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Class of 2011

05/03/2011 06:11AM ● Published by Style

Photos by Dante Fontana

Allison Holmstedt
El Dorado High School

What local charities/causes are close to your heart and why?

Soroptimist International and the projects they fund to improve the lives of women and girls is an organization very close to my heart. I have personally worked with these women on a project they funded called “Girl’s Talk,” to help girls in middle school prepare for their transition to high school in a very personal way. I admire the group’s devotion to the lives of women and girls in our community.

How has living in the community shaped you as a person, and how do you feel it will affect the way you contribute to the world in the future?

I am so lucky to have lived in the Placerville/Coloma area where I have grown up under the influence of a tight-knit community of widely diverse people. This has allowed me to become an open-minded individual who values the power of connection between people.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you?

I love Jane Austen, cats and Harry Potter.

What advice would you give to incoming high school students?

It’s totally worth it to get involved in your school. The sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities really enrich the whole high school experience.

What has been the most memorable event of your senior year?

Waiting outside the theatre in Placerville for the midnight showing of Harry Potter 7, and playing the most epic round of Harry Potter trivia I have ever participated in.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m planning on going to a four-year college and majoring in biology with a minor in Spanish. I have not made any final decisions yet, but I am most likely going to UC Davis.

Who is your role model?

Jolinda Crocker. I hope to one day possess a fraction of the same love, passion, wisdom and confidence she has shown to me and shows all her students on a daily basis.


Luis Ramos
El Dorado High School

How has living in the community shaped you as a person, and how do you feel it will affect the way you contribute to the world in the future?

Living in Placerville has really been an amazing experience because I feel like I fit into this community. I love walking around town saying, “hello” to people that are just living their lives. I hope that later in life I can move back to Placerville and work as a music and math teacher at El Dorado High School.

What advice would you give to incoming high school students?

Make every single day in high school worth it. Don’t get involved in drugs or bullying; instead, make it an experience to which you can look back to in the future and be happy about.

What has been the most memorable event of your senior year?

To actually make it to my last year in high school has been the most memorable. My parents never made it farther than elementary school, so I want to prove to them by graduating and going to college, that their hard work paid off. Being so close to graduating and college is truly my most memorable experience.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Honduras in Central America. I want to go and help the children living there try and live a better life.


Allison Wallace
Union Mine High School

What local charities/causes are close to your heart and why?

Last year, Marshall Hospital created an autism awareness walk along the El Dorado bike trial. I participated with the National Honor Society and we raised several hundred dollars towards medical research for autism. Autism is such an underrepresented disorder yet it affects an average of one in 110 children in the U.S.

How has living in the community shaped you as a person, and how do you feel it will affect the way you contribute to the world in the future?

El Dorado County is a relatively small and nurturing community, with excellent educational opportunities. This county has challenged me academically and has prepared me for the rigor of college and the work-world; but because of its quaint size, I have been eager to explore and travel to other cities and other countries.

What’s one thing not many people know about you?

I love to sing – my intrinsic hobby. I hum while chewing food, belt songs in the shower and mosey around the house singing all types of music.

What advice would you give to incoming high school students?

Get involved! Do not be afraid to try new classes, try out for sports or join clubs. High school is all about exploring and developing your interests.

Who is your role model?

My role models (I cannot narrow it down to one) are my parents. My parents have unprecedented work ethic and integrity, and I am grateful for the sacrifices they have made for me.

Describe your career aspirations.

I intend to pursue a major in English and minor in psychology for my bachelor work. After undergraduate school, I plan to attend law school and specialize possibly in international law.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I would travel to Spain – beautiful country, rich history, and a language that I can communicate in relatively well.


Tim Ditrich
Ponderosa High School

What local charities/causes are close to your heart and why?

The National Pony Express Association and the Highway 50 Wagon Train Association both mean a lot to me; they share the same goal – to bring back to life the history of important eras in California. Being a part of both associations is a lot of fun because the community really appreciates and supports us, which is rewarding to see.

How has living in the community shaped you as a person, and how do you feel it will affect the way you contribute to the world in the future?

Living in the community has made me appreciate all of the experiences and opportunities it has given me to participate and get involved. Being so active in the community has taught me to think of others before myself and has simply been a lot of fun! When I’m an adult, these experiences will definitely encourage me to be as generous as the people I’ve met during my community service time.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you?

