Matt Erlick

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What year did you graduate?
Class of 2011

Where are you living now?
I graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2015, and am now living in Scottsdale, Arizona. A very short walk to the Giants Spring Training Complex!

What do you enjoy doing?
I still enjoy watching and playing sports. Since my junior year of college, I have really enjoyed playing golf, and play as much as I can. There are so many golf courses in the Scottsdale-Phoenix area. I also continue to enjoy being a fan of our great bay area sports teams (Giants, Warriors and 49ers). I am now also a huge Arizona Wildcat fan, and am proud to say I got to experience many winning seasons, and awesome games as a student there (And will continue to as an Alum).

What did you do in high school?
I will never forget my 4 years at SMHS. It was an awesome place to go to high school, and I will always treasure the times I had there. During my time at San Mateo, I was heavily involved with sports. I played all 4 years of baseball, and basketball for the Bearcats. I was also the announcer for Bearcat Football for 3 years. I took Journalism at SMHS, and was the Sports Editor of the newspaper my senior year. Aside from all the sports stuff, I read the announcements over the loudspeaker every morning, which I always thought was a cool thing to get to do.

What are you doing now?
I graduated from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona last May. My degree is in Business Management with a minor in Sports Management. During my time in college I was an active member of the Arizona Sports Marketing Association, and Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. I am now currently in my first post-grad position, working in Game Operations & Stadium Logistics for the Fiesta Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl is one of the six major bowl games (called the New Years Six) in the new College Football Playoff System. This year the game was New Years Day between Ohio State and Notre Dame.

What surprised you about life after high school?
I first would like to say that SMHS greatly prepared me academically and socially for the large college campus environment. There were definitely times in my college classes that I felt I had an advantage because of what I had learned at San Mateo…One thing that surprised me was how fast time goes. It’s crazy to think its already been four years since graduation. I’m glad to stay I still keep in good touch with many people I went to SMHS with.

Any advice for current bearcats?
My first piece of advice to all Bearcats is to make an effort to be friendly and have a positive attitude with everyone. I believe it will really benefit you in the long run. In terms of college, the key for my success was time management. Staying organized sets you up on the right path. Lastly, enjoy your high school career. I will always have fond memories of my time at San Mateo High School. Wear the Orange & Black proud.

P.S. – I wanted to say thank you to Ms. Kalinski, Mr. Reoutt, Mr. Ikeda, and Mr. Wilke. I learned a lot in their classes that greatly prepared me for success as a college student. I highly suggest taking their classes during your 4 years at SMHS.

For more news about San Mateo High School, visit our Journalism website at www.thebearcat.net.

 

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Emilie Bohorquez

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What year did you graduate?
2013

Where are you living now?
Currently living at home with Mom. It’s the best! Plus she won’t let me leave. Lol.

What do you enjoy doing?
Binge watching Parks and Rec on Netflix! Just kidding, though I do love to watch Parks and Rec. I really enjoy traveling and going on mission trips. I’ve been to Mexico, Brazil, and Panama in the last year and a half , I absolutely love to be in other countries, immerse myself in the different cultures, and help people while experiencing their way of life.

What did you do in high school?
In high school I was involved in yearbook for two years which I enjoyed very much and learned a lot from. I was also a part of Raza Unida and attended so many Leadership events that people thought I was a part of it even though I wasn’t; I simply liked to be involved in all school events. And there was never a day you wouldn’t find me in the counseling office because we all would rather hang out with them over everyone else. I still miss them all the time: Mr. Morales, Ms. Torres, Ms. Menendez, Ms. Cervantes, Ms. Maldonado, Ms.Watson and Ms.Booth are some of the best people in the world. We still love y’all!

What are you doing now?
Finishing up at CSM and working on my AA-T, Associates Degree for Transfer, and hopefully I will be moving on to another college in Fall of 2016 to work towards by BA in Sociology. Also working at Mimis Cafe and Levi’s Stadium. Come say hi!

What surprised you about life after high school?
How scary it can be. Scary because I am becoming an adult and I have to do stuff for myself because there’s no going back. But I’m thoroughly enjoying becoming independent and realizing that I can do it yourself.

Any advice for current bearcats?
Have fun. High school was one of the best times of my life and it sucked for me to hear when my classmates only talked about wanting to get it over with. Don’t stress or fuss over everything, just enjoy the time you have while you have this freedom. Become cool with all the staff because it makes the experience 1,000 times better and go to A LOT of school events because you’ll regret it if you don’t. Continue to get to know yourself and what interests you. Fourteen to 18 years old comes with a lot of change, so embrace it! And enjoy the free textbooks!

For more Bearcat News, visit our Journalism website at: http://www.thebearcat.net/

Life After High School: Jane Shtalenkova

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What is your name?
Jane Shatalenkova

What year did you graduate?
In 2009, I transferred from SMHS to the College of San Mateo Middle College. From there I attended CSM and transferred to UC Santa Cruz in Fall of 2014.

