Meet Monique Ocanas, Rich East Stellar Student

Monique Ocanas
Rich East Stellar Student Monique Ocanas. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)- Meet Rich East High School Stellar Student Monique Ocanas, a lifelong resident of Park Forest currently in her fourth year at Rich East. Ms. Ocanas has participated in Speech, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Yearbook.

She currently ranks 5th in the Rich East class of 2013.

Ms. Ocanas plans to attend either DePaul or UIC (University of Illinois-Chicago) in the fall. While currently undecided on a major, she says she is "leaning toward psychology or sociology, with a minor in art."

Meet Monique Ocanas:

Are you a Park Forest Resident? How long? Yes, for my whole life.

At Rich East all four years? Yes. I have been at Rich East all four years.

What do you like most about Rich East? I like the fact that Rich East is a school that has a lot to show for. We each have a tale that we have to tell, and when these storytellers are brought together, our essence is undeniable as we believe, achieve, and succeed.

Activities/Athletics/Clubs participated in?  Special awards? I have participated in Speech, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Yearbook.

GPA/Class Rank. My Grade Point Average is 3.865. My Class rank: 5th out of 213.

Favorite classes and why.  My favorite classes are: HTWM (History and Thought of Western Man), AP American Studies (English and History), AP Literature, AP Psychology and Sociology. Just being exposed to a wide-range of the arts, and thinking over these past years has deepened my appreciation and diversified my palate, leading me to explore and satisfy my curiosity for the classics that has shaped our culture and understanding of the world around us. They have left me asking questions, keeping those gears turning and consistently learning from others.

Favorite teachers and why.  My favorite teachers are:  Mr. (Robert) Grigsby, Ms. (Marisa) Ptak, Mrs. (Stephanie) Tijerina, Mrs. (Amy) Bloodgood, and Ms. (Julisa) Viramontes. These great people come to mind, point blank, because they care. They care about what they teach, and most importantly, they care about their students, who see the respectable impact they bring into the classroom as well as their high school lives.

ACT: I received a 25 on the ACT.

AP Exams/Scores: AP Language and Composition 4, I will also be taking AP Literature, AP Psychology, and AP Art.

Areas met or exceeded on PSAE (Prairie State Achievement Exam): I met and exceeded in English, Reading, Math and Science.   

College choice? Major? I am currently tied with DePaul and UIC (University of Illinois-Chicago). I am currently undecided on a major, but leaning toward psychology or sociology, with a minor in art.

What are you listening to on your iPod these days? From Bach to rock, and everything inbetween. .I’m an oldies girl so there’s always a place for Carole King and The Doors. But, lately it’s been Jimi Hendrix and a lot of psychedelic 60s stuff.  

What is the last book you have read? The last book I read was: "This Boy’s Life," by Tobias Wolff.

Favorite TV Shows? My favorite TV shows are: “The Office,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “American Pickers,” “Forensic Files,” and “Full House.”

Coffee or Tea, hot or cold? Love Coffee, but I have to give this one to hot green tea with a hint of mint, honey, and a lemon wedge. The Tazo Chai Greet Tea Latte at Starbucks scores big in my book as well.

Junk Foods? Pizza, Mickey D’s, Taco Bell? Other? Anyone who know me knows that cheese is an essential commodity in my fridge. Additional foods: pickled herring with crackers, seafood, horchata.

Places that you’d most like to visit? Road trip with a group of friends to Colorado and California. Also someday, embark on a cultural experience in South Korea with my mom—that would be the ideal trip!

Clubs, hobbies? I play guitar, make art, collect vinyl records, enjoy cooking for family, and bargain hunting with my dad at yard sales and flea markets. I also love having a good laugh and an enlightening conversation.

Where do you want to be in five years? In ten years?I want to look back five or 10 years from now and see an improvement of myself. I really believe in legacies and the power of the individual, so through my hard work and whatever imprint I leave in the sand, so to speak. I will find my own calling, feeling that this is where I want to be, and that I have helped or inspired someone to do the same.

eNews Park Forest continues with our series of stellar students from Rich East High School. Mr. Kevin Kredens, the school’s publicity liaison, provides each student a series of the same questions. All responses are in the student’s exact words, except for minor editing for content and space when needed.