Achievement Awards honor students

Professor Brian Waddington, pictured left, presents the business Key of Knowledge award to Jose Pacheco during the 51st annual Achievement Awards ceremony on May 29 in the Haugh Performing Arts Center.(Evan Solano/Clarion)

By Julian Flores | Staff Writer

The 51st Annual Achievement Awards Ceremony took place on May 29 in celebration of the top prestigious students that are graduating this month.

The ceremony recognized the Female Athletes of the Year, Paramee Suwantanma and Sara Moore and the Male Athlete of the Year, Chris Reyes and 10 Key of Knowledge Award winners.

Junior Hiromi Aono received the Key of Knowledge award for her academic excellence. Aono is new to the United States; she has been a Japanese citizen all her life.

In Japan, Aono dreamed of studying in America because she considers the education here superb. However, after a lot of perseverance and dedication from Aono, her family helped make her dreams come true by sending her to America.

“I am always excited to learn new things,” said  Aono. “I left my whole family over there, so I just did my best on every assignment in each class, thinking of all the effort and support from my family to send me here.”

At Citrus, Aono excelled at all her classes and majored in cosmetology. She has recently been hired at Vivi Hair, a beauty salon in Arcadia.

“There is a lot to learn,” said Aono. “But what a blessing to do something that is my passion and make money.”

Aono is thankful for the encouragement and support from her family and the Citrus  faculty. Her Key of Knowledge award was presented to her by Albert Graciano, the head director of the cosmetology department.

Although junior Carolyn Foote has maintained a 4.0 GPA and has received the Key of Knowledge award, her journey to success wasn’t easy.

“I struggle during my study time as my mind tends to wander or I will want to do other things,” said Foote.

“I often have to leave my house to go to the library or Starbucks where I do not have the distractions of home.” Despite Foote’s study challenges, she has managed to pull herself together and maintain her straight A grade point average. With aspirations of becoming a speech pathologist, Foote is working on getting her B.A. in communicative disorders at California State University Fullerton (CSUF). Foote’s Key of Knowledge award was presented to her by counselor, Natalie Paredes.

Although his family is always in the back of his mind, political science major Jose Pacheco proved that educational success can be achieved even as a busy father engrossed in his family.

With his kids at the peak of his motivation, Pacheco has earned himself the Key of Knowledge award.

“I feel it’s a great honor to receive this award,” said Pacheco. “I sacrificed a lot of time I would normally have spent with my kids in order to perform at the highest level, academically. It validates my efforts and motivates me to succeed even more once I get to a four year university and beyond.”

Pacheco is determined to attend the University of California Riverside (UCR) to study political science with an emphasis in law and society, take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and apply to various law schools around the nation. Since the summer of 2012, he has been a go-getter with a mission to move on to a four-year university in the most efficient manner possible.

“Spend your money wisely and get your money’s worth from your classes,” said Pacheco. “Citrus College is a great school to get a quality education that will prepare you for the next level, but the professors are not the key to your success, you are. Don’t make excuses, take ownership and put the future in your own hands.”

Chelsea Paredes, social and behavioral sciences major, was presented a Key of  Knowledge Award by counselor Natalie Paredes.

Joshua Guerrero, business major, was presented a Key of Knowledge Award by biology instructor Christine Goedhart.

Samantha Angoncillo, language arts major, was presented a Key of Knowledge Award by English instructor Lisa Telesca.

Carlos De La Torre was presented a Key of Knowledge Award by student life supervisor Adrienne Thompson.

Sherena Goins, science major, Paola Pajares, nursing major, were each presented a Key of Knowledge Award by biology instructor Arnold Kondo.

Sara White, social and behavioral sciences major, was presented a Key of Knowledge Award by psychology instructor Kenneth Guttman.