What did you do in high school?
In high school, I was on the swim team, played water polo, and completed the SMHS Biotechnology Career Pathway which introduced me  to the wonderful world of science. Through the summer internship portion of the program, I was immersed in the exciting world of  science first-hand felt what it was like to work in a lab. My favorite teachers were Ms. Ferguson and Mr. Appleman.

My first few years at CSM were honestly awful; I think at one point I had a GPA below 1.0, but then I took an Astronomy class and fell in love with the subject and began my journey toward becoming a Physics major.

What are you doing now?
Currently, I am pursuing a Bachelor’s in Physics (focus in Astrophysics) with a minor in Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz and doing  research for the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics.

What do you enjoy doing?
I love traveling, hiking, music festivals, making art, and talking about life, the universe, and everything.

What surprised you most about life after high school?
The most surprising thing about life after high school for me is how irrelevant all high school social issues, stigmas, and structures become when you’re gone. The most disappointing things are probably having to pay bills, getting your heart broken, and drifting apart from people with whom you thought you would be friends for life. The most exciting things are definitely growing as a person, developing  your character, and learning new things.

Any advice for current bearcats?
My advice to current Bearcats would be to dream big and keep up your hobbies and random skills. Keep your minds open to people that disagree with you, because next year you WILL have completely different opinions on many subjects; it’s called growth. Be kind and grateful because your life is awesome and ignore the haters because they are dealing with their own issues that probably have nothing to  do with you.

For more Bearcat News, visit our Journalism website at: http://www.thebearcat.net/

Life After High School: Austin Chua

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What is your name?
Austin Chua

What year did you graduate?
Class of 2011

Where are you living now?
I recently moved from Davis back to Foster City.

What do you enjoy doing?
Recently, I became super interested in working out, as well as nutrition. I find it super interesting how the human body reacts not only to the foods you input into it, but also how it reacts and changes according to the stresses of daily life. Similar to high school, I still enjoy reading/watching the news. Keeping up with the current happenings of the world, in my view, is a necessity to stay an informed citizen.

What did I do in high school?
At San Mateo, I was involved with a few things, mainly the newspaper. To be honest, it was by chance that I had picked Journalism as a class, mostly since it sounded sort of fun, and I was even more excited when everybody got their own computers to goof off on during their free time (sorry Ms. Fergusson). Anyways, I started out as a sports writer my freshman year, but switched over to the News section pretty quickly. Sophomore year and junior year I worked as the News Editor, and senior year I took over as one of two Editors-in-Chief. In addition to journalism, I was involved with Interact Club for three years, becoming Treasurer and eventually Vice President for that, as well as one of the Club and Class Commissioners my senior year. I competed on the tennis team all four years at San Mateo as well.

What are you doing now?
Currently, I’m job hunting for the time being. I just left my job as a Research Assistant in Davis, and would love to get involved in the biotechnology industry. I’m mainly looking through molecular diagnostics and genetic testing companies, since I plan to apply to graduate programs for genetic counseling in the near future.

What surprised you about life after high school?
Definitely the effort it would take to have that quality time with people. Especially going from a 1,000ish to a huge school of over 20,000 people, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to juggle schoolwork and have time to see every person you want to or do everything that you want to. College is definitely an eye opening, find your true life calling sort of time, and can be trying in a huge number of ways, all while working towards good grades and a healthy social life.

Any advice for current bearcats?
I’d say learn to be as independent as you can in high school. Learning to deal with tough situations by yourself will pay dividends in college, especially when your parents aren’t immediately there to walk you through any adverse situations.

For more Bearcat News, visit our Journalism website at: http://www.thebearcat.net/

Life After High School: Jonathan Slowey

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Who: Jonathan Slowey

What year did you graduate?
I graduated in 2013.

Where are you living now?
I am currently finishing my second year at UC San Diego.

What do you enjoy doing?
In the past two years or so, I’ve been cooking and baking a lot. I usually cook/bake when I’m bored, hungry, or procrastinating. It turns out that I am usually all of those things at the same time and I’ve heard that the medical term for it is “procrastibaking”. I also love comedy (movies, stand up, podcasts, Youtube videos, etc…) and tend to surround myself with people who can handle my humor. Above all of that, I enjoy new experiences the most; meeting people from other states and countries so frequently at college is such a refreshing change from being around people at high school that I went to preschool with, but the comfort in familiarity is something I did miss.

What did you do in high school?
I was on the soccer team my first year and the track team for my first two years, and that was the last time I remember exercising. I was one of the Co-Presidents of the Green Team, a member of GSALT (Gay-Straight Alliance Leadership Team) for the GSA and a general member of SMHS’s founding S.E.E.D.S (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability) chapter. Beyond clubs, I was the Web Editor for the Hi and I spent a majority of my free time doing things related to Biotech and IR. I completed the Biotech program and went onto Segan Industries in Burlingame where I was able to work for some time—go join Biotech and utilize the amazing resources you don’t even know you have! There was also a Bollywood Club I was involved with for one year, but it really was just my friends and me eating and watching movies.

