It is not enough for Ilona to shine academically herself, though shine she does. Her selfless and innovative spirit drove her to start a program at her high school designed to help students get back on track for graduation through peer tutoring and mentorship. Her care for and commitment to others extends beyond her school’s walls, as evidenced by the over one thousand hours she has spent mentoring and advocating for young children at the Boys and Girls Club. From serving as a hospital intern to participating in Girls State, she is a role model and a source of inspiration for young girls aspiring to pursue their dreams. The obstacles she has faced as she immigrated from Ukraine seem to have left her not worn or wearied, but galvanized and energized to embrace every opportunity to improve herself and the lives of those around her. It is with this grace and grit that she will enter UC San Diego, where her hard work and talent will surely allow her to soar.