Kainath Kamil Seymour Award 2020-2021 South Region Finalist

Kainath Kamil
South Region
Chapter 1399 – Mission Vista High School
Adviser Joy Straub

Kainath Kamil is a student at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside.  She has served as CSF publicist, treasurer, and currently as president of her chapter.  Among many CSF activities, Kainath has participated in the awards night, a field trip to UCI, book-sorting, and the fall fundraiser.  Besides being CSF President she holds officer positions in the Health Occupation Student Association, STEM Club, Academic Team, Students Together Assisting Refugees, and TedxYouth.  Kainath is the co-founder and president of a non-profit organization called the San Diego Youth Environmental Association which promotes environmental interest in youth.  She has worked with a mentor from UC Berkeley on a project on genetic engineering, and has also worked on a study of genes involving caffeine addiction in fruit flies.  Kainath’s volunteer work includes working at a soup kitchen and working with the SEED program in Bangalore, India.  For her numerous volunteer hours, Kainath has received the 2020 President’s Volunteer Service Award.  She is currently employed as an Addiction Dad Scientist. 

In her personal statement Kainath explains how she is the daughter of a serviceman and immigrant from India, stating, “My world was built with Indian values and Indian love.  Family comes first, next to education.”  These teachings place her on a path of self-discipline which enhances her passions and work ethic. 

Kainath’s CSF adviser, Joy Straub explains how she has worked closely with Kainath for past three years, and has observed her strong leadership ability and her innate ability to lead and serve.  Ms. Straub explains, “[Kainath] has strength in humility that leads our club to confident and active in our community.” 

Denise Seymour, the Volunteer Co-ordinator at Brother Benno’s Soup Kitchen expresses how Kainath, as a regular volunteer, “…spreads so much joy and exhibits kindness that is rare in a heart so young.” 

Kainath dreams of attending UCLA, and becoming a bio-engineer.

William Nguyen Seymour Award 2020-2021 Central Coast Region Finalist

William Nguyen
Central Coast Region
Chapter 844 – Oak Grove High School
Adviser Laurie Pizzuti

William Nguyen is a student at Oak Grove High School in San Jose where he has been active in CSF, participating in tutoring, and the Get Online and Grow service project in which high school students prepare online literacy workshops to help business owners launch their businesses online during the pandemic.  William is also involved in Interact, a Rotary-sponsored service club.  As Area 8 Director, he is the liaison between the Rotary and students, as well as being involved in student government as ASB Finances.  He does library tutoring in the Homework Club at the  Edenvale Branch Library.  William is a varsity badminton player, and on the varsity swim team.  William has received 1st place in the Spark Founding Scholar Award, the Gary Robinson Award, and the Scholar Athlete Award. 

Oak Grove High School CSF adviser, Laurie Pizzuti, begins her letter of recommendation with “Scholarship, Character, Leadership, Service: The foundational qualities of this award are rarely demonstrated by one individual whole heartedly.”  She goes on to say that William can demonstrate all of these qualities with such sincerity, “The ability to see a need and attempt to fill it runs deep in William;  from his strong stance against bullying to his involvement and creation of school clubs on campus.  His ultimate desire to seek an education that will allow him to fulfill his desire to help the environment only further demonstrates William’s selflessness and desire to be of service.” 

Interact Advisor Jimmy Nguyen explains, “As an advocate for service, William has inspired many of his peers through his charismatic personality, contagious energy, and drive to improve himself and the community.  His eagerness to improve the community around him is contagious.” 

In his personal statement, William explains how he learned from his childhood challenges “…how to view life with a happy heart and a smile on my face…the values of seeking opportunity through my initiative and helping me find my lifelong dedication to service..[how to] speak eloquently, network with incredible people, and lead my fellow peers with respect.” 

William hopes to attend UCLA, and major in Computer Science and Engineering, then go on to get his MBA.

Lauren Pettijohn Seymour Award 2020-2021 Central Coast Region Finalist

Lauren Pettijohn
Central Coast Region
Chapter 714 – Terra Linda High School
Adviser Susan Gatlin

Lauren Pettijohn is a student at Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, where she is a part of the Marin School for Environmental Leadership.  As a part of MSEL she has worked on two semester-long Leadership and Environmental Action Development Projects, one on native plants, and the other project on microbeads/micro plastics in wastewater and personal care products.  She has participated in two year-long LEAD projects on food waste/healthy foods in school cafeterias, producing and selling reusable and environmentally-friends beeswax food wraps as plastic alternatives. 

Lauren is a member of the Math Club, the Film Club, Dungeons and Dragons Club, and the National Spanish Honor Society.  She is a Girl Scout, a certified SCUBA PADI open water diver, a singer, a pianist, and a photographer.  As a Climate Reality Project Leader, Lauren was trained by former Vice-President Al Gore.  She has volunteered her time at the Singers of Marin Musical Singing Camp, the Marin County Fair, the Marin School for Environmental Leadership, and has been an intern for the ICF Fish and Aquatics Sciences lab.  Lauren is a small business owner, with an Etsy shop, designing, marketing, and selling enamel pins.  She has worked as a camp counselor and as a senior citizen personal assistant. 

