Did you graduate with any honors or accolades?
Makaelah: I graduated as Co-Valedictorian and with the Seal of Biliteracy.
Crystal: I graduated as co-Valedictorian and was the California Scholarship Federation Seal Bearer, recognized as part of National Honors Society and community service.
What is your most favorite memory of Mr. Galimba and Mrs. Ruiz, and why is it your favorite?
Makaelah: For Mrs. Ruiz, my favorite memory was walking into my class for the first time. Being the little preschooler I was, I bawled my eyes out, however, she reassured me with a hug and she became the first teacher on my academic journey. My favorite memories of Mr. Galimba was Pi Day. Don’t make fun of me, but as I said I am big on math so it was really memorable to measure my variety of circle foods in order to eat it.
Crystal: My favorite memories with Mrs. Ruiz have taken place when I have been doing community service in the main office with Mrs. Ruiz. While doing community service, Mrs. Ruiz has always taken time to talk to me about what and how I am doing and my plans for the future. These times are my favorite memories with her because it reflects her good hearted and kind nature. My favorite memory of Mr. Galimba has been during class (in sixth grade) when we would discuss the presidential election and had class debates. This is my favorite memory because through these times in class I learned so much and my interest for politics and government grew.
What inspired you most with Mr. Jeremy Galimba and/or Mrs. Martha Ruiz?
Makaelah: I had nominated Mr. Galimba as my most inspirational teacher because he embedded key values into my brain that resonated with me all the years after. He taught life lessons in his class that surpassed just the academic portions of school and it opened my perspectives and helped me develop my own morals.
Crystal: Mrs. Ruiz inspired me through her good heart and kind nature, she is so kind and genuinely cares about students, which has always inspired me to be a better person. Mr. Galimba inspired me by being a very kind and knowledgeable person, his class taught me to always be informed about the world around you and take into consideration all perspectives.
What was your motivation while being at El Gabilan? Why?
Makaelah: In all my schooling years, my mom has always been my motivation because everything that I do, is for her. We are not the most blessed family in the sense of finances, however, I am the most blessed for her. I will be a first-generation college graduate, speaking it into existence now.
Crystal: My motivation to do well while being at El Gabilan was my own desire to do well and excel in school as well as the motivation of my teachers.
What college will you attend next year?
Makaelah: I will be attending UC Santa Cruz.
Crystal: I will be attending UC Berkeley in the Fall.
What do you want to study in college? and, Why?
Makaelah: I want to study biomedical engineering and further specify in the development of making prosthetics. I have always been a hands-on person and a lover of math, so engineering was always the route I knew I was going to take. However, I also wanted to be able to help people, therefore, making prosthetics for those in need called my name.
Crystal: I will be studying Biology at UC Berkeley because I aspire to become a doctor, specifically a family practitioner.
What inspires you (now) to work hard and do good in school?
Makaelah: Again, my mom and my brothers are my biggest inspirations, always. They say I inspire them with my achievements but they forget to recognize how much they inspire me.
Crystal: I am inspired by the goals I have and my vision for my life in the future. I know in order to have the life I want and to help my parents, I need to work hard and do good in school so I can get the job of my dreams.
What advice do you have for elementary students who are working hard to promote to middle school?
Makaelah: Elementary and Middle school is confusing and you may lose friends, but stick to those ones who stay true to you. They will help light up even the darkest of times.
Crystal: My advice would be to work hard and continue to move forward. Prioritize yourself by knowing that your end goal is graduating high school some day and going on to college to get the job of your dreams. While you will have to work hard for a long time, your end goal will be worth it in the long run.
What advice do you have for teachers who want to inspire students to do great?
Makaelah: 1. Connect with your students. Students cannot retain information or feel motivated to learn if they don’t feel any sort of relationships with their teachers. 2. Be open to more. Reach beyond just the world of science, math, english, and history. Expose your students to things that are happening in the world around them. 3. Support your students. Failure is when students give up on themselves, so help them see that they have the potential to succeed.
Crystal: 1. Teachers can truly inspire students to excel in school when teachers show their true passion for the subject they are teaching. 2. Students truly appreciate and are motivated to do better when teachers reach out to students when they need help or are struggling in class.
Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?
Makaelah: “Grasp the world for what it is then you will find true happiness.”
Crystal: The quote by Martin Luther King Jr. that states, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
If you can take a trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Makaelah: Somewhere in the Philippines because I have never been there so I want to see where my family came from and explore my own culture and heritage.
Crystal: If I could go anywhere in the world, I would want to visit France because that has always been a lifelong dream of mine and I am interested in the culture and history of the country.
Do you have a favorite book you like to read?
Makaelah: I have read many books, ranging from children books to nonfiction novels throughout the year, but since I was younger, it has always been The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
What are your top three apps you have on your smartphone?
1. Instagram, 2. Twitter, 3. Lumosity
1. YouTube, 2. Snapchat, 3. Netflix