I am a self-taught guitar player (though not great). Also, my twin brother and I were born on a blue moon, which is the second full moon in a month and is very rare.

What advice would you give to incoming high school students?

Be organized and budget your time; get your homework done as soon as possible so it doesn’t become something you have to worry about later on in the week; and don’t miss school, because make-up work is 10 times harder to complete than simply going to class.

What are your plans after graduation?

I hope to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. I plan to study marine engineering and shipyard management while being a member of the wrestling team.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I have been fortunate enough to travel throughout Europe and the South Pacific to France, Italy, Sicily, Malta, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Ironically, being a citizen of the U.S., I have only been to a few states other than California and would love the opportunity to experience the many different historical sights and wonders our country has to offer.


Alexandra Hickey
Ponderosa High School

Describe your career aspirations.

My ultimate career goal is to become a veterinarian, or find an animal-related job. While I have a broad diversification of interests, from teaching to history to paleontology and even criminal investigation, I have decided my heart lies in working with animals.

What local charities/causes are close to your heart and why?

The two charities closest to my heart would have to be those at which I volunteer. Currently, I volunteer at the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary and the Animal Outreach Shelter. Working in close proximity with animals has not only brought me within touching distance of tigers, my favorite animals, but also strengthened my desire to become a veterinarian. Supporting these organizations also allows me to express my enthusiasm for their causes and mission statements.

How has living in the community shaped you as a person, and how do you feel it will affect the way you contribute to the world in the future?

I only moved to Cameron Park in the fifth grade, but these fleeting seven years have shaped me nonetheless. My community has taught me values of perseverance, charity and selflessness. Such qualities will always allow me to have a positive impact in life, regardless of the situation.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you?

I have the absolute worst luck when it comes to card games and dice! Yahtzee was definitely a killer on family game nights…

What advice would you give to incoming high school students?

Don’t procrastinate, especially with college materials! Deadlines catch up with you fast.

Who is your role model?

I would have to say that my role model is my best friend, Leah Rosario. No matter how crazy or stressful things get, she always manages to smile and find the best in any situation.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

At the risk of sounding pretentious, I have been lucky enough to have traveled to Europe every summer, namely to see my family in Switzerland. However, there is one country that has been my obsession for years: Scotland. The moment the opportunity arises; I will jump on a plane and fly out to finally visit my dream country!


Samantha Stoddard
Shenandoah High School

How has living in the community shaped you as a person, and how do you feel it will affect the way you contribute to the world in the future?

My parents have always stressed the importance of being an active member of the community and giving back; as I grew up I learned to branch out and participate in my own ways. I want to contribute in however I feel I am best able to, and I can’t see that changing in the future.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you?

I was absolutely terrified of talking in front of people until I started attending Shenandoah and had to give the 45-minute presentations we do at the end of each semester, called Exhibitions.

What advice would you give to incoming high school students?

Pursue your interests. My dad gives me this advice at least once a month: “If you find work doing something you love, you won’t work a day in your life.”

What has been the most memorable event of your senior year?

A few of the seniors from Shenandoah put together a float for the Christmas parade. While I couldn’t attend the actual parade, it was a lot of fun decorating the trees and seeing the float come together.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m still trying to decide which college I’ll be attending, but I will either enroll at Sacramento State or Folsom Lake Community College with the intent of transferring to a UC school.

Who is your role model?

It’s hard to choose just one; I believe there’s something to be learned from everyone. Cliché as it is, I’ve always looked up to my mom, grandmother and the other amazing women in my family.


Derek Breidenbach
Shenandoah High School

How has living in the community shaped you as a person, and how do you feel it will affect the way you contribute to the world in the future?

If it weren't for the people in the town I live in, I wouldn't be the same at all. All of the artists and musicians I have met and got to know here have completely made me who I am today; they have helped me realize that music is my passion and it is what I plan to do for the rest of my life.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you?

I have a dream journal.

What has been the most memorable event of your senior year?

The Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am planning on attending a four-year college and majoring in audio/music production and engineering.

Who is your role model?

I don't have a specific role model but if I had to choose something to give that title to, it would have to be art itself. Every aspect of art is imaginative and mind-boggling.

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