Photo by Sarai Wagner

Samantha Sandoval

Samantha (Sam) Sandoval followed in her older sister’s footsteps and came to Eastside as a 6th grader, joining the last middle school class at the school.

She has loved the nurturing environment, learning among students who share the same goals, with the help of amazing staff who encourage her along the way.

“After being here for so many years, it’s like a routine that I’ve always had, every single year,” Sam said.

Sam said her biggest accomplishment was becoming a more confident, outspoken and curious student. She learned some important lessons, which she shares with underclassmen: “Don’t be scared to ask, literally, anything,” she said. “Don’t really pay attention to what other people have to say about you.”

Math Teacher Hai Tran appreciates Sam’s academic habits.

“She values the learning process, and takes her time to make sure that she is understanding what she is learning,” Hai said.

Sam has enjoyed volunteering by mentoring elementary school kids and she has taken Photography and Yearbook classes as electives and run on the Cross Country team.

Outside of school, Sam is family-oriented, spending more time with family than with friends. She enjoys going on hikes, traveling to explore new sceneries, watching movies, and going to the mall. Sam’s parents and siblings have been her greatest influences. Her parents have motivated her because she has seen all the hard work her parents have done to give her opportunities, and she considers her older sister her role model.

Sam hopes to put herself out there in college and gain exposure by joining clubs in order to make friendships and become more independent. But most importantly, she wants to have fun.  She will bring her determination and positive attitude to University of California, Santa Cruz in the fall.

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