Senior Spotlight: Rachel Kim

Kind, smart, fashionable, well rounded, and valedictorian are some words you could use to describe Rachel Kim.

Kim is graduating from high school in May 2019 with the highest GPA in her class, well above a 4.0,  making her valedictorian.

Being well rounded, Kim has been in multiple sports and clubs in and out of school while also doing academics.

“I’ve done Green Effects Club since freshman year and am currently the president of the club. I’m also in Women’s Rights Club.

“Outside of school, I’m a volunteer Spanish translator for a nonprofit organization in South Korea that advocates for North Korean refugees. I also volunteer as an English teacher for the refugees,” Kim said.

“I’ve done figure skating since I was 5 years old for an out-of-school sport, and I was also on the varsity cheerleading team sophomore and junior year for my high school.

“It was fun meeting new people doing high school cheer. In school I was always around people who were only interested in academics. Doing cheer I made friends with people with all different types of interests.

“I remember in third grade learning how to do back handsprings on Natalie Mack’s [this reporter’s] trampoline and being interested in the sport she did. She asked me to do high school cheer with her. I tried to use those skills she taught when we were younger during high school cheer, and I really enjoyed being a part of a team.

“Going to State and competing for cheer was really fun too. It was satisfying to see all of our hard work pay off,” Kim said.

“High school has been pretty hard taking all AP classes, but the best memories of high school are the small moments I had with my friends throughout my four years.

“My standard day is going to school, coming home, taking a nap, eating dinner, doing homework, then going to sleep.

“It’s an endless cycle that sounds boring but I’m pretty used to it. I prefer staying at home because I would say I’m a lazy, uninteresting, quiet and curious person,” Kim said.

“If I had any advice for underclassmen being interested in becoming valedictorian, take as many AP classes as you can handle and stay on top of your work.

“I put my grades before everything else but some people aren’t willing to make that sacrifice so it depends on what type of person you are. In the end, being valedictorian doesn’t matter, though.

“I definitely don’t consider myself the smartest in my class, which goes to show that these labels aren’t definitive of who we are,” Kim said.

“After graduating, I am going to Columbia University in New York. I am planning on majoring in psychology or comparative literature & society with a special concentration in linguistics,” Kim said.

Siwon Park, who is salutatorian is also Kim’s best friend.

“Rachel is very dedicated in learning languages. Unlike me, she enjoys learning new languages.

“Besides English, she can speak Spanish, Korean and Japanese. I find that very surprising since she hasn’t lived in those countries,” Park said.

‘My favorite memory with Rachel is when we were in South Korea during summer break. We went to a beach in Busan, South Korea, and watched fireworks for hours while eating fried chicken. I have had multiple great memories with Rachel, and she is the best friend anyone could ask for,” Park said.

Keila Aurelio has been friends with Kim since they were 5 years old.

“Rachel is really intelligent and she is extremely talented in learning other languages,” she said.

“One of my favorite memories together is going boating with her over the summer in middle school. We took the motorboat to an island and took pictures. We kept a rock from the island too! We also nearly got stuck on the island because the motorboat was stuck in shallow water,” Aurelio said.

“She is dedicated and goal oriented. She strives really hard to reach her goals. Rachel is a person who could inspire many people to try your hardest, and strive for what you want in life,” Arulio said.