Student wins national essay contest

Ishana Wokhlu” width=
Courtesy of Donna Santistevan
Ishana Wokhlu reads her award-winning essay to more than 3,000 people in Washington, D.C., earlier this summer.

After reading her award-winning essay in front of 3,000 people early this summer in Washington, D.C., Ishana Wokhlu said she has “grown more confident.”

“I am still in shock. I feel very honored to have received such a prestigious award from this wonderful organization,” Ishana said. “I was a little nervous to read my essay in front of such a large group of people, but everyone there was so kind and supportive.”

SFHS grads receive SCU's Humanitarian Award for designing bike-powered purification system

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Jonathan Keyes/Special to the Town Crier
A local resident in Patzun, Guatemala, tests out the Pedal 4 Purification, a device designed by a team including former St. Francis High graduates.

Since he was young, St. Francis High School graduate Matt LoGrasso said he enjoyed math and science, and decided he wanted to pursue a career in engineering.

His friend Jonathan Keyes, another St. Francis alumnus, said he wasn’t always so sure of his career path and was initially interested in other fields of study. However, after attending an engineering fair, Keyes said he was convinced that pursuing engineering would give him the tools he needed “to help make a change in this world.”

MVLA Scholars guides student on path to law enforcement career


Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Nisha Sharma tickets a car in downtown Los Altos. The 2014 Los Altos High School graduate works for both the Mountain View and Los Altos police departments doing parking enforcement. She credits much of her current success to the mentorship she received from MVLA Scholars during high school and college.

Nisha Sharma works at both the Mountain View and Los Altos police departments doing parking enforcement and plans to apply to be a full-fledged police officer in the next few years. She credits much of her success today to the support she received from MVLA Scholars.

“If MVLA Scholars wouldn’t have been there, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Sharma said.

Inaugural museum program trains teen docents

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Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Roshni Sudhakar, right, gives a demo tour of the Los Altos History Museum’s apricot-cutting shed. This summer the museum launched a Teen Docent Program, which taught local high school students how to conduct tours of the museum.

Roshni Sudhakar has been fascinated with the past since she had a particularly passionate middle school history teacher, so when she heard about an opportunity to serve as a teenage docent at the Los Altos History Museum, she jumped at the chance.

“I thought, a history museum – that’s perfect for me,” Sudhakar said. “I want to learn history and I want to … share my knowledge and inspire others to learn more about history.”

Potting plants for the planet: Students run booth at Arts & Wine Festival


Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Student environmental advocates Mallory Weisfeld, left, and Anika Sikka plant basil seeds at their booth at the Arts & Wine Festival.

The annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival brings hundreds of artists, food vendors and musicians from throughout the region to downtown Los Altos. This year, however, a group of local middle school students managed to get their own booth at the July 13-14 event.

Bullis Charter School’s #Decarbonize – Decolonize club, which aims to bring awareness to the fight against climate change, manned a booth in the Kidzone this year, where club members showed kids how to plant basil and sunflower seeds.

String art event combines math and creativity


Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Sophia Yurchenko creates a “string art” piece at Grant Park Thursday as part of a Los Altos Public Arts Commission activity.

Art and math are often viewed as two separate domains, with little overlap. However, a Los Altos Public Arts Commission event last week aimed to disprove that stereotype.

The commission organized a “string art” activity before last Thursday’s summer concert at Grant Park. Local high school volunteers showed younger kids how to create art by connecting wooden stakes in a circle with multicolored yarn and electrical tape.


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