Meet Alina Mahmood and Philip Smith, St. Anthony’s valedictorian and salutatorian!
Alina Mahmood and Philip Smith, St. Anthony’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, not only fit the mold of exceptionally gifted, smart and high achieving students, but they are extremely down-to-earth and shine forth a bright and content countenance. Here’s what they had to say to 908 about their choice of college and what they enjoyed most about attending St. Anthony.
Alina Mahmood, Valedictorian
JM: Alina, Congrats! Where are you going to college?
AM: Thanks! I’m going to Cal State Long Beach, studying mathematics.
JM: Nice! Go Beach! What were some of your favorite memories here at St. Anthony? Favorite class?
AM: My favorite class was calculus. As far as my favorite memories, we just had [senior] prom and it was absolutely amazing! It was so nice to spend it with friends and have a good time! I also did a lot of service while at St. Anthony. I really enjoyed being a part of the key club and help organize [charity] events like beach clean-ups. One of my favorites was this ice cream drive we did [at St. Anthony]; whoever donated money would get A LOT of ice cream in return haha.
JM: Yum! What do you want to pursue as a career?
AM: I want to go big and work for Google or Microsoft. I have some extended family members who work at both Microsoft and Google. I would like to perhaps go into analytics.
Philip Smith, Salutatorian
JM: How about you, Philip? What are your plans after high school?
PS: I’m going to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I’m going to be studying biochemistry. I have a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome — basically, my left ventricle is dead so I had four heart surgeries when I was a baby. I’m fine now, but I really like chemistry and I have the option of becoming a doctor or going into research. I really want to help other people with this condition. At Cal Poly, you get right into [studying] your major your freshman year so I can’t wait!
JM: Wow! That’s an amazing story! Has it been hard to achieve your goals with this heart condition?
PS: People always ask me, ‘What is it like going through life with your condition?’ I have less oxygen because of the heart syndrome, but I’ve never known what full oxygen is like, so it hasn’t stopped me. I am pretty lucky I get to live this full life and go out and help others now.
JM: That’s so great! What are you involved in outside of academics, and what has it been like going to St. Anthony?
PS: Besides academics, I’m really into golf and I am on the golf team here at St. Anthony. Our team has won the league the last two years and we have a good group coming up. I’ve really loved attending St. Anthony. The atmosphere here is so friendly. Everyone is comfortable with each other and very genuine.