Emily Torres Maravilla
Q: How do you feel about being one of the Valedictorians? How were you informed?
Nicole Go: I feel thankful for this achievement after working hard and I also feel thankful for everyone I talked to throughout high school. I wouldn’t know what I was doing and school wouldn’t be as fun without these super cool people that made it memorable. I learned so much from them. We were informed when we were called into the counselor’s office and Mr. Brown and the administrators/staff celebrated by giving us cookies, chocolates, and balloons. It was really fun and exceeded our expectations so we felt appreciated 🙂
Ria Patel: I’m proud to be one of the Valedictorians because I’ve worked hard to get here. I’m also glad that I get to share it with Nicole, Melissa, Flora, and Faustina because they’re great students and friends that I’ve known since third grade. They told us by calling us into the office and surprising us with balloons, treats, and a congratulatory card which was all very special and memorable.
Melissa Theodorus: I feel excited and proud of all of us for making it this far despite the challenges, like wow, an entire pandemic! I was actually at UC Berkeley for the entire day when they announced the valedictorians. One of the other valedictorians texted me a photo of my sign, which I later picked up after school when I came back to take badminton photos. I was surprised to receive so many gifts, like the big Crumbl cookie, balloon, and chocolates.
Faustina Wan: I feel honored to be one of the Valedictorians. I have worked very hard over the past four years, and knowing that I am a Valedictorian makes me feel that all the hard work has paid off. I was informed of being a possible Valedictorian in junior year when I realized that I was actually ranked #1. From then on, I worked hard to maintain my grades in order to keep being ranked #1.
Flora Wan: I feel very excited to be one of the Valedictorians. I was informed by my counselor in my junior year.
Q: What extra-curriculars have you done over the years?
Nicole: I’ve had the honor of being a part of badminton (4 yrs/captain), tennis (3 yrs), marching band (4 yrs/mentor), the theatre musical (1 yr), leadership (1 yr), karaoke club (1 yr/co-president), robotics (1 yr), key club (3 yrs/secretary), NHS (3 yrs), and college and career club (3 yrs) throughout the high school years. I’m super thankful that I got to join these activities and meet some incredible people like the best sports teams ever, the wonderful cast of the musical, super welcoming leadership people, and a whole band family. I’ve learned a lot about myself, confidence, and working with others because of them.
Ria: During high school, I was on the varsity tennis team for four years and the varsity golf team for one year. I was also involved in the Leadership program, Stitchers Club, Skate for Change Club, and National Honors Society. I volunteered at the local hospital for two years before COVID.
Melissa: I’ve done many extracurriculars during my time in high school- some being written in The Armijo Signal if more information is needed. While I tried to continue some of them for as long as I could, the pandemic canceled many activities, and coming back to in-person school made me adjust my schedule. Coming back in-person with four higher-level IB classes was definitely not easy, but my personal favorite extracurricular that helped ease the stress was playing for the school’s badminton team.
Work Experience: Big Bang Boba & Chicken, Fairfield, CA — Shift Leader, March 2021 – April 2022
Solano County Library, Fairfield Cordelia Library— Student Volunteer / Teen Advisory Board, 2018-2022
NorthBay Medical Center, Fairfield, CA — Student Volunteer, 2018-2020
Secretary for the City of Fairfield Youth Commission — 2020-2022
President for Future Medical Professionals Club — 2021-PRESENT
Captain of the Badminton Team — 2022
Badminton Team — 2018-PRESENT
Editor-in-Chief for The Armijo Signal — 2020-PRESENT
School News Editor for The Armijo Signal – 2019-2020
Vice-President for Key Club — 2021-PRESENT
Tech Editor for Key Club — 2020-2021
Key Club — 2019-PRESENT
Vice-President of College & Career Club — 2019-PRESENT
National Honor Society Member — 2019 – PRESENT
Varsity Girls Tennis — 2019-2022
Robotics Club Member — 2019-2020
Leadership Program — 2018-2020
Faustina: Over the years, I have played for the school tennis, badminton, and golf teams. My sister and I were 2xSac-Joaquin Tennis Doubles Section Champions, 4xMel Doubles Champion, 4xTennis All-League, and 2xBadminton All-League. I have also been a part of the school’s Key Club where I serve as vice president and treasurer, the school’s Future Medical Profession Club where I serve as treasurer, the school’s National Honor Society Club, the school’s College and Career Club, and the school’s Robotics Club.
