STOCKTON — Before hundreds of Primary Years Academy students headed to class early Friday morning, they began the day with words of encouragement from a special guest who was just like them not so long ago.
Mana Shooshtari, 2017 Miss San Joaquin County’s Outstanding Teen, visited the central Stockton charter school to sing the national anthem and share her experience of working hard in school with kindergarten through fifth-graders.
“Going to school has definitely helped me … prioritize my time; make new friends and I learned how to be myself,” the 17-year-old Shooshtari said.
“I highly recommend going to school and giving it your all every single day.”
It was only a few years ago that the Stockton native had graduated from Don Riggio Elementary School and enrolled at Lincoln High School.
On Wednesday, Shooshtari will enter her senior year. At Lincoln High, she has been active in theater. According to her online biography, she has played piano since the third grade, violin since the fourth grade and has performed in 18 shows.
Shooshtari said she has gained a great deal of confidence through her participation in the performing arts.
“I’m really challenging myself this year,” she said. “I’m taking three (Advanced Placement) courses; I’m in chamber choir and last year I really set the bar, choreographing a show at Lincoln High, and so this year I’m trying to go all out.”
Shooshtari said she plans to major in political science when she enrolls in college next year. As for where she will study, she said there’s a “three-way tie” for the top schools she hopes to…
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