full-ride scholarship at the University of Washington.
Both will be studying for a Bachelor of Science degree at their respective universities.
Alcantar, having attended the YV-Tech nursing program to become a Certified Nursing Aid, plans to earn her Bachelor’s degree in nursing, while Zhu will pursue a degree in computer science with the goal of becoming a software developer.
“I like taking care of people,” Alcantar said, noting her experience in the CNA program inspired her to continue the path she’s been on.
“I have been heavily involved in STEM since middle school,” Zhu said.
“Computer science is in high demand and seems like it would be fun,” she commented, relating her reasons for her aspirations.
When in the robotics and TSA (Technology Student Association), Zhu programmed robots and in her spare time, she learned programming languages. The skill needed “clicked,” she said.
Alcantar’s chosen career was further inspired when her grandmother passed away.
“I felt if I couldn’t take care of her, I wanted to take care of other people,” she said.
Another goal for her is to ensure patients have good experiences with the medical professionals they encounter.
To achieve a perfect grade point average, both said there were some subjects with which they struggled.
“You have to be really self-disciplined — you have to prioritize,” Zhu said. “Some classes are just harder than others.”
Alcantar agreed, stating she is proficient at and finds science and math easier than English.
“But, I did well in it,” she said, noting she focused harder on concepts she didn’t know.
Both girls have been active in high school.
Alcantar has been in Math Club all four years. She was vice president her junior year and is the current club president.
She’s also been an Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Society and science fair member.
Zhu served as the TSA chapter president two of her four years, has been a member of the robotics team, served as Key Club president and current lieutenant governor for the district, played tennis, been a member of Honor Society and is a three-year Knowledge Bowl participant.
The graduation commencement for Sunnyside High School is this coming Friday at 8 p.m.