Chamber honors Murrieta Students of the Month

Shown sitting, left to right, are Jeffrey Kim, Zainab Qasemi, Christine Longenecker, and Sarah Thompson. Standing from left to right are Pat...

Shown sitting, left to right, are Jeffrey Kim, Zainab Qasemi, Christine Longenecker, and Sarah Thompson. Standing from left to right are Pat Kelley, MVUSD Superintendent; Ken Dickson, MVUSD Board Member; Samantha Stilwell, Intern for Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez; Rick Gibbs, City of Murrieta Mayor; John Hunneman, Communications Director for Senator Jeff Stone; Mary Walters, MVUSD Executive Director of Secondary Education and SOM Emcee.
Photo by Kip A. Cothran of KC Photography

Content provided by Menifee Valley Unified School District:

The Murrieta Chamber of Commerce High School Student of the Month Program kicked off the school year Sept. 28 by recognizing deserving students.

Vista Murrieta High School senior Zainab Qasemi is an outstanding student who has a 4.40 GPA while taking 15 AP and dual enrollment college classes. She overcame her shyness and is now the Cadet Commander of 300 cadets in the Air Force JROTC unit.

Zainab said one of the most important things is an individual’s contribution to their community and she believes there is no limit to the impact you can make. Zainab hopes to attend the University of Maryland and major in criminal justice. She plans to continue to participate in ROTC, serve in the Air Force and she would like to work for the FBI in counter-terrorism.

Murrieta Mesa senior Sarah Thompson says her story is one of learning perseverance. Over a period of two years, Sarah had four surgeries and spent a month in the hospital, dealt with kidney stones, broke her leg and tore her ACL and meniscus and had pneumonia. In spite of all these health challenges, she maintains a 4.0 GPA while taking a challenging course load, including several AP classes.

Sarah is a member of National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation and she served as the president of the Class of 2018 all four years and as USB vice president. She is also a four-year member of the soccer team and was kicker for the football team for two years. Sarah also found the time to volunteer at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Sarah would like to attend UCLA or UC San Diego and she plans to major in Biomedical Engineering because she has seen the power of medicine and wants to help other people who have health challenges.

Calvary Murrieta Christian High School senior Christine Longenecker said that a mission trip to the Ukraine serving as a camp counselor was a transformational experience in her life and helped her overcome the depression and anxiety she had been dealing with for two years. Christine plans to continue to be involved in global outreach to Bulgaria and the Ukraine again next summer.

Christine wants to be a voice for those who have no voice and bring God’s love and joy to others. Christine is known for being a leader who is kind, inquisitive and ambitious. She enjoys nature and hopes to attend Southern Utah University and major in agriculture and minor in history or journalism. She is interested in working for the USDA or the Natural Parks Service.

Murrieta Valley High School senior Jeffrey Kim is first in his class of 603 students. Jeffrey is not only a stellar student, he has a strong work ethic and he said working hard can get you places you thought were unreachable. Jeffrey is humble, caring, dedicated and always willing to help. This year Jeffrey is CEO of the school’s Virtual Enterprise team and last year he led the team to a third-place finish in the world.

Jeffrey is the captain of the tennis team and a National Merit Scholarship finalist. He is extremely well rounded and after winning a piano competition, he will play at Carnegie Hall in November. He is also well-liked and respected by his peers and was recently elected Homecoming King. Jeffrey hopes to attend Harvard or Yale and he plans to become a physician.

Springs Charter School senior Jacob Barnes is in the Keys Independent Study program. Jacob is known for being driven and dedicated to his school work. In addition to his school work, Jacob owns his own business building websites for others. He is responsible and often helps other students who are struggling. Jacob plans to attend college and major in business.

If you wish to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, please contact Sally A. Myers, founder, at 951-506-8024. If you are interested in sponsoring the Student of the Month program, please contact LouEllen Ficke, Chair of the Murrieta Student of the Month Program, at 951-719-1213.

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