Flora: Over the years, I have played a lot of tennis and I along with my twin sister Faustina are the 4x MELs Doubles Tennis Champions and the 2x Sac-Joaquin Doubles Tennis Sections Champions. I also play for the badminton team and got Singles MELs All League. In addition to that, just recently, Faustina and I became the Sac-Joaquin Badminton Doubles Champions. I am also involved with the Armijo Robotics Club and my team won several awards. I am also the president of Key Club and have organized events like the campus clean-up at Armijo. Other clubs I am involved with are Future Medical Professions Club, Honor Society, and College and Career Club.
Q: What do you plan to do for the future?
Nicole: I plan on attending a UC in Southern California (specifically UC San Diego) and majoring in Computer Science to try it out. I plan on incorporating the arts like music, acting, or origami into coding and perhaps also exploring other activities outside of computer science. I want to balance social vibes and work when I’m in college so that I can meet people, maintain friendships, and explore Southern California. I hope future me will enjoy an outgoing life over there and will be satisfied with herself over trying her best. There’s a lot I’m unsure of but that’s the excitement of life yay. I just hope I actually learn to swim one day and get to skydive. Hopefully, I find something I’m passionate about and can travel the world to live both that citycore and cottagecore vibes.
Ria: I’m going to UC Davis to study Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, and then I want to go to Physician’s Assistant school so I can work as a PA at a children’s hospital.
Melissa: In the fall, I plan on attending UC Berkeley for bioengineering (and maybe pre-med) in the College of Engineering. There, I hope to learn from internships and research labs to become either a biomedical engineer, conducting research and focusing on cell & tissue engineering, or pursuing pre-med to become a doctor. I’m also really excited (and scared) about college life and living away from home. I hope to meet new people and stay healthy!
Faustina: I plan to go to UC Berkeley to major in Data Science and become a data analyst or a financial analyst.
Flora: I plan to go to UC Berkeley and study data science there.
Q: What will your speech center on?
Nicole: I think my speech would be bittersweet and humorous about what we all went through throughout high school from the schoolwork to the memorable friendships to the inside jokes about Armijo. I also want to talk about the hope that’s ahead in our futures and what’s been important to us throughout high school.
Ria: Nicole, Melissa, Flora, Faustina, and I are sharing a speech, so we’re going to collaborate on one big speech. We’re planning on talking about high school memories and the experiences that we’ve shared as a class.
Melissa: The other valedictorians and I have decided to do a joint/continuous speech. However, my part of the speech is a surprise (I haven’t written it yet), but honestly, I think it’ll revolve around the future and something inspirational that hopefully, people can carry on throughout the rest of their lives.
Faustina: I am still not sure what to say for my speech, but I think I might center on the experiences I have received at Armijo that have helped me grow to become a better person.
Flora: My speech might center on the highlights of everyone’s years at Armijo.
Q: What are your hobbies?
Nicole: My hobbies are music (like singing & ukulele & piano), origami, twisty puzzles like the Rubik’s cube, badminton, tennis, and exploring more of the arts like embroidery or other instruments.
Ria: My biggest hobby is crocheting, which I got into during the pandemic. I love to make clothing like tops and sweaters.
Melissa: My hobbies mostly revolve around my extracurriculars since they’ve been taking up most of my time, such as playing badminton for fun, hanging out with my friends, drinking Boba, and listening to Taylor Swift. However, when I have free time, I like to read, sleep, watch k-dramas, and walk my dog, Blossom, or ride my bike around the neighborhood with my sister.
Faustina: My hobbies are playing tennis and badminton, drawing, reading, and playing the clarinet or piano.
Flora: My hobbies are playing tennis, playing badminton, reading, watching movies, and hanging out with my friends and family.
