Samantha Faxon Realizes Valedictorian Dream
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Coming from a family that believes education is everything, Samantha Faxon now sees the value in being this year’s valedictorian for Hayward High School. Her life was planned out from the day that she first entered the school grounds. While being in kindergarten, Elaine Faxon, Samantha’s mother, was already asking her what she had planned for the future.
“There’s this one video where my mom is asking me, ‘Sam, what are you going to do after kindergarten?’ and I was like, ‘First grade!’ And she said, ‘No, what else are you going to do?’ and then I say that I will get my MBA. So, even when I was four years old, she was already stressing that,” Faxon said.
Little five-year-old Faxon was said to be dreaming of reaching the sky. Now, Faxon is headed off into those childhood dreams by attending the University of California Berkeley.
“I want to get my degree in civil engineering,” Faxon said. “I want to go to graduate school and then get my MBA.”
Even though Faxon had been reaching for her goal of becoming valedictorian, she did not expect to be accepted into UC Berkeley.
“I was shocked because everyone has such high standards and high test scores and my test scores weren’t necessarily super great; they weren’t bad either,” Faxon said.
Faxon’s parents are proud of where she is headed, more so than the fact that she is this year’s valedictorian. Nonetheless, they are still proud of her very much and of the work ethic that she carries with her.
“I am proud her, of course. But I would be proud of her even if she wasn’t valedictorian. I’m proud of her work ethic, her resourcefulness, and willingness to face and tackle adversity. These are great traits to carry
into college and beyond,” Elaine said.
Faxon’s parents would always make sure that she had good grades and they would be upset if she got anything less than above average.
“My parents are super strict. My mom would always be upset if I came home with anything less than an ‘A’,” Faxon said. “My dad is a little bit more lenient; he understood when we get some B’s, but they always stressed it, the importance of education.”
Her mother immigrated to the United States from the Philippines at a young age which had shown Faxon that anything can be possible as long as one works hard. Faxon has learned that a rough start in one’s life can lead to great things.
“Life was not easy for my mom since she came from the Philippines,” Faxon said. “I know that she didn’t have the greatest start in life, but she was able to make it where she is successful now, and I really do look up to that so I hope I can do the same thing.”
Faxon’s mother knows that anyway her daughter would continue her future would be fine as long as she keeps on learning, but she cannot seem to hide the fact that going to college is very essential nowadays.
“As a child of immigrants, my own parents stressed the importance of education and I inherently passed on the message to my own kids. An education does not always have to be a college degree, it could be any way of continued learning. But in this ever-changing, competitive world of today and tomorrow, I think going to college is essential,” Elaine said.
Faxon has also been in band and learned how to play the flute, piano, piccolo, and the saxophone. Apart from being in band, and soccer, she also has a side business where she has made a large amount of revenue.
“I also have a side business where we sold $18,000 in revenue and it’s based off here, the Hayward High Business class. It’s a product called the Hayward Gold Card; it’s like a discount card,” Faxon said.
Aside from some of her extracurricular activities, Faxon really looked up to her grandfather. who was a big influence on how she had wanted to shape her future. He wanted her to be on the top and she managed to get there through hard work, which finally paid off.
“I’m just really happy that I could do this and say I got it [being valedictorian] because my grandfather was always stressing that he wanted me to be number one,” Faxon said. “I know that might not be realistic but I actually did that, so I am just really proud that I could make him proud.”