Editor’s note: This is the seventh of eight Almond Blossom queen candidate profiles.
Kaydee Cruz-Sampson hopes to secure a veterinary degree.
Kaydee, 17, is one of eight Ripon girls competing for the Almond Blossom crown for the upcoming festival Feb. 26-28 and filling the shoes of Miss Ripon for the remainder of the year.
She said that Ripon is an essential part of who she has grown to become today.
“This is where I was raised and where I met my first best friend at Colony Oak Elementary School, where I learned to swim at the Ripon High pool and where I fell in love with ‘snow’ on the almond blossom trees as February kept rolling in year after year.”
Kaydee said her compassion for others and for life came from her mother. She added that in her growing years, her mother was “always the kindest and most caring person” not only to her but also to her friends, neighbors and complete strangers.
“My mother is my biggest role model and I hope I have adopted a compassionate personality through her. Overall I have a strong personality because I am aware of my intelligence, my willingness and a high spirited adoration of life despite obstacles. Strength isn’t always unwavering or unfaltering; it’s also the capability to rise again when you feel defeated,” she said.
Kaydee is in the process of applying to several state colleges and universities including the University of