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Seniors of CPS: Mia R., Simi S., Arden H., Alex H., Claire B., Kenzie K., Tylor L.

Updated: Feb 27, 2022

(From left to right, top row to bottom) Mia Raneri, Simi Sakhrani, Arden Hilal, Alex Hirji, Claire Beamer, Kenzie Kenney, Tylor Lee (Seniors) - Interviews Conducted by Phoebe Shin, Rina Huang, Nora Wagner, Araddhya Tibrewall

This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed seven lovely seniors—Mia, Simi, Arden, Alex, Claire, Kenzie, and Tylor for the third week of Seniors of CPS interviews. These interviews were conducted all on different times of the day—some after a successful CPS Day, or hours before the Boy’s Varsity Basketball Senior Night— but they all held the same purpose: to share fun facts about our seniors and memories from their past four years at College Prep. We hope you enjoy!

Q: What is something unique about you/a fun fact that your classmates might not know?

Mia: Can we come back to this one?

*end of interview* Oh gosh. Um, I feel like a lot of people know this, but I do circus art, so I do trapeze and a lot of performing with that.

Simi: Can I skip it? I have no idea.

*end of interview* Darn it! We have to go back to it? What do I say…This is so frustrating. I think everyone knows this––literally everyone. But, I live in Fremont which is like an hour away from here, and I just wanted to say that the fact that I do that commute every day a testament to how much I love CPS. The sacrifices are so worth it.

Arden: That’s a tough question…..A fun fact that people might not know is that my first language is French and I went to a French preschool. So I grew up learning French and only then learned English.

Alex: A fun fact that my classmates might not know…I guess something simple is that I love ice skating and playing recreational hockey. I mean, there are some friends I play it with, but not a lot out here.

Claire: Hmm…I can’t really think of anything that nobody knows. I guess one thing could be that I was born in Boston and lived in Massachusetts for a while. Then I lived outside of Cleveland, Ohio for a little while after. Definitely some people already know that, but it’s hard to find something that nobody does. Here’s probably my favorite of all the places I’ve lived. The weather’s pretty nice, and I love College Prep. All my friends are out here. But yeah, I moved before middle school. End of fifth grade—six weeks before the end of fifth grade actually!

Kenzie: Huh, I never really thought about that one. I guess…I feel like a lot of people are very surprised when they find out I grew up in St. Louis. And I’ve lived there for the majority of my life, so I’ll hear people say things about the Midwest that are just factually not true, *laughs* and it’s really funny because I’m like “um…no…that’s not accurate at all.” So yeah, I guess the fact that I grew up in St. Louis.

Tylor: Well, I really love listening to music, and my favorite artist is Cordae, and I think that’s pretty unique, since not many people like him to that extent. I think he’s been my favorite artist since sophomore year, and since then I’ve just really grown to love his music—he just dropped a new album called From a Birds Eye View, and I think whoever’s reading this should definitely listen to it, because it’s really good.

Q: Looking back at your experience at CPS, what is something you will never forget?

Mia: This is kind of pretty general, but honestly a lot of the friendships I’ve made and the relationships. Just, I don’t know, I’ve met a lot of really awesome people at CPS and I’ll never forget the way they’ve impacted me and the experiences we’ve shared.

Simi: I'll never forget the relationships I’ve formed. I think um, I think there are people who I obviously like, know very well and there’s people who I’ve had one off instances with. But almost every single interaction I've had at CPS has just been positive, and I’ve learned from it. It just might be a silly fun fact or it might be something a lot deeper, but the excitement to learn about other people, and, I don't know. It fills me to come to every interaction with a sense of discovery.

Arden: Something I will never forget…maybe, sophomore retreat. The river rafting. Yeah, I had a fun boat and I connected with people that I hadn’t before. And there were people falling in and one slipped off the back at one point—it felt like a really nice chance to connect with that set of people and the whole grade.

Alex: I guess an event that I won’t forget easily is Spirit Week. I think we had the one in the fall this year when I was kinda like this feels like a regular school year for once. It just felt special. I wasn’t completely back to normal if you know what I mean. But it felt nice to be back together, as a community. Even though we did something similar in the spring last year, I guess this one gave off some good, happy vibes.

Claire: Definitely the tennis team. Ten out of ten experience. The best sports team at College Prep—I’m sorry to every other sports team, but it’s true. Just every van ride, every match, every practice was always a lot of fun. Usually they all end with people lying on the floors of the courts laughing, which is fantastic.

Kenzie: There are a lot…but I’ve been thinking about the boat prom a lot! It was one of the most fun CPS experiences that I’ve had. I can also just think about times sitting in random classrooms with my friends, just goofing around and joking about whatever, and I think those are some of the most formative times in my life at CPS.

Tylor: Definitely sophomore retreat—I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a popular answer for a lot of people. I think that’s when a lot of friend groups were kind of changing and sort of shifting around, but for me and my friends, that was when we were pretty solidified, and I think that trip really helped us grow closer together. Rafting was a ton of fun, and I just really enjoyed the entire experience.

Q: What is one word you would use to describe your four years at College Prep?

Mia: I would say empowered, honestly. Should I elaborate? Um, just because I feel like CPS has taught me to stand up for what I want and I’ve just like…the things I go for now and the things I try—I was honestly probably too scared to do as a freshman. So I’ve just become a lot more confident and a lot more able to advocate for what I want.

Simi: Then I think…discovery…I think that’s a perfect word! Discovery—I love it!

