Hollywood Hills High School Class of 2017 valedictorian Haleema Irfan worked hard and earned a 5.1 GPA. She also received a full academic scholarship to the University of Florida, where she will study biomedical engineering. Her goal is to eventually go Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and pursue a career in neurosurgery.
Irfan’s talent doesn’t stop there. She is also the Battalion Commander of the Hollywood Hills High School Entrepreneur, Leadership and Military Academy, a magnet program that attracts high achieving students who want to develop leadership skills and take challenging classes.
“I have enjoyed being part of the Military Academy because I have been surrounded by brilliant people,” Irfan said. “I like learning and academics. I have also developed leadership skills in the Academy program. To be a good leader, first you must be a follower. I like being a leader.”
Irfan earned college credits on top of her high school work, so she will arrive at the University of Florida with enough credits to begin as a junior. Irfan loved the demanding course work of the Academy. While there is some military training and students wear uniforms to class, in reality there is more emphasis on academics and leadership development.
Amanda Tresgallos is the Salutatorian of Hollywood Hills High School. She is graduating with a 4.93 GPA and won a full scholarship to the University of South Florida where she plans to study pre-law. Her favorite academic subject is chemistry and she was operations officer for the Military Academy.
“I have enjoyed being a part of the Military Academy. As operations officer, I did a lot of administrative work like filling out forms for field trips and activities,” Tresgallos said. “I liked the leadership opportunities and the hands-on activities we did.”
Because the Military Academy is separate from the rest of the school, Tresgallos was always surrounded by high-achieving students. “I always want to do the right thing and I was around highly motivated students,” she said.
The seniors in the Military Academy prepared for college by taking demanding academic courses, developing leadership skills and are all looking forward to even greater academic challenges in a university setting.