Ventura Blvd Salutes the 2018 Valedictorians of San Fernando Valley High Schools.

Meet the students and—what the heck— get swept up in a bit of their glory.

  • Category
    People
  • Photographed by
    Tameka Jacobs

Gabriella Resnick
DETOLEDO HIGH SCHOOL
CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY
“You have two choices at every crossing. You can choose fear or love. You can choose to accept defeat or challenge it.
Do not be afraid to make your mark. Do not be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Where there’s fear, there’s growth. Explore that fear and learn from your growth.”

Anthony Pineci
VIEWPOINT SCHOOL CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
“There is always going to be someone who is more skilled at what you do than you are. It’s all too easy to torment yourself by comparing your own worth to theirs, asking, ‘Why can’t I be more like them?’ Instead of trying to become someone who you aren’t, it is better to ask what you could become.”

Shaan Jagani
NORTH HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY

Vivian Lu (not pictured)
HARVARD- WESTLAKE SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

Benji Walters
BRIGHTON HALL
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND
“We’ve spent 18 years on this well-worn path. No more forks in the road, no more twists and turns to navigate. Today we’ve reached the end of the journey. With education and experience as our map and our compass, we will experience a new kind of freedom, as we set our sights on the next destination.” 

German Shabanets
BUCKLEY SCHOOL
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
“I urge you to love and stay involved in the future of our country, yet strive to gain internationality. Moving to a random place 9,796 kilometers (nope, not miles) away from home was eye-opening. Walk in an immigrant’s shoes, visit places far, far away from your comfort zone—put those credit card travel miles to work! Take that semester abroad in college and start learning a new language or focus on what has forever been on your to-do list. Time isn’t next month, next week or even tomorrow—time is now. Perhaps you’ll feel ridiculously uncomfortable and silly. But what’s so bad about that?”

Roshan Jagani
NORTH HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY

Connor Zacky (not pictured)
CRESPI CARMELITE HIGH SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME

Kieran Gilmore
SIERRA CANYON
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
“SpongeBob works so hard for his driver’s license that he forgets what he could actually do without it: jellyfishing, saving the town from killer butterflies, returning Neptune’s crown and cooking a mean Krabby Patty. He’s capable of so many things without that card in his pocket, much like how our diplomas work. We’re capable of an unimaginable magnitude of anything, with the undying will to promote goodness in the world. Our diplomas are nice to have, but I urge you to never forget what you’ve done up to this point. Remember what you all have been capable of without that paper hanging on your wall.”

Rafael (Raffi) Monkarsh
DETOLEDO HIGH SCHOOL | REED COLLEGE
“I think it the responsibility of anyone who claims to be active to pursue this pressure and, if it is not encouraged extraneously, challenge and push themselves even just a bit beyond what they think they are capable of.”

Kelson Haas STEM3 ACADEMY (VALLEY GLEN CAMPUS)
SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
“There is nothing impossible to those who will try.”

Grace Mathews (not pictured)
NOTRE DAME HIGH SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA CRUZ
“As I look back on the class of 2018, I feel infinite gratitude for my determinate and passionate peers. It has become clear that there is a flame enlivened in us all, not just at my Alma Mater, Notre Dame, but also in my generation—throughout the country. My wish is to keep this flame burning brightly, as I pass the torch from our own class to the next, remembering that conviction in one’s actions and words can truly work as the light of the future.”

Aaron Feldman
MILKEN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
“In both shaping and understanding the world, the scientist must not see himself as central but as a powerful actor. Values outside the individual scope must motivate the work. When lifetime endeavors are pursued solely for the sake of personal desires: money, fame or even passion, it is not enough. You must consider the benefit to not only yourself but to others.”

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