A Look at the 2021 Sonderling Top 10

Editorial Board

#1 Nabihah Ahsan, VALEDICTORIAN

College Attending: Yale University

Studying: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology 

5 words to describe high school experience: Engaging, challenging, empowering, insightful, memorable 

Advice: Dear underclassmen, take care of yourselves. As easy as it is for assignments to pile up, it’s just as easy to forget to take care of yourselves. Make yourself a priority so that you can be persistent in everything you do. Work hard but enjoy your time at the high school and be grateful for all its ups and downs. Time will go by so fast so make the most of it!


#2 Julia Spadaro, SALUTATORIAN

College attending: University at Buffalo  

Studying:  I am going to study pharmacy through the early assurance program! I have decided to study pharmacy because I want to deal with patient care and handling medications. 

5 words to describe high school experience: Exciting, engaging, challenging, motivating, nurturing 

Advice: My advice to underclassmen is to get involved! Being involved in clubs will allow you to grow as a person, meet new people, and explore your interests. Although classes are very important, the connections that you make through clubs is crucial to your growth as a person. Stay organized and stay focused and you will be guaranteed to be successful!

#3 Leena Alzafarani

College attending:Stony Brook University  

Studying: I will be a Biology Major on both a pre-med and pre-dental track until I figure out which path I wish to pursue. 

5 words to describe high school experience: Stressful, entertaining, eye opening, constructive, unforgettable 

Advice: I learned this the hard way, but those petty things we stress over are NOT worth it. At the end of the day, whether you get a 95 or 100 it will not make or break you, so do not stress it. Enjoy high school because it really flies by fast! Make as many memories as possible because in a few years from now, you are not going to remember all the homework you stayed up working on, but rather the memories you made. As for the college process, do not procrastinate! Senior-year-you will thank you for starting the process early and having everything ready in advance. 

#4 Ashley Alcantara

College attending: Stony Brook University

Studying: I will be majoring in civil engineering. 

5 words to describe high school experience: Challenging, motivating, unique, rewarding, and adventurous  

Advice: I highly encourage the underclassmen to have balance in their lives. Balancing school work with my personal life is something that I have struggled with throughout high school, so I hope that the underclassmen can continue to work hard, but also know how to enjoy themselves whether that be participating in school clubs and events, or hanging out with friends. School is definitely important, but your mental, emotional, and physical health is also important, so developing these time management and balancing skills now could help you in the future once you graduate. High school is definitely challenging, but if you’re willing to put the time and effort into your studies, and also find outlets where you can de-stress, you can significantly enhance your high school experience. But on the bright side, I know you’re all capable of achieving great things so continue to push forward! You guys got this!!! 

#5 Javier Garcia

College attending: MIT  

Studying: Major…who knows!  

5 words to describe high school experience: helpful, friendly, supportive, worthwhile, cherished 

Advice: Get involved in what you personally enjoy instead of mindlessly joining a million different activities. Also, at the end of the day just stay focused on your personal goals but ultimately have fun with it! You only get one high school experience, so make it worthwhile.  

#6 Nathali Salmeron

College attending: Stony Brook University 

Studying: Finance

5 words to describe high school experience: crazy, memorable, loving, fun, unforgettable

Advice: I guess my advice would be to sort of take things one step at a time and to not let life pass you by, enjoy the moment and make memories.

#7 Amber Connell

College attending: Stony Brook University 

Studying: Bachelor’s in engineering and Master’s in finance.

5 words to describe high school experience: Interesting, enjoyable, memorable, chaotic, jam packed  

Advice: You’re doing great, keep going! 

#8 Jason Vasquez

College attending: Stony Brook University 

Studying: Plan on majoring in Biochemistry.  

5 words to describe high school experience: amazing, fun, unpredictable, accepting, and supportive.  

Advice: My advice to the underclassmen would be to relax and take breaks when necessary. Don’t go over the top all the time. Know your limits and to remember to do what makes you happy in a positive way. We’re human after all, it’s not the end of the world if something goes your way. Everything happens for a reason, if you’re struggling, keep going and it’s ok to be lost. We don’t know the future, we make the future.

#9 Victoria Vasquez

College attending: I’m not exactly sure which college yet, it’s either going to be Suffolk or Farmingdale. Then, I’m planning to go to Stony Brook and continue my studies there. 

Studying: I’m going to study biology. 

5 words to describe high school experience: Inspiring, adaptable, positive, empowering, rewarding 

Advice: For the underclass men, a piece of advice I’d give to you guys is to always strive to be the best version of yourselves. In all that you do, do your best at it. Be kind any chance you get. And don’t forget, time is precious. Make sure you’re spending it with the right people.

#10 Katyushka Salvatierra

College attending: University at Buffalo  

Studying: Pre-law  

5 words to describe high school experience: Challenging, overwhelming, rigorous, life altering, different  

Advice: Change is completely okay, just make sure you’re changing for yourself and not others.