Arcadia High School senior Emily Zheng has been named one of two valedictorians. (Updated June 18, 2015: Video and photos of Emily’s speech below.)
Zheng has been a blogger on ArcadiasBest.com since eighth grade at Dana Middle School in 2011, and earlier this year was named a 2015 National YoungArts Foundation medal winner.
She and Kevin Chou were deemed to have the highest academic achievements and will deliver the valedictory speeches during the graduation ceremony at Santa Anita Park beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 18.
Kevin made news last year for earning the highest possible composite score of 36 on the ACT. He is headed to the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Emily, who will be attending Pomona College in Claremont, Ca., this fall, has been volunteering for Arcadia’s Best Foundation since winning an essay contest at the Foundation’s first-ever event in 2010, and has been volunteering for the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and served as a junior board member of the Arcadia Historical Society her entire high school career. She has also been offering free flute lessons since 2010 and was recognized for her volunteering by Mayor Gary Kovacic in 2012.
Her 6 1/2-minute Valedictorian speech below encouraged her fellow students to take charge of their own lives, pursue what is in their heart, and to remember to give back and take part in community service. Echoing the motto of the class of Arcadia Apaches for the past four years, she raised her hands in triumph and said, “There will be no Apaches down! Congratulations Class of 2015 – we did it!”
— By Scott Hettrick
Video and photos of Emily at graduation below (click on photos to enlarge)…