This year Principal Joe Bova has decided that the female Ventura Unified Student of the Year Award should go to senior Fidelity Ballmer.
Once a year, the Ventura Chamber of Commerce honors two students from Ventura Unified School District as Student of the Year. “The award kind of rotates between the schools in the district every several years, so Foothill every two or three years gets the chance to nominate a student,” Principal Joe Bova said.
The main criteria for the award is student’s “academic standing, their GPA, and besides that, what kind of overall contributions has the person made to this school,” Principal Bova stated. “So obviously Fidelity has been involved in a lot of things on campus, she is the Editor-In-Chief at the Dragon Press and also our number one ranked student academically.”
Not only does Ballmer maintain a GPA of 4.6 with four Advanced Placement courses, she also holds multiple positions in her extracurricular activities such as:
- co-President of the Speech and Debate Team
- Editor-In-Chief at the Foothill Dragon Press
- President of Girl Up club
- Volunteer at Camp Whittier
- Tutor at Foothill for the past three years
“I do really care about all the things I’m a part of and I’ve been going back and thinking, well what would I do differently to make myself less stressed out in high school and I can’t have imagined not doing anything I’m doing [now],” Ballmer said.
“I ask for a lot of help, a lot of the time from people, so I get a lot of support from teachers,” Ballmer said, in response to managing her work ethic.
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“I have to be mindful that I can’t take on too much. I have to prioritize, this year especially, like I’m going to be in bed by 10 p.m., I’m going to drink enough water, I’m going to eat lunch everyday,” Ballmer said.
“I’m going to wake up and be mentally sound because it’s taken me a long time to realize my personal health and mental stability is more important than the grades that end up on my transcript at the end of this semester.”
Multiple awards are given out by the Chamber of Commerce such as Citizen of the Year, Policeman of the Year, and Firefighter of the Year.
The awards ceremony was held December 10th, at the Marriott Ventura Beach Hotel. Ballmer and many other award winners spoke at the ceremony, presenting their own speeches.
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Girl Up Advisor and teacher Claire Adams believes Ballmer deserves this award because “not only is she incredibly hardworking and driven to achieve her goals, she has a love of learning and a love of contributing to the betterment of her community. She is passionate about getting involved in her community, she stands up for what she believes in and she is a credit to the school.”
Over the past four years Ballmer has accumulated around 500 hours of community service, whether it be helping girls in developing countries, or tutoring students closer to home.
For letters of recommendation, the common app asks for a rating of the student’s performance, Adams continued “There’s always a category that says this student is in the top 5 percent I ever taught, and Fidelity is that student.”
In September of 2016 Ballmer will to be attending Brown University and hopes to pursue a degree in either political science or international relations.
Editor’s Note: Fidelity Ballmer is Editor-In-Chief for the Dragon Press and was not involved in editing or writing this article.