Class of 2023
Aadyant Suresh, an only child, says he is always up-to-date on political issues and breaking news. A rising senior at Branham High School in San Jose, 17-year-old Suresh aspires to reach college just as his parents did and continue studying at a University of California school. He plans to take five Advanced Placement classes and also plays the violin and tennis. Suresh is part of the journalism class at his school, where he is the science and health editor. Born in India and raised in San Jose, Suresh tries to retain his native language Tamil and also enjoys Indian cuisine.
— Elda Alvarez
Amelia Tai, a rising senior at Santa Clara High School in Santa Clara, is entering her third year in her school journalism program, where she made a shift from reporter to visual editor during her second year. She feels her interests are better aligned with the art of visual media and hopes to further enhance this focus. Tai also has a passion for design and performance through drawing and singing. Her favorite experience was playing Morticia in her school production of “The Addams Family,” and she aspires to enhance her interest in theater as publicist of her school drama department.
— Iris Sanchez
Andrew Dong, a rising junior at Aragon High School in San Mateo, will be the sports editor next year for the Aragon Outlook. Besides his interest in journalism, he has dipped his toes in several sports, mainly focusing on swimming. Dong competed in swimming in his early years, joined his school's swim team as a freshman, and he is considering swimming again during the next school year. He has belonged to the Boy Scouts for several years and enjoys hiking, camping and exploring. Over this past year, he took on the responsibilities of a senior patrol leader at Troop 47.
— Rashel Naranjo
Cuitlahuac Ramirez Borrego
Cuitlahuac Ramirez Borrego is a recent graduate of Downtown College Prep in San Jose and a founding member of the school’s art and literature magazine, The Altoid. He is passionate about music and taught himself to play both keyboard and classical guitar. He's known as “the People’s Valedictorian” for his academic ability and great sense of humor, he will be attending Santa Clara University this fall, where he is considering majoring in computer science. When he is not sleeping or pretending to work, you can find him watching “The Office.” He’s watched the show’s 201 episodes a staggering nine times.
— Julia Dang
An extroverted rising junior at Silver Creek High School in San Jose who lives in a bedroom decorated with sloths, Dominque Quintana hopes to pursue a career as a psychologist. Watching crime shows has been her hobby since she was a child, whether they were about minor crimes or serial killers. It’s her dream to travel the world and visit Brazil to see lots of sloths. Quintana also enjoys cheerleading and running. While participating in the Mosaic program, she looks forward to getting out of her comfort zone and interacting with people in person rather than relying on the internet.
— Elizabeth Lucatero
Elda Alvarez says her interest in journalism was inspired by her interest in English, writing essays and reading poetry. Alvarez said she is excited about getting ready for the position of governor of her class in the Associated Student Body. She also looks forward to growing her business, fresabylafresita, selling chocolate-dipped strawberries. Alvarez is the first generation in her family to be heading to college. A rising senior year at Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, she is aiming toward University of California, Riverside and the University of Redlands. She hopes to meet new people through the Mosaic program.
— Aadyant Suresh
Elizabeth Lucatero describes herself as being very in tune with her Hispanic roots through music such as reggaeton and corridos. She enjoys spending time with family, swimming, and running. Lucatero aspires to learn more about psychology and explore the medical field. Although she identifies as an introvert, Lucatero will never shut down an opportunity to watch a Spider-Man movie with friends. A rising sophomore at Eastside College Preparatory in Palo Alto, Lucatero has journalism experience from her freshman year of high school and looks forward to learning new skills during her time in Mosaic, such as interviewing people in person.
— Dominque Quintana
Ella Polak is a 16-year-old rising junior at Leland High School in San Jose and a member of her school’s journalism club. On top of that, she is also part of the California Native Garden Foundation and wants more youth to be involved with the non-profit. Polak is proud of her impressive growth in confidence and communication skills, and she says her greatest achievement is when a sponsor donated a lot of money to her after she shared her experience with the non-profit. During her time with the Mosaic program, she hopes to bring more media exposure to underserved communities.
