Class of ’15 Grad Alicia Tran Looks Back on Four Years at Dublin High School
I feel so fortunate to be writing this article as a proud Dublin High School Class of 2015 alumni. As the oldest child of two Vietnamese immigrant parents with a limited high school experience, I had a blurry idea about what events like Homecoming were like when I entered the school in 2012. As time went on, my experience at Dublin High School became the best and most challenging four years that I had endured.
Track and Field was a memorable part of my high school experience. I came into Dublin High Track and Field with the encouragement from my Fallon Middle School Track coach, Mr. Branson. I am so glad that I followed his advice to compete in high school because this sport helped me make new friends and learn the great value of hard work and perseverance. I still remember freshman year of Track and Field which consisted of many late evening conditioning practices and countless laughs with my hurdle crew. Track helped me make friends with upperclassmen who I looked up to greatly. One of my favorite moments was when I was passed down a “Senior Will” from Noria Mitchell during my freshmen year Track Banquet. Every Track Banquet was so emotional and left me even more inspired by my teammates to work hard.
I never would I have thought that in my high school Track and Field career, I would be running with the talented 2014 CIF 100m hurdles champion Mecca McGlaston and contribute in breaking two school records. In my sophomore year, my teammates, Mecca McGlaston, Jessica Bouchard, Alexxis Kelley and I broke the DHS girls’ 4x100m relay record and qualified for the NCS Meet of Champions. I will never forget the anxiety and excitement attained by my teammates and I as we stepped on the beautiful, glistening, and gold track at UC Berkeley’s Edwards Stadium! When Junior Year came along, Track and Field was difficult as I struggled with my five AP classes. My struggles in the classroom eventually showed in my Track race performances as I was not attaining personal records and meeting my Coach’s expectations. With encouragement and some tough love from my Coaches, I was able to make it through the season and learn from my mistakes of not working hard enough.
My Senior Year of Track and Field was my favorite year as I got to know even more amazing people and had the blessing of having my younger brother, Alex as a teammate. I will always be thankful for my coaches, Coach Williams and the assistant coaches for putting in so much of their time, care and effort into building great DHS student athletes. My Senior Night and last home Track meet ended perfectly when I contributed in breaking the DHS girls 4x400m relay record with my teammates Mecca McGlaston, Jessica Bouchard, and Nicole Chen. I will forever treasure the unity and love created through DHS Track and Field.
Another highlight of my DHS experience was DHS Leadership. I applied for Leadership in my Junior Year as I did not know that Leadership was a zero period during my sophomore year. My favorite aspects of Leadership included New Student Orientation and Freshmen Orientation. It was so cool meeting unique people and making them feel welcome at Dublin High. Seeing students eventually find their niche at Dublin High School was awesome! Also, it was exciting to do the the behind the scenes work for events such as Mr. Dublin, DHS Breast Cancer Awareness Week, the DHS Homecoming Carnival, the Staff Kids Holiday Party. Helping unite the students of Dublin High was so rewarding and memorable. Who doesn’t remember last school year’s Silent Night basketball game that included the Sport Center famous buzzer beater by the DHS Varsity boys basketball team?!
I was lucky to attend a high school with so many academic opportunities and amazing staff! The caring teachers and diverse courses are definitely something that I am proud of! In my sophomore Advanced English class, I became inspired to help others after reading Kaffir Boy, an autobiography that reveals Mark Mathabane’s struggles through South Africa’s apartheid. The book opened my perspective to how powerful education is in helping those enduring injustices. Thus, I founded the DHS Room to Read Club, a non-profit that promotes worldwide literacy and gender equality regarding education in impoverished countries. In my two years as the Club’s President, I founded a community literacy mentoring program where DHS students can mentor children to help improve their literacy skills. In addition, my club and I hosted two annual Community Screenings of ‘Girl Rising’, a documentary that reveals nine girls’ perseverance through social injustice issues. During this summer, my club finished our African Library Project where we donated 1,000 books to a primary/secondary school library in Sierra Leone’s St. Augustine Secondary School. I am so thankful for the Dublin High School community for donating over 2,000 books to the club’s school book drive. I am also so grateful for my club adviser, Ms. Vallejo, Dublin teen librarian Mary Ayers, and Dublin Library manager Lee Jouthas for supporting my vision in Room to Read Club’s literacy mentoring program and ‘Girl Rising’ Community Screenings.
Another interesting experience in my Dublin High School career was being the 2014-2015 Student Representative of the City of Dublin’s Parks and Community Services Commission. It was nerve wrecking being the only teen during city meetings but the experience made me appreciate the behind the scenes work of community parks and events. In addition, the experience helped me work on my public speaking and meet inspiring adults who motivate me to work for the community one day.
Words can’t describe how thankful I am to be an alumni of Dublin High. It was by no means easy with AP classes and balancing extracurricular activities. However, it was definitely worthwhile to learn from obstacles and meet amazing people. I can’t help but smile when I look back at the fun memories from singing at my first choir concert freshmen year to dancing at Ball during my Senior Year. If I could give any advice to current or incoming DHS students, I would encourage them to use their amazing resources at DHS. Never be afraid to ask your teachers for help. In addition, reach out to your counselor when needed and explore the Career Center to enhance your career opportunities. Also, do your best to be involved in as many DHS events as you can because you will make so many amazing memories. Take a lot of pictures to reminisce on in the future! Lastly, be sure to join an enjoyable activity whether it be drama, music, athletics, or community service, because extracurricular activities can help you make new friends and positively challenge yourself.
With my precious DHS experience, I am excited to attend Boston’s Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences this fall for their Doctor of Pharmacy Program. I plan to dual degree in my second year to get a Masters of Public Health and minor in Health Psychology or Nutrition. Eventually, I hope to become a pediatric pharmacist and work for the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. I also would love to one day become a teacher and help kids just as my high school teachers do. I am inspired by DHS teachers and coaches to challenge myself and help others along the way. I wouldn’t be as ambitious as I am without my encouraging Dublin High community. Let’s Go Gaels!