What are you doing now?
I am currently working towards a degree in Human Biology and another in Public Health. I spent two years in student government at UCSD (the Associated Students) and I currently work in the Dean’s Office as an intern. I’m very interested in infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, and sexual health and I’m currently trying to find ways to bring the information I study in my classes out to the UCSD and San Diego community. In the far future I hope to become some type of physician, but in the meantime I’m just exploring all of the resources I have around me

What surprised you about life after high school?
I think my first big realization was that the life I imagined myself leading in high school changed drastically once I entered college. High school is a weirdly competitive time where you see the same people every day for four years straight; UC San Diego has 30,000 people and if I don’t go out of my way to schedule times to meet with people I can go days without seeing the same face twice. This is only my second year, so I don’t have life figured out yet, but I think the biggest thing for me was coming to terms with how big the world is and how much (and little) agency I have over certain aspects of my future.

Any words of wisdom for current Bearcats?
Knowing myself two years ago, I probably would have been too stubborn to listen to anything “future me” would have to say so I understand how this sounds to someone still in high school, but really focus on finding your voice. It’s hard to not focus on external things like getting into college while in high school, but taking the time to know yourself is vital for moving forward with your life and making connections with other people. All of the best things I’ve encountered surfaced because I put myself outside of my comfort zone, and I’ve learned a lot about myself since.

For more Bearcat News, visit our Journalism website at: http://www.thebearcat.net/

 

Life After High School: Lori Reddy

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What is your name?
Lori Reddy

What year did you graduate?
I graduated in 1987.

Where are you living now?
I live in Foster City with my husband and three daughters.

What do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, going to movies, and my favorite thing of all time – reading a good book on a beautiful beach.

What did you do in high school?
In high school I was a news editor for the school newspaper. I wrote a weekly column my senior year called “Lori’s Line.” I was also the Community Service Chairperson my senior year. I enjoyed being involved in journalism and student government.

What are you doing now?
I started my career as a TV and Video Producer then became a Marketing Manager and Video and Webinar producer. I’m currently a Marketing Consultant for a hi-tech startup in San Mateo.

What surprised you about life after high school?
What surprised me about life after high school was how much I enjoyed paying my own bills! My first job out of college was as a production assistant for WRC-TV, the NBC station in Washington, D.C. My first year out of college I made $26,000. I loved the independence and  having the ability to pay my way.

Any words of wisdom for current Bearcats?
My advice would be to get involved. It’s a good way to figure out what you want to do (and don’t want to do) with your life. And also a great way to make friends.

For more Bearcat News, visit our Journalism website at: http://www.thebearcat.net/

Life After High School: Vicki Xiao

Vicky Xiao

What is your name?
Vicki Xiao

What year did you graduate?
2013

Where are you living now?
I’m a sophomore at MIT studying Biology.

What do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy cooking and eating new foods, watching TV and bad movies with friends, and making strange little arts and crafts. I’m actually in the process of turning my suite lounge into a womb for an event my dorm has every year called Steer Roast. The door’s going to be a giant knit vulva. It’ll be really cute. I also tutor local high school students in math, and I’m active in both the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and the Pi Beta Phi sorority. I really enjoy getting off campus and contributing to the local community, which sounds like something people say when they’re trying to impress someone.

What did you do in high school?
I was the Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor of the San Mateo Hi and the Bearcat throughout high school. I also helped run the SMHS GSA. In my free time, my friends and I had Minecraft LAN parties.

What are you doing now?
I feel like I answered this earlier by mistake. Is this question about what I’m doing with my life? I’m not sure, really, but my end goal is to apply to medical school and hopefully be someone who can address disparities in health care (especially with regards to the LGBTQI+ community) in a direct fashion.

What surprised you about life after high school?
It’s hard, is the simple way of saying it. I didn’t realize how bad I am at taking care of myself, especially since I’ve been cooking for myself in college. (My parents were very sure I’d starve without a meal plan, which so far hasn’t been true. Hi Mom!) I was also surprised how often I do chores in order to procrastinate doing my psets (problem sets). But it’s also hard just taking care of yourself mentally in the face of challenges you’ve never faced before. Classes here are much harder than I anticipated, and everyone around me always seems to be doing something amazing, so there’s always a culture of doing more and more, which can lead to a stressful, unhealthy environment. Also, I had mono my freshman spring, and I ended up dropping two classes. It was a really hard semester both physically and mentally. On a less serious note, it’s amazing how warm 32˚F feels after a long winter.

Any words of wisdom for current Bearcats?
One: You are not defined by what you do.
Two: Take breaks for yourself. Nothing is as important as your health.
Three: Sport death — only life can kill you.

For more Bearcat News, visit our Journalism website at: http://www.thebearcat.net/