Celebrating Recent Student Achievements


Image via Unsplash

In the ongoing pandemic, standing out and receiving recognition has been unusually challenging. However, several students have still been able to put themselves out there and receive recognition for their contribution to their communities. 

Junior Anoushkha Kajanchi was one of the three first-place winners for Orange County’s Mask Message Contest winning Irvine High School a $7000 technology grant.

Initially prompted by her art teacher, Mrs. Perales, Kajanchi decided to participate because it allowed her to discuss the importance of wearing a mask 

“Whether it be because they are trying to lower the risk for their grandparents, or even if they just want the opportunity to go to a Harry Styles concert, people wear masks for a variety or personal and social reasons. ” Kajanchi said. “ At the end of the day, our goals can only be accomplished if we work together, regardless of the reasons you wear a mask.” 

Sophomore Karen Kubota also submitted her mask art to Orange County’s Mask Message Contest and her mask design was chosen by Supervisor Don Wagner to be produced for our entire school.

“I wanted to show the importance of staying connected while keeping distance and I remembered that I sometimes played with the tin can telephone, using two cups and a string,” Kubota said.  “When using the tin can telephone you keep a distance while you listen and talk with the other person, which is the idea behind my mask design.”

Anoushka Kajanchi



Seniors Ben Kim and Jasmine Magno were awarded the Exchange Club’s Youth other Month Award and are nominated for their Youth of the Year Award. 

The Exchange Club is a service organization focused on making the world a better place by promoting national projects, child abuse prevention and community service projects.  As part of their focus, the Exchange Club recognizes high school juniors who also aspire to make the world a better place. Youth of the month and Youth of the Year selections are based on students’ active commitments in providing services to various schools and community organizations.

“A teacher or staff member nominated me to apply for the Exchange Club Youth of the Month,” Kim said.  “In the process, I described my community service experience, membership in various school clubs and organizations, as well as awards and recognitions.”

The Youth of the Year winner is a well-rounded individual who is not only a good student but also an involved student. Aside from points earned for non-weighted GPA, points are also scored for participation in school and community organizations. The winning District Youths of the Year will receive the Youth of the Year Award and a $2,500 cash scholarship.

“Students often go unnoticed if they personally don’t put themselves out there or people aren’t there to push them to do so,” Magno said. “With the support and encouragement of my counselors, teachers, and peers I have learned to not be afraid of putting myself out there, and hope others can learn from my experience.”

Jasmine Magno
Ben Kim