Q: What advice would you give to someone hoping to speak at graduation?
Nicole: I would say the speech for graduation should unite all the graduates and be about everyone and what we went through altogether. It could be humorous and lighthearted because graduation is bittersweet or it could be serious and talk about our future. It could even be both of those vibes. I’d say be sentimental but I might just be cheesy.
Ria: I would tell them to try to make their speech entertaining so they don’t bore the crowd.
Melissa: I’ll use similar advice that Senora Johnson gave us before we had to do our IB Spanish oral. Your speech is only going to be like one-to-three minutes long, so what’s that compared to the rest of your life? Although speaking at a graduation in front of hundreds of people may seem terrifying (which I agree with), you have to trust yourself that you’ve prepared well over enough and then you’ll do amazing!
Faustina: An advice I would give would be to speak from the heart and talk about your experience at Armijo that has made you a better person.
Flora: Advice that I would like to give to someone hoping to speak at graduation is to try to relate to everyone and not call anyone out about something embarrassing without their permission.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters (names and ages)? Who are your role models?
Nicole: I have a brother named Mark who’s 25 and also attended Armijo. I’d say my brother and my parents are my role models. My brother is a hard worker that achieved a lot but was also social and helped others. I looked up to when he was in high school so I always wanted to be like him. My parents also worked hard to give me a good upbringing in the US so I hope to be as caring and determined as them one day. I learned a lot about how to approach life because of them.
Ria: I have a 21-year-old sister named Anika that graduated from Armijo as well. She is one of my role models because she always works very hard and is dedicated to everything she does. She also helped me a lot in school so I could get to this point, which I really appreciate.
Melissa: I have a younger sister who is 13 years old and going to Early College High School next year. My role models are my parents and the students who came before me. My parents have always pushed me to do my best and are supportive even when things don’t go the way that I want. The students in previous years have been an inspiration as they continue to succeed and push past challenges.
Faustina: I have a twin sister named Flora Wan. We are identical twins and have similar interests. My role model is my tennis Coach Phil Cello. Despite his age, he is still very involved in the tennis community and runs many tournaments. He motivates me to work hard and never give up on my dreams.
Flora: I have a twin sister named Faustina Wan and she is the same age as me. My role models are the seniors before us and how they have succeeded in school and life.
Q: If you could change one thing about Armijo (students, facilities, staff, etc.), what would it be and why?
Nicole: I would try and change Armijo’s participation level and make it higher. High school and these events can be fun if everyone was down to come and they’d be getting a memorable experience by coming. Everything that’s fun is determined by the people and it’s up to us to make this experience fun.
Ria: If I could change one thing about Armijo I would bring more attention to the bathroom issue, as students don’t have access to basic facilities when they are closed or don’t have supplies such as soap and toilet paper in them.
Melissa: One thing I would change about Armijo is the lunch tables. My friends and I used to sit at the best picnic table under the trees during lunch since freshman year, but that was taken away during senior year. We’ve made so many memories there, and I liked that it was very easy to find since it was close to the middle of campus. My friends and I had really far fourth periods, so we met up in the middle for lunch. But as of now, we’ve had to walk from the cafeteria to E hall every day which cuts into the already short lunch period. I hope future Royals will be able to make lasting memories at the lunch tables as well.
Faustina: One thing I would change about Armijo would be to bring back the short Wednesday schedule because I feel that it really helps motivate students to keep working hard as it gives time for students to talk with teachers.
Flora: If I could change one thing about Armijo, I would want to change the bathrooms here as a lot of them are kind of gross and should be cleaner.
Q: Anything else you would like to say?
Nicole: I hope we all get to keep in touch after high school and look back on the cool memories we all made together. Everyone will do amazing out there in the real world and we shall be proud of everything we’ve done so far as well as everything we will do in the future! We got this!
Ria: I want to thank my family, friends, and Armijo staff for helping me achieve this goal and for being supportive during my high school years.
Melissa: To everyone I’ve talked to in high school, I just want to say, please keep in touch!