Last updateTue, 19 Sep 2017 5pm



Melissa J. Coombes, who grew up in Los Altos and attended Montclaire Elementary and Homestead High schools, recently graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in aeronautical engineering. Coombes received her diploma from President George W. Bush, who gave the graduation address.

Coombes suffered third-degree burns on her arms and legs in April 2000. After undergoing skin grafts, she was able to play volleyball her final year at the academy and pass the rigorous physical test for flight school because of her determined commitment to physical therapy and exercising.

Coombes' dream of becoming a pilot, begun as a young child watching the Blue Angels' air shows at Moffett Field, is now closer to reality.

Prior to heading to Pensacola in December, Coombes will take part in the 48-hour, 130-mile Ecochallenge race in Virginia which includes running, bike riding, canoeing and orienteering.

Yi-Lei Chow of Los Altos recently participated in the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar in Annapolis, Md.

During the six-day seminar, Chow attended eight academic workshops, participated in physical training and sailing program, and learned about the academy's character development program and values.

Chow was one of 1,500 high school students nationwide selected to attend the seminar out of an applicant pool of more than 5,000.

Army National Guard Private Lennin Armenta recently graduated from the light-wheel vehicle mechanic advanced individual training course at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

Armenta is the brother of Abraham and Dayana Armenta of Mountain View.

Mabel Su of Los Altos recently won third place in the North American Open Poetry Contest in Maryland, for her poem "A Mother's Love."

She was awarded a $100 cash prize plus an Outstanding Achievement Certificate.

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