Arden: These are tough questions!...Um, eventful.

Alex: Is rollercoaster one word? (I don’t know. Sorry, I’m not good with English.) I guess, just rollercoaster. If I reflect back on it, I haven’t had one year where there hasn't been something that has caused classes to be canceled. My freshman year, the campfire—they sent us all home. Sophomore year, the pandemic starting, of course, and there were high winds one day—they sent us all home. Junior year, the fall semester, and this year, the pipe breaking. I think rollercoaster in terms of the actual logistics, but also just what classes I like, what sort of friend groups I’m in, and what I’m doing outside of school. I work with the city of San Francisco in transportation for operations of the transit system—the Muni—and outreach. And also rollercoaster in what I’m doing over there: situation with funding, operations. Rollercoaster is the epitome of my 4 years. There have been lots of ups and downs, and that’s to be expected, but you know there’ll be things that I’ll be expecting to go up and down based on the past, but it either pencils out, it’s more severe, or doesn’t happen. And it’s nice to say, oh, it didn’t happen this way.

Claire: I’ll go with inspiring. I think it’s been inspiring to see the ways that I’ve grown and all my classmates have grown. It’s also just inspiring to see the amazing things my classmates have already accomplished. There’s so many great things that we’re going to do once we leave College Prep.

Kenzie: Tumultuous.

Tylor: I guess I would say thankful—I’m just thankful for all of my friends, and everyone in my grade who have been super open, and really easy and nice to talk to. And I’m also really thankful to this school, obviously, for just giving us the opportunity to learn and grow.

Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?

Mia: I’m really excited just to spend this last semester with the people I love here, and just have a really nice last semester and a nice like, time finishing out the high school experience.

Simi: Um, I’m looking forward to exploring relationships and passions I already have while developing new ones. I think CPS has been the perfect little haven for me to discover more about who I am, and I’m excited to do more of it with the tools that CPS has given me.

Arden: I am so looking forward to what I’m going to do next year. I’m working on pursuing music and making music as a career—and I’m super excited to focus on that and see where it takes me. I did release a few songs; the album is called Daydreams.

Alex: I’m looking forward to college, moving away from home. I’ve enjoyed being here at College Prep. I know I’m going to miss my friends, miss the place, miss my family when I go to college. But I’m looking forward to not exactly a fresh new start, but sort of new opportunities and almost a blank slate. I find it fun to have the opportunity to do that; I’m happy with where I’m going: the actual university, the location, the courses, the professors I met. And I’m excited for what that brings me, experiences not just in the near term but also the experiences that exist or don’t exist yet: extracurriculars, internships I may find interesting, adventures, future friends, and whatnot. I think opening the doors to these new possibilities and these new unknowns is something I’m looking forward to, as much as I will miss what I have now.

Claire: This is really short term, but I’m just looking forward to everything that is to come for the rest of the semester. Spending more time with my classmates, going to debate tournaments, intraterm…all that! But looking far ahead into the future, I’m excited to take all the things I’ve learned at College Prep and apply them to everything else.

Kenzie: I think I’m just excited to wrap up this chapter of my life and end things on a good note. I’m really excited for the rest of ConLaw as well (it’s kind of my favorite class right now). Summer is also going to be great, and ramping up my artistic output as the semester closes is definitely a goal of mine.

Tylor: I’m definitely looking forward to college, that’s going to be really big. I’m also really excited for summer, because that’s probably going to be the last time I see all of my friends—well, maybe not the last time, but it’s just going to be the last time that we’ll be spending a high school summer together. So I’m excited for the summer, and I’m looking forward to the end of this semester—I think it’s going to be a lot of fun as a second semester senior.

Q: If you could say one thing to your grade as you begin to close out your CPS journey, what would it be?

Mia: I don’t know, just keep being who we are. I feel like our grade… they’re all wonderful people and it’s really interesting to see how they’ve grown. And just to like, keep growing and keep true to themselves.

Simi: I’m so very grateful for all that you’ve done for me!

Arden: I would probably say, “Thank you.” I think I learned so much from College Prep and from my classmates specifically; they were really what stood out to me as an 8th grader. Obviously, at College Prep, we learn a lot of academics and stuff, but it’s from my classmates and peers that I learned life lessons, not just what a differential equation is. I actually learned lessons that I can take with me, and I’m so grateful to them—I don’t think I’ll ever forget these 4 years.

Alex: It sounds tacky, but thank you? Just because as much as there are lots of friend groups in grades, and especially in mine, when people need help and when people are going through a rough patch, there’s always someone for somebody. For me, that has always been the case. For most of the people I have seen, that has been the case. Through all of this stress and stuff we can’t control. Thank you for sticking together is something I’d say to my grade because it has helped us keep going for the last four years—and has helped me keep going. Yeah.

Claire: This isn’t very original, but thanks to all of you for being the absolute best grade. Every conversation that I’ve had with people in my grade has been awesome. I’ve learned so much from all of you.

Kenzie: I feel like I haven’t gotten to know most of you until this year, but the people that I’ve gotten to know are some of the most interesting, funny, kind, caring people that I’ve ever met. I love our grade—I think this is definitely one of the best classes…ever, even though I am a little bit biased. I love 2022, you guys are amazing.

Tylor: Well I said my one word to wrap up my CPS experience would be thankful, and I guess I’d like to thank everyone in my grade—I guess I kind of just already said this—for being open to everything, being accepting, and being kind in all aspects.


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