Rialto High School (RHS) senior and soon to be valedictorian, Kenny Hua, has been accepted to Stanford University.
Hua, whose current weighted grade point average sits at a strong 4.71, will be studying environmental science and humanities this fall.
“It’s likely that I became interested in the environment when I was just a child. My family has a big back yard filled with fruit trees, flowers, and cacti and I have been gardening with my mother and grandma since I was a baby, which could possibly be where my interest began,” said Hua.
In the meantime, between gardening and being ranked number one out of about 670 seniors at RHS, Hua managed to excel in advanced placement courses all four years of high school.
“Throughout high school I chose the most challenging course set that I could take, because I always liked to challenge myself and get as much out of my education as I possibly can. Most students begin taking AP courses in their sophomore year, I began when I was a freshman,” continued Hua.
Aside from academics, he has also found much success in the RHS Mock Trial team (where he also served as captain), Rialto High’s Academic Decathlon, and part of the morning announcements crew.
“Since freshman year I was a part of mock trial team (an after-school activity) and the academic decathlon. Mock Trial is a program where students receive a case law, including present cases, witness statements, and the charges a defendant is being faced with. For three months or so, students learn case law and then we compete with other area high schools,” Hua said.
“My freshman year our mock trial team focused on human trafficking, sophomore year we focused on murder, junior year was criminal threats, and murder was the focus senior year,” continued Hua.
As part of the Mock Trial team, Hua participated as a prosecution attorney his junior year and as captain senior year, competing as the head counselor for prosecution, defense pretrial attorney and the defendant; and even placed top 10 in the county.
“All of my academic success has been a big relief. Being Valedictorian at Rialto High School was not a goal of mine as an incoming freshman. But eventually it became a goal of mine once I’d seen that I was ranked number one out of over 670 students and many of my other schoolmates were trying to beat me,” said Hua.
Aside from scoring a 34/36 on the ACT and being a Jack Kent Cook semi-finalist, Hua desires to obtain his undergrad degree from Stanford and then attend Yale University for Law School.
“I plan to pursue a career as an environmental attorney working for an environmental interest group. I am also considering becoming a policy advisor focusing on environmental justice. After a career in law, I would like to become a professor of environmental law,” Hua said.
Hua is passionate about the environment, especially because the environment is directly linked to numerous social justice issues.
“People do not understand that environmental issues amplify social justice issues. I notice many students in my classes have asthma, including myself, and the reason is because the area we live in; it has to do with us being in a lower income community. There are more factories and distribution warehouses, train-tracks that run through Colton…when you’re breathing in toxic air, it has the potential to cause respiratory issues. Lower income communities are always hit the hardest,” Hua continued.
While looking toward the future, Hua credits many of his high school teachers at Rialto High as inspiring and influential along the way, including Ms. Mariani, Ms. Valero, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Ansermet, and Ms. Casarrubias.
“I am really fortunate to have a supportive network of family and even extended family that has assisted me throughout my high school journey. I am thankful for my parents, my grandma, and especially my older sister who assisted me throughout the entire college admission process,” concluded Hua. As of May 12, Rialto High School has not released its plans regarding high school commencement while in the midst of COVID-19.