— Yunery Ramon
Iris Sanchez, a rising senior at Lincoln High School in San Jose, is a writer for her journalism class. While she has previous experience writing for the opinion section, Sanchez hopes to broaden her horizons at Mosaic. She looks forward to professionalizing her work and gaining real-world ties while contributing to a community. Inspired by a love for romance novels, Sanchez aims to study writing in college, aspiring to compose a new kind of romance novel. Besides academics, she has participated in hip-hop, ballet, and other styles of dance since age 5 and has recently joined her school’s cheer team.
— Amelia Tai
Joshua Cedro never fails to share himself with his community. He is heavily involved in many programs, such as his school’s varsity boys golf team, boys basketball, journalism class, and producing music. He always jumps at the chance for photography gigs, even without instruction, and he has captured various pieces that he is unafraid to share with other people. He is a diverse individual who aims to further improve his talents. Cedro hopes to open his own photography business or attend a film school outside of California. Cedro is a rising junior at Santa Clara High School in San Jose.
— Lianne Carla Catbagan
A rising senior at Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, Julia Dang enjoys hikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her “borderline rabid poodle,” Callie. She can often be found snacking on popcorn and expired microwaved tamales throughout her shift at a recycling facility. Although undecided on a future career, Dang dreams of attending University of California, Berkeley. An ex-member of her school’s robotics club, she also aspires to muster up the courage to try out for the cheer team. Dang looks forward to making big bucks at her job, hanging out with friends and having a good time.
— Cuitlahuac Ramirez Borrego
Lianne Carla Catbagan
Lianne Catbagan, a rising junior at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, is intrigued by many things including political science, music and learning about other cultures around the world. She was one of the bases of her school’s cheerleading team last year, a role that is vital to bringing the stunts to life. She plans to continue cheerleading next year. In the future, she wants to study in Barcelona and possibly attend college in New York. In her free time, she can be found caring for her two younger brothers, practicing for cheer and improving her stage performance skills.
— Joshua Cedro
Nayeli Aileen Zuniga is a rising senior attending San Jose High School in San Jose, whose interests include photography, which Mosaic allows them to explore further. However, their motivation for attending also stems from their long-term goal of pushing themselves socially, which they have already significant taken steps toward by involving themselves in school leadership positions for two years. As someone who is inherently family-oriented, they have helped at their siblings’ baking business; after high school, they hope to use that experience to pursue their family-rooted passion for baking by starting a bakery near home to be called “Tiny Desserts.”
— Shannon Ma
Rashel Naranjo, a rising sophomore at Eastside College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto, is a photographer for her school newspaper, The Eastside Panther. She takes action shots at sports games and hopes to be elected photo editor this fall. Naranjo also loves to run and is aiming to make the Central Coast Section Championships for cross-country next year. She trains by participating in 3K runs, which leaves her with little free time. On weekends and during the summer, Naranjo watches Netflix shows and goes out with friends. She is interested in criminology but hasn't decided on a future career.
— Andrew Dong
Shannon Ma is a rising junior at Yerba Buena High School in San Jose. She is 16 years old, born in Santa Clara but raised in San Jose. She participated in her school’s journalism class and was editor-in-chief of its publication, the Warrior Times. She also likes to play badminton. Once she gets to college, she would like to study abroad to expose herself to other cultures. Her favorite subject in school is English because it’s really engaging and deals with many everyday societal topics. She plans to go to college or university and earn a degree to teach English.
— Nayeli Aileen Zuniga
Yunery Ramon Reyes is a rising sophomore at Cristo Rey San José Jesuit High School and part of her school’s journalism club. She is a youth advocate for her community and has gotten involved in local politics. Reyes says her greatest achievement was giving a speech to the San Jose City Council promoting undocumented immigrants’ right to vote. She hopes to study law at New York University and become a public defender. Reyes likes journalism because it allows her to explore different backgrounds and develop a deeper connection with people. While attending Mosaic, she wants to focus on human interest stories.
— Ella Polak