December 2017 Magazines 89052 - Page 57

A Step Above 2018 Ryan Andrew O’Connor Just about everyone has the potential to do great things, but not everyone knows it. Coronado High School senior Ryan O’Connor came to that realization about himself with a little help from his family and friends. By taking constructive criticism to heart and exemplifying the positive traits in those he admires most, he learned that recognizing your own flaws is the first step in improving upon them, and that focusing on happiness, rather than negativity, is the key to fulfillment. Possessing a rare capacity for inward reflection and self-correction, Ryan O’Connor is well on his way to fulfilling all the great potential he knows he’s capable of, and for that, he is– A Step Above. G.P.A.: 4.8 Clubs: • Varsity Quiz, 2015-2017 • Philosophy Club, 2016-Present • National Honor Society, 2016-Present • National Honor Society Secretary 2017-Present • National Science Honor Society Treasurer, 2017-Present • Model UN Secretary, 2017-Present • Environmental Club, 2017-Present • Mu Alpha Theta, 2016-Present • Future Medical Profession, 2017-Present • Chess Team, 2014-Present Awards/Community Service: • National Hispanic Scholar • AP Scholar with Distinction • Valedictorian Candidate • AP Academy • Alzheimer’s Memory Walk • Dare to Walk for Epilepsy • Lieds Hall of Catholic Charities How did the medical field wind up on your radar? “My dad's mother passed away from Alzheimer’s when I was not quite six years old. When he tells me about how the disease slowly took her life I can feel his pain to this day. In the future, I hope to attend a higher-level institution of learning where I can study chemistry and psychology and work towards a cure for Alzheimer’s.” Has any person or experience helped you grow as a person? “All of the people in my life who have counselled me really helped my personal growth. When a person points out your flaws or strengths, it gives you something to think about and improve on. My biggest flaw was that I didn't believe in myself as much as others believed in me.” What do you consider to be your greatest strength? “I think my greatest strength is that I share my thoughts and don't attempt to force them on anyone. For a long time, I felt that people didn't really want to hear what I had to say. I know now that my ideas are good and sharing them with others has proven to have a positive impact on many of my friends.” December/January 2018 What community service project have you learned the most from? “Being able to work soup kitchens in the valley has changed my perspective on those in need. I never realized how many people (old, young, male, female) could need the simple help of somebody passing out food, and I never would have guessed how happy they are to see the new faces, always saying ‘thanks’ for the simple deed.” 57