This is the third installment of The Leader’s special summer series, “Where Are They Now?” and catches up with a trio of graduates from the Class of 2015 at Oakdale High School. See what is happening with Mustang alums Marian Pagaduan, Anna Perrone and Frankie Trent.
Though the Leo Volz scholarship is on a lot of student’s minds during their senior year of high school as they get caught up in a whirlwind of applications, it’s not the only scholarship that offers four years of generous financial aid to its recipient. Marian Pagaduan, an Oakdale High Class of 2015 alum, received the Smittcamp Family Honors College scholarship, which pays for four years of tuition and housing.
“In turn, I maintain excellent grades and participate in volunteer activities,” Pagaduan explained. “Needless to say, I am incredibly privileged to have received the Smittcamp scholarship. Since I do not have to worry about paying for tuition and housing, I have more freedom in investing my time in studying and being involved in extracurriculars.”
She went on to list her volunteering involvement, including teaching preschool children literacy skills and her role as the president of the Fresno State Food Recovery Network.
Currently, Pagaduan is spending her summer abroad in South Korea, as part of the Critical Language Scholarship Program. She described it as “an intensive language and culture study abroad program… (it) seeks to bridge the gaps between Americans and the rest of the world, through language and education.”
“I am enjoying myself right now, learning a lot about Korean culture and also about myself and how I adjust to unfamiliar situations,” she added.
After summer, Pagaduan will enter into her fourth year at CSU Fresno, majoring in Speech-Language Pathology. As for what comes after that, she has plenty of options.
A few choices she has include “joining the Peace Corps, enrolling into a speech pathology Master’s program, or coming back to South Korea to teach English for a few years.”
While she could probably keep going, she expressed: “To be honest, my main goal is simply to be content doing what I love, teaching and learning.”
Pagaduan is currently flourishing while attending university, but she admitted the “transition into college was a little rough.” The social life, class load, and necessity for initiative in order to grow was a lot for her to take in, but her advice for incoming freshmen is “to take your time … you will feel an invisible clock ticking, expecting you to have it together already, but pay no mind to it and put your best efforts in what interests you.”
Pagaduan also recounted her time spent at Oakdale High School, as part of GSA, NAHS, Interact, and Service club. She was also involved in Theater, took French and Creative Writing, and won a few speech contests. However, she noted that the most impactful activities she was involved in “were outside of school, tutoring younger students and volunteering at the Oak Valley Care Center. These experiences opened up my eyes to how much I love teaching and helping others express themselves, which guided me into Speech-Language Pathology.”
Her final piece of advice to future college students is to be motivated by individual effort, and not to get “caught up in whether you’ll attend a big university” or not.
“And never forget that you are capable of greatness, no matter how long it takes to get there,” she said.
Though this Oakdale High graduate travelled almost 1,800 miles to go to college at the University of Kansas, she’s spent her most recent semester abroad in Italy, studying the culture and language.
Anna Perrone graduated Oakdale High School as the ASB President and part of the Class of 2015. In her time spent at OHS, she reflected that she was “really involved in ASB … and in athletics.” She noted that she had played multiple sports competitively including volleyball, basketball, cross country, and track. She continued to say “I spent most of my time and energy in leadership.”
While discussing the transition between OHS and her newfound place at the University of Kansas – affectionately referred to as KU – Perrone said that she sees OHS’s impact most “through leadership within sports and the class … I wouldn’t have had the skills or maybe even the desire without Oakdale (High School).”
She’s shown her drive by being involved with the Student Alumni Association, and is looking forward to serving as the Vice President of Alumni Relations.
Perrone is currently a Journalism major, which is associated with Strategic Communications. She explained that it was a major that included marketing, advertising, and public relations. With such a broad major, she remarked she’s excited to “dive into it all.”
The KU student is also involved in her school in other ways. She served as chapter president of her sorority and was an orientation assistant in the summer of 2016.
“It gave me the opportunity to interact with every single incoming student,” she explained of the orientation position. “It’s an incredible opportunity to represent my university and be a resource.”
It’s obvious that Perrone is happy with her choice to attend the University of Kansas: “It’s been everything I was promised and so much more. So I have zero complaints.”
She sees college as “not just a four year commitment but something I could enjoy for life.”
Even abroad, Perrone has seen fellow KU students and alumni in Europe, whether it be just someone walking the streets of London with a KU sweatshirt or in local establishments with posters of the school’s mascot.
When asked how she wanted to be remembered at Oakdale High School, her answer was “a go-getter.”
“I want to be remembered as someone who really took advantage of the opportunities I was given, with the best of my ability and with passion and commitment,” Perrone noted.
She reflected that this attitude hasn’t changed throughout her college career and she hopes this will continue throughout the rest of her life.
Known for his involvement in football, some would be surprised to hear that this Oakdale High School graduate found himself a part of Benedictine College’s competitive cheer team. While it’s no shock that Frankie Trent is playing football in college, he’s been up to much more than just that post-high school.
While a student at Oakdale High School, Trent was known as a football star and wrestling champion. He also was involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a club leader. Adding these two components together – his tie to sports and faith – it makes sense that this athlete would end up at Benedictine College, a private, Catholic, liberal arts school.
However, before Trent found himself in Kansas, he attended Butte College in Chico, California for three semesters. Though he did receive offers from other schools to play football, Butte was the best option for him, where he would still be able to continue his athletic career at an affordable rate.
“I was hoping to go play football at another college after Butte,” Trent admitted, “but I was expecting to be done.”
At Butte, Trent was a math tutor, helping students fresh out of high school at 17, to students working to get their degree even in their 60s.
“At Oakdale High School, I grew up with the same base of people my entire life, but here you go to Butte and you have people from all over the country coming to try and get looked at for a sport,” Trent remarked.
He went on to explain that college broadened his horizons and introduced him to many different personalities whether that be within tutoring, classes, or sports.
After a year and a half at Butte, Trent transferred to Benedictine to continue playing football. He noted that he was fortunate enough to get offers from three different schools, “and the things that happened just really made me believe that God was pointing me to go to Benedictine.”
While at Benedictine, Trent’s main focus is football, but he also has spent his time there as an RA (Resident Assistant), spent some of his summer on a missions trip in Trinidad with Fellowship of Catholic University Students to do a faith sports camp, and as part of the competitive cheer team. He was quick to assure that he competed just for competitions as a base: “I don’t cheer on the sidelines for football or basketball games. When it’s time to compete we go to competitions and have a full routine that we do.”
Trent is currently majoring in psychology, with hopes to go to a fire academy after he finishes his degree and to become a firefighter.
The community of Oakdale largely remembers Frankie Trent as a football star, but he admitted “I actually don’t necessarily want to be remembered for playing football. I just want to be remembered as an upstanding student, just showing camaraderie, compassion, and a good attitude … I really hope that people see Jesus through me in my actions and morals.”
Next week, a look back with some Class of 2014 OHS graduates.