Lauren’s CSF adviser, Susan Gatlin, describes her as “…a student that will set her mind on a goal, and meet that goal with unwavering dedication and enthusiasm.  Over and over again, Lauren has sought out brilliant experiences which allow her to have experiences which are far beyond the norm for the average high school student.  She is relentless in her love of the environment and sees herself as one of our planet’s guardians and contributors to its protection.” 

Girl Scout representative, Michelle Lehman, describes Lauren as having “…strong leadership skills, compassion, caring, creativity, ambition, dedication, a commitment to the community and the interest to continue to grow and learn more.” 

Lauren begins her personal statement by saying, “Throughout my high school career, I crafted an academic “road map” to achieve success, ensuring that I held myself to my own high expectations of achievement.”  To that end, Lauren goes on to describe how she enrolled in rigorous courses, and made volunteering a part of her academic success.  She sees, in the next part of her journey, undergraduate and graduate degrees in Marine Biology, including a “…commitment to volunteer in new ways”. 

Lauren hopes to attend either UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, or the University of Oregon.

Fiona Sweet Seymour Award 2020-2021 North Region Finalist

Fiona Sweet
North Region
Chapter 595 – Montgomery High School
Adviser Susan Farkas

Fiona Sweet is a senior at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, California where she is the President of her CSF Chapter.  When she is not blogging about life in quarantine (“Quaranteens: Teens’ Perspectives on the COVID-19 Crisis”), or writing in her high school’s newspaper, she can be found playing Volleyball, Badminton, or running Cross Country.  Active on campus, she participates in many activities including working as a Link Crew Leader, School Musical, Montgomery Mock Trial Club, Writing Club, Junior States of America, Mandarin Club, Mathleagues, Global Student Club, and Singing in the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir and she even got to sing at Carnegie Hall. 

Her CSF Adviser, Susan Farkas, comments that “Though she is aware of her own intelligence, as demonstrated by her willingness to challenge herself with International Baccalaureate courses and extracurricular activities, she has an air of modesty about her that makes her approachable, and she is well-liked among her classmates.” 

Fiona mentions that she enjoyed this past summer and fall when she worked on President Biden and the  DNC’s 2020 Victory Texting Campaign as a Texter and Text Moderator. 

Andrew Johnston talks about Fiona’s blogging experience, “She has started her own blog and writes frequently on  politics and other subjects of interest to her. Not content with merely broadcasting her own  opinions, Fiona has recruited other young people to write of their own experiences on her blog.” 

In the fall, Fiona plans to attend UCLA and major in Global Studies and International Relations.

Jayla Taylor Seymour Award 2020-2021 North Region Finalist

Jayla Taylor
North Region
Chapter 1197 – Sheldon High School
Adviser Nichole Cecil

Jayla Taylor attends Sheldon High School in Sacramento, California where she is the President of her CSF chapter.

“I knew Jayla had to be the President while doing the interviews for CSF because she has shown loyalty and dedication in CSF by being a member for three years and her passion for wanting to bring more community and opportunities for our members to be involved” states Nichole Cecil the CSF Adviser at Sheldon High, “When we decided to run workshops for our members on various topics like job skills and writing college essays, Jayla elected people who would run the workshops and delegate tasks to make the workshops work.” And you can see this leadership quality in the many activities that she participates in, such as  the Biotechnology Academy, Black Student Union, THEATREworks Costumes Crew, Toy Making for Dog Shelters, and the Academic Decathlon. 

Rochelle Ariola, the UC Davis SMASH Site Director, discusses Jayla’s time in the program, “In this past summer, scholars researched problems that have arisen because of COVID-19. Her team’s AR-integrated app explored new ways to virtually connect students and teachers for a more personal and interactive distance-learning experience.”  You can see that a career in the Medical field is where she plans to go. 

In the fall, Jayla plans to attend either UC Berkeley or Stanford University, where she will continue studies in Molecular and Cellular Biology or in the Biological Sciences, but also plans to work in Ethnic Studies and African American Studies.

Jessica Shiflett Seymour Award 2020-2021 South Central Region Finalist

Jessica Shiflett
South Central Region
Chapter 542 – Adolfo Camarillo High School in Camarillo
Adviser Colleen Colborn

Jessica Chayani Shiflett proudly attends Adolfo Camarillo High School in Camarillo California where she is the president of her CSF Chapter. Along with being a Girl Scouts Gold Award Recipient, spends a lot of time  working with a variety of clubs on campus including the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Interact Club, National Honor Society, a Student Representative for WASC, and  BATA Design (a student-run T-shirt business).

Karen Fraser, her Girl Scout Leader states that “Her boundless energy and ability to seamlessly transition between multiple projects truly astounds me.  Jessica balances rigorous academics, leadership in numerous school organizations, and additional educational courses with Scouts, sports, community service, and is active in her faith and cultural community.”  Jessica is very proud of her Thai heritage and is an active Thai dancer and both teaches and performs Thai dance. 

“Many things have changed since Covid has made teaching 100% virtual for our district this past year” says Colleen Colborn her CSF Adviser, “Jessica has continued to do service virtually and has continued to coordinate the CSF business of running our club rush session virtually for the first time this past year.”

Jessica is still waiting to hear back from several colleges but hopes to attend UC Berkeley next fall.