Jennika Robato, Salutatorian, Class of 2021

Through hard work, commitment and productive study habits, Class of 2021 Salutatorian, Jennika Robato, flourished through St. John’s rigorous academics. The strong foundation she has built throughout her St. John’s stay has primed her for academic success in college and beyond.

Jennika Robato, Salutatorian, Class of 2021

What colleges were you accepted into?

University of Rochester and University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Which college will you choose and why?

University of Rochester. It is very strong in the sciences, and it is a top-tier research university with friendly staff and students.  Their open curriculum (students get to create their own curriculum; there is only one “Gen Ed” class required for students to graduate) is very attractive, too, as I can tailor my education to my interests.

What is your planned college major? minor?

I plan on majoring in either Chemistry. I want to minor in Computer Science or Business.

Why do you wish to pursue this major or career? How does this align with what you would like to achieve in your life after college?

I want to become a pharmaceutical scientist after college, so I believe that majoring in chemistry would be the most useful for me in the future.

What about college life are you most excited for?

I am very excited to meet new people and create connections that can help me in the future. I am also very excited to participate in research activities.

What advice would you give to a high school student starting college applications?

I hope you’re starting early. Make sure to give yourself enough time to create a rough draft and revise until it’s perfect.  Also, make sure you know which colleges you want to apply to.  It’s totally fine to be unsure, but please make sure you decide with enough time left to prepare so you don’t stress yourself out.

What advice would you give to a new St. John’s freshman?

Explore your interests! Don’t be afraid to try something new and find out more about yourself, what you like, and more.  Balance your classes so that you can do your best without much stress.  Your priority is to learn.  You can’t learn effectively if you have too many things on your plate that stress you out.  However, don’t choose too many easy classes because you also need to challenge yourself.

What will your lasting memories of St. John’s be?

  • Definitely the 10ᵗʰ grade Lock-In. I got to spend time with my classmates and friends, and we stayed up all night playing games, which was very fun.
  • Talking with my friends and taking small naps in between classes.
  • Planning class events with the other class officers and participating in those events with my classmates.

How well has St. John’s prepared you for a successful college future? 

I would say that St. John’s prepared me pretty well.  I was able to improve my communication skills with my teachers and classmates.  St. John’s had rigorous classes and a competitive nature that helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses when it came to learning.  Because of this, I know what to look out for when I go to college and what I can do to deal with it.

Who has been the most influential person in your time at St. John’s School?

There was definitely more than one person who influenced me the most at St. John’s. So many people have already taught me so much and inspired me to keep doing the best I can, from teachers like Mrs. Chua and Ms. Chu to my classmates and friends like Michelle Sule and Kelly Sauget.

What clubs/activities/organizations were you involved with on/off campus?

I was involved with the Model United Nations Club, NHS, Red Cross Club, and Environmental Club.

How were you able to balance your extracurricular activities and academic life so well?

I make sure to sort out my priorities before making a commitment so that I don’t stress myself out too much. I write down everything I need to do when it is assigned so that I do not forget.  I also make to-do lists every day so I can accomplish something without going overboard and burning out.  I try to do tasks as soon as they’re assigned.

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