In the latest Round Town column, information about parents who host balls for Paly and Gunn graduates, local students who recently won a National Merit Scholarship and an award that recognizes Palo Alto as a friendly town for the bike.
A BALL FOR THE OLDER … When the Gunn and Palo Alto High school principals said at the end of April that their schools would not hold a prom, which was a disappointment for the students. Determined to ensure that the prom was for their graduates, local parents worked tirelessly to make dancing a reality.
Julie deubrouillet was one of a dozen Gunn Moms who came together to throw a ball for the Titans on June 4th. About 265 seniors dressed up for the event which began with a group photo of Gunn. They then headed to Vina Enoteca, where students sipped exclusive mocktails, played roulette and enjoyed dinner at the Italian restaurant.
President of the student body Andrew Kim gave a speech at the event, in which he acknowledged the challenges they faced as a class and encouraged his fellow graduates to live in the moment. “It was so nice to see people again enjoying a dance,” he said in an interview. “I haven’t seen this in over a year, so it was a really big time.”
Eleven Moms from Paly have joined forces to organize the Viking Ball at the Elks Lodge June 5, said Karen ambrose hickey, one of the organizers. About 400 people showed up to the ball, where the students were allowed to bring a guest. Participants were treated to appetizers at dining stations offering a variety of cuisines, including Latin American and Asian. There was a place for professional photos and a “glow bar” with face jewelry, fun sunglasses and glow sticks. “All the kids had smiles on their faces, they were so happy to be there.… It’s their only chance to dress up and still be a kid,” Hickey said.
HARD WORK BEARS ITS FRUIT … Palo Alto is well represented in the list of National excellence scholarship winners sponsored by US colleges and universities, which was announced on June 2.
Local recipients plan to pursue careers in a variety of fields, including neuroscience, geophysical engineering, and chemistry. Gunn‘s Eirene Ang, Luc runs away, Jack Herrema, Zacharie Meyers and Henri moshfeghi made the list, as well as Blade‘s Hallie faust, Avery bryn hanna, Natalia Maah, Simon minami and Drew mukherjee.
More than 3,100 students were named recipients this month. The company behind the program plans to announce another batch of around 900 fellows in July.
The 2021 program process began in 2019 when approximately 21,000 students were selected through the pre-qualifying test for the SAT / National Merit scholarships. Last fall, the field narrowed to 17,000 semi-finalists who achieved the highest score in their state. To become eligible as finalists, students had to have “an outstanding academic record and be approved and recommended by a high school official,” according to a press release. They were also required to submit a scholarship application that included an essay and details about their extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership roles. The scholarships range between $ 500 and $ 2,000 per year for up to four years of their undergraduate academics.
AS GOOD AS GOLD … Palo Alto’s reputation as a bicycle friendly place has been reaffirmed by The League of American Cyclists, who renewed the Friendly community for Gold level bikes reward last month. It is among nearly 500 cities applauded for its efforts to prioritize cycling and 34 cities with gold status.
The reward process takes into account factors such as cycling infrastructure, efforts in cycling education for adults and young people, and events such as Bike day to work, according to an announcement from the city published this week. “The Bicycle Friendly Community Award recognizes the grassroots work done by local leaders and advocates to improve and innovate, ensuring that the fun of cycling is safe and accessible to all,” said the CEO of the league. Bill Nesper said in a separate press release.