Photo by: Cecilia Bach-Nguyen
Voted “Jill of all trades” in this year’s yearbook, senior Joyce Seok doesn’t fail to live up to that title.
Seok has spent her years at Cam High taking 16 AP classes, obtaining a 4.7 grade point average on a 5.0 scale, and participating in a variety of extracurricular activities, granting her with admittance to Harvard University this fall.
On top of being one of her class’s valedictorians with distinguished honors, Seok served as the senior class president and was the varsity cheer captain both her junior and senior years. She was also pre-trial attorney in Mock Trial since her sophomore year and stepped in as both pre-trial attorney and defense attorney her senior year, earning ‘best attorney’ for the school junior year and third place for ‘best defense attorney’ for the county. She also was involved in KIWIN’S, Knowledge Bowl, California Scholarship Federation, and National Honors Society.
In addition to being accepted to Harvard University, Seok was accepted into UCLA, UCSD, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, USC, Dartmouth, Duke, Cornell, and Brown.”I’m really excited to be living somewhere I’ve never lived before and meeting people from all over the globe. Even though I’m majoring in political science, but for now, it’s all up in the air,” Seok said.
As of now, Seok plans to go to law school after completing her undergraduate years at Harvard, in hopes of becoming a civil rights lawyer. “I want to do anything that helps people that don’t have a voice. I know lawyers have a bad rep of being dishonest, but I really hope that I’m able to use my position to [both change that stigma and] help people that wouldn’t have representation otherwise,” she said.
Outside of school, Joyce felt that being in cheer and mock trial, and class cabinet influenced her the most in high school. “Cheer really helped me break out of my shell. When I was middle school, I was reserved and had a lot to say, but I was worried about what people would think about me. Being forced to perform in front of hundreds of people and having to put myself out there gave me a chance to become more sociable, and being a captain taught me a lot about leadership as well as [class] cabinet,” she said. “Mock trial influenced me career orientation- wise because that’s what kind of encouraged me to try out political science.”
In addition to the rest of her busy schedule, Seok plays piano competitively, winning regional competitions such as first place in the National Federation of Music Competition in the Pleasant Valley Ventura County branch. She has been playing since she was six years old.
Through her academic success, Seok is thankful for the adults and students who have pushed her throughout high school to achieve more. These people include AP European History teacher Ms. Tawney Safran, math teachers Mrs. Irena Kennedy and Ms. Doris Jung, class cabinet adviser Ms. Lori Pristera, 2016 Cam High graduate Amy Shim, and current junior Srividya Magnati.
“Safran was one of my first AP teachers and was one of the people who was pushing me but also affirming. She definitely opened my mind to what teaching is. Her teaching method is really unconventional, but it help you learn,” Seok said. “Also, my parents are big encouragers. My mom would stay up with me when I had a lot of things to do at night.”
Looking back at her years at Cam High, Seok said that the only thing she would change is to not stress herself out as much. “I wished I was less stressed all the time. A lot of the time, it was just me being concerned about one thing or another, whether that be an extracurricular, or my class grades, or college,” she said. “But watching everyone who got into college, and all my friends get into college, was so cool and the best thing ever. That just shows you everything works out, and most everyone is happy, no matter the stress.”