It’s not about working hard for Samantha Dubon.
She simply sees herself doing what average teenagers would do in high school. There is one exception for the 17-year-old from Redwood City who will be graduating from Summit Preparatory High School this year — she’s the first in her family to go to college. It’s a big accomplishment for Dubon and her mother, who raised her as a single mom. Dubon is quite happy to share that success with her mother, noting many doubted the success of the pair.
Those at Summit never doubted Dubon’s success.
“Samantha is, far and away, the hardest-working student in the senior class. No matter how hard things get for her, she never gives up and never makes excuses. She always finds a way to do what needs to get done, regardless of the circumstances. Samantha embodies grit like I have never seen in another student, and I am confident she will be able to work through whatever hardships she will face in her life to achieve great success,” said Summit Executive Director Brian Johnson.
Dubon notes a change in attitude when she enrolled at Summit.
Growing up as an only child, Dubon took part in multiple sports and dance. She enjoyed karate, dance, basketball and soccer. At Taft Elementary School, Dubon pointed to the support of her first grade teacher as being invaluable. Dubon only spoke Spanish but he took the time after school to help her master English and learn to read.
In fifth grade, Dubon transferred from Taft to Northstar Academy. It was at Northstar that Dubon took a life science class — kick starting her interest in science. Dubon said her teachers simply structured the class so well that she gained a perspective of how it could be used in life. Today, Dubon plans to major in biology. This class painted the decisions Dubon made during high school.
She applied to Summit at the encouragement of her mother. At the time, Dubon didn’t know many people at Summit. Also, she wasn’t sure graduating high school was in her future. She was a D student. But Summit challenged her to get at least Cs and finish homework while offering support. Given the opportunity for support, Dubon decided to give doing the work a try. It paid off. After her first semester, she was an A student.
From there, Dubon took opportunities to explore her curiosity in science. During her sophomore year, Dubon spent five weeks as a leader in outdoor education. It was a chance to explore outdoors, gain leadership opportunities and learn a great life lesson — time management.
Last year, Dubon took part in an organization called Global Glimpse, a nonprofit that holds fundraisers throughout the year to get students familiar with their community. Then, during the summer before her senior year, Dubon took part in a trip to Nicaragua with the group that gave her the opportunity to have an adventure but also serve the community. For Dubon, it served another purpose. She hopes to study abroad in college. This was a bit of a test run for being in a new place. Also, since returning, Dubon said her mother noticed she’s more independent.
That independence will come in handy for Dubon as she studies biology at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo — her first step toward become an optometrist.
Summit Preparatory High School’s graduation will be held 6 p.m. Friday, June 14 at Carrington Hall on the Sequoia High School campus, 1201 Brewster Ave., Redwood City. Tickets are required.
Great Grads is in its eighth year profiling one graduating senior from each of our local schools. Schools have the option to participate. Those that choose to participate are asked to nominate one student who deserves recognition.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105.