By Haley Chi-Sing

The nonprofit Assisteens of Capistrano Valley has recognized 24 graduating students from local high schools for their volunteer work with the organization throughout their high school careers. Assisteens also highlighted the students’ plans in continuing their education this coming fall.

This year’s graduating class amassed more than 3,100 hours in volunteer work total over their four years in high school. Their work was recognized by the organization at a private senior tea event at The Tea House in San Juan Capistrano, co-chaired by Carolyn Mower and Lucy Williamson O’Quinn.

Assisteens of Capistrano Valley promotes leadership and volunteerism in high school students through their four- to five-year program. As an auxiliary of the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley, California, Assisteens allows students to engage in volunteer and leadership positions throughout the school year.

Beginning with their freshman year of high school, graduating students’ past volunteer work included having “served on committees, held leadership positions, provided service to community events, and supported our military,” according to a press release.

Students were able to volunteer locally, with seniors specifically volunteering at the Bargain Box Store, Family Assistance Ministries, and at city of San Clemente community events, such as Puttin’ on the Glitz and the Spring Extravaganza. Senior students also served as volunteers in San Juan Capistrano at the Pediatric Unit of Mission Hospital, The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, and Operation School Bell.

According to Assisteens of Capistrano Valley, the students’ volunteer work continued even through the midst of the pandemic, with the students providing baked goods and sacked lunches to U.S. Marines and Family Assistance Ministries.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, the Assisteens’ annual Rose Medallion Ball was canceled and replaced by the senior tea. According to the group, safety regulations and social distancing measures were put in place to ensure a safe and healthy graduation ceremony.

Assisteens is currently accepting new students to enroll in their four- to five-year high school program.

Delaney Shanley

Daughter of Leslie and Christopher Shanley. San Clemente High School. Attending UC Santa Barbara. Plans to study Dance. New member of UCSB Dance Team.

Katie Chriss

Daughter of Kristie and James Chriss. San Clemente High School. Attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Plans to study Construction Management. New member of the Cal Poly Dance Team.

Jane Moran

Daughter of Tina and Daniel Moran. San Clemente High School. Attending University of Colorado Boulder. Plans to study Business.

Rylee Knapp

Daughter of Stacy and Phillip Knapp. San Clemente High School. Attending Saddleback College. Plans to study Early Childhood Education.

Eva Barreira

Daughter of Kelly and Mike Barreira. San Clemente High School. Attending Saddleback College/Promise Program and Honors Program. Plans to transfer to NYU or Columbia to study Psychology.

Taegan Mehrens

Daughter of Shannon and Ron Mehrens. San Clemente High School. Attending University of Arizona. Plans to study business administration.

Sydney Donovan

Daughter of Heather and James Donovan. San Clemente High School. Attending University of Utah. Plans to study Business/Marketing.

Emily Lowe

Daughter of Lisa and Norbert Lowe. San Clemente High School. Attending San Diego State University. Plans to study Business Administration. New member of the Women’s Soccer Team.

Alexa Vano

Daughter of Denise Duda and Christopher Vano. San Clemente High School. Attending San Diego State University. Plans to study Dance.

Kristin Gabriel

Daughter of Gayle Kookootsedes and Anthony Gabriel. San Clemente High School. Attending Pitzer College (Claremont University Consortium). Plans to study Environmental Science.

Aubrey Johnston

Daughter of Elizabeth and Brian Johnston. San Clemente High School. Attending Seattle University. Plans to study Nursing.

Emma Lentz

Daughter of Christine and John Lentz. JSerra Catholic High School. Attending SMU. Plans to study Business.

Zoey Mahl

Daughter of Shelly and Scott Mahl. San Clemente High School. Attending San Francisco State University. Plans to study Fashion Design.

Alexis Morgan

Daughter of Tara and Bill Morgan. San Clemente High School. Attending Chico State University.

Viviana Moiso

Daughter of Shelby and Vincent Moiso. San Clemente High School. Attending University of San Diego.

Maile Bartow

Daughter of Susan and Gordon Bartow. San Clemente High School. Attending SMU. Plans to study Business.

Alexa Coleman

Daughter of Barbara Stamen and Dee Coleman. Attending Reed College. Plans to major in Engineering and study Neuroscience and Electrical Engineering.

Krysta Hansell

Daughter of Danette Hansell. San Clemente High School. Attending Arizona State University. Plans to study Nursing.

Brooke Lucero

Daughter of Shauna and Sean Lucero. San Clemente High School. Attending the University of Oregon. Plans to study Pre-Business Administration.

Natalie DeCollibus

Daughter of Di-Ann and Dante DeCollibus. San Clemente High School. Attending the University of Washington. Plans to study Environmental Studies.

Danielle Reinicke

Daughter of Patti and Rob Reinicke. San Clemente High School. Attending the University of Utah, Honors College. Plans to study Kinesiology.

Sarah Cahill

Daughter of Michelle and Derek Cahill. San Juan Hills High School Attending Boise State University. Plans to study Political Science.

Samantha Mauldin

Daughter of Lynette and Eric Mauldin. San Clemente High School. Attending Boise State University. Plans to study Elementary Education.

Francesca Best

Granddaughter of Sue Henderson. San Clemente High School. Attending Saddleback College. Plans to study Nursing.

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