In the music world, a trio is comprised of three different sounds or voices to achieve melodious music. The trio of young women that earned the lead of the 496-member Fallbrook Union High School Class of 2013 is similar in that regard, in academic terms, and has made history doing it.
Individually, valedictorians Rebecca Allen, 17, McKenna DiVerde, 18, and Kathleen Young, 18, have unique and powerful academic achievements; together, they comprise a dynamic and cooperative leadership team destined to achieve great heights.
School district superintendent, Dale Mitchell acknowledged students like these three who actively take part in ensuring their own success.
“Many students have taken advantage of the opportunities available to them to excel and, as a result, have promising futures ahead whether in colleges and universities or in careers,” said Mitchell. “We celebrate with these students their successes and have confident hope for their continued excellence in the future.”
It was invigorating to sit down with Allen, DiVerde, and Young and discuss how they ended up in a perfect tie. In clear terms, they said they “planned it that way.” And they did it out of respect for each other.
“We sat down together at the beginning of our junior year and decided we wanted to be triple valedictorians and asked [administration] if that was okay,” said Young. “They said it was, so we planned our schedule together.”
The trio carried the exact same classes, semester after semester, none of them earning less than an A in every single class over their high school career.
“We worked together and never tried to sabotage each other,” said Young. “We all have a genuine enjoyment of learning and realize that our successes now are going to be connected to our successes in the future.” Allen and DiVerde heartily agreed.
“We’re bringing back girl power with a lot of emphasis, since there are three of us,” said Allen.
These ladies have a variety of commendable traits in common.
“We are all very dedicated and have intellectual curiosity,” said DiVerde. In unison, they said they “pushed and encouraged” each other.
They doubled up on some endeavors. Allen and Young powered the Academic Decathlon team, with Allen earning most points and Young (serving as captain) the most medals. DiVerde served as Senior Class President and Allen was the class treasurer.
In college, Allen and DiVerde will study medicine, while Young has chosen chemical engineering.
At Azusa Pacific University, Allen will be in the pre-med program with the goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.
DiVerde and Young are headed to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). DiVerde will also study pre-med and plans on ultimately becoming a physician and surgeon. Young said she wants to use her degree in chemical engineering to eventually do pharmaceutical research.
The speeches given June 13 by these young women at the graduation ceremony underscored their insight into success.
DiVerde’s speech, “My Three Secrets to Success,” emphasized to her classmates the importance of “living a life to be proud of.”
“It is a big fete graduating from high school,” she said. “We should be glad we made it and can go on to conquer more.”
Allen’s topic was “Courage,” and centered on a quote by Walt Disney.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them,” said Allen, who also talked about how Fallbrook High “has instilled us with the courage to achieve our dreams and make them into reality.”
Young spoke on “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” a Dr. Seuss-based theme.
“We are all starting in the same place; so far our path has been directed for us, but now we can make our own futures, our own plans,” she said.
The fact that all three have perfect grades across all their Advanced Placement (AP) classes signifies a force to be reckoned with.
“Our AP teachers have very high expectations and tailor their courses to reflect a true college curriculum,” said FUHS Principal Rod King.
An additional attribute of these three well-rounded young women is that they each have a delightful sense of humor.
“We are all really passionate about what we do and we are all funny with our own quirky sense of humor,” said Allen.
“You have to find humor when you are doing this much work,” added Young.
The trio firmly acknowledged that they attribute their individual success to the collective support system between them.
“It’s important to surround yourself with people who support you on your journey,” explained Allen. “The fact is, without the support of these two I wouldn’t be where I am.”
“I think we accomplished a lot and I am really proud of that,” added DiVerde. “We were always courteous of each other and I think it’s awesome that we all tied.”
“Word,” said Young, which caused the other two to break out in laughter at her use of the slang term for “well said; agreed.”
Special activities of the Tremendous Trio
Allen is serving a third year in a leadership capacity with the Fallbrook Relay for Life (cancer awareness); serving two years as luminaria chair and this year as team development chair in addition.
She has also served four years as a Sunday School teacher and is a vacation bible school leader.
She lent her time in a short-term mission trip to Kenya through Bridge of Hope.
President of the Fallbrook Breast Cancer Angels Club
Two years in cross country and track at FUHS
Three years volunteering as a youth pastor in nursery of her church
Went on mercy trip to China with her mother; taking supplies to an orphanage and also items to help with the treatment of congenital heart patients in Shanghai.
Vice President of the Student Volunteers, Fallbrook Hospital Auxiliary (1600 volunteer hours)
Three years on FUHS tennis team
Two years on FUHS track team
One year working on school newspaper
Summer camp counselor at Camp Kesen (for children of cancer survivors)