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Written by Maygan Orr

Morningside High School has, not one but, TWO valedictorians in 2020!

The first, is Juliana Medina. This senior boasts a 4.3 GPA, and will be attending UC Davis in the fall. Juliana wants to major in animal science, attend veterinary school, and become a veterinarian. She was inspired to become a vet when 2 of her dogs passed away, after being sick, when she was younger. She said she felt helpless, and wants to have the knowledge and skills to help save animals’ lives.

Juliana has been an active member of the MHS Environmental Club, and enjoys reading, basketball, and swimming. She also is part of the MHS Robotics Team, where she helped design and build a robot that can pick up and drop off items. Juliana is not only intelligent and driven, but has a giving heart. She volunteers at the South LA Animal Shelter, tutors children in her community, and helps her busy neighbors walk their dogs.

Juliana has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “Learn from your mistakes- don’t just give up when you think you have failed. Keep going, because YOU are the only one that can fight for your goals."

The second MHS valedictorian is Adrian Soto. This senior also maintains a 4.3 GPA, and will also be attending UC Davis in the fall, on a FULL scholarship. Adrian plans to major in biomedical engineering, and attend nursing school after college. He wants to become an RN because he wants to have a hands-on job where he actively helps people daily. Adrian’s hobbies include: coming up with solutions to problems, soccer, and playing his ukelele.

Adrian has been involved in extracurricular activities throughout high school. When he was a freshman he enrolled in the SMASH program, which is a summer residential program at UCLA. He participated every summer up to his senior year, engaging in educational and community service projects, such as preparing meal boxes for the homeless. Adrian has also been a member of the MHS Robotics Team for 4 years, the ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) club, and MESA (Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement). Adrian represented MHS in Raytheon’s “Engineering Day” competition. He, along with 2 other MHS students, placed 3rd in this region-wide competition. He was also recognized by the IUSD school board for his achievements.

Additionally, Adrian volunteers on campus afterschool, assisting his teachers with clerical help and providing student feedback as they create lesson plans to fully engage all students.

Adrian has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “Every time we try new things, we are bound to get scars in the process. However, it’s up to you on how you view these scars. You can see the scars as the amount of effort you put in, or the amount of times you failed. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.”

❤To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted in the future:


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