Crescenta Valley High School, Class of 2018
University of Southern California, Class of 2022
By Ani Amirkhanian
For Joe Suh, playing football was a way to learn discipline and make life-long friends.
The Crescenta Valley High School graduate not only dedicated his four years to playing tackle football, but he also committed himself to extracurricular activities outside of the football field.
“[Football] shaped me into a person that can show leadership and come out of a comfort zone and help others to make school a better place,” Suh said.
Suh was Associated Student Body (ASB) class president his senior year at CVHS where his fundraising efforts demonstrated his leadership skills and kindness to other students. He led his team in raising funds for students at a Texas high school that was affected by the floods caused by Hurricane Harvey. ASB did a piggy bank drive where students collected money in piggy banks placed in their classrooms.
Suh also helped plan large events such as homecoming, the winter formal, and prom. His efforts included promoting the events at school assemblies and organizing them for the senior class.
“Being ASB president, I had the chance to build new relationships with families and friends that I have never met before,” Suh said. “This gave me the opportunity to go out of my comfort zone and build my confidence in speaking with others, especially talking about school. The school community shows so much respect and love for me; they motivated me every day in school to continually build CVHS in a positive way.”
Suh was also active with the Falcon Award Committee his sophomore and junior years. The committee raised money to give to seniors who were deserving of scholarship funds. Finalists would go through an interview process and the committee would vote on selecting students who needed the most aid, he said.
Amy Besoli, CVHS math teacher and Falcon Award Committee co-advisor, noticed that Suh was a disciplined and a natural-born leader when she first got to know him in her freshman Algebra II honors class.
“He stood out in his complete respect and really an effort to do his best at all times,” Besoli said. “That seems unwavering somehow. He was always at his best; he displayed his leadership and cared about doing a good job and communicating well with students.”
Last year, Suh led his peers in a demonstration to shed light on gun violence and bring attention to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. As a show of student activism, the senior class organized a march on the athletic field that garnered the attention of the media. Students walked to the school’s field and released doves in remembrance for each of the Parkland shooting victims.
“It was a good opportunity to have a great impact through student government,” Suh said. “We made posters to spread awareness, made it on the news, and showed our voice as high school students.”
The duties of student government, activism, and playing football did not deter Suh from keeping up with his studies. He took four AP classes his junior and senior years and maintained a 4.34 GPA.
“The last two years I focused on building academic strength,” he said. “It was stressful at times, but it really paid off.”
His hard work did not go unrecognized. Suh was a recipient of the Dr. Michael F. Escalante Senior Scholar Award for his leadership and commitment to CVHS.
Suh enrolled at USC this fall and is majoring in business.
“I had a tremendous amount of opportunities at Crescenta Valley High School and I am happy to know that I have made good use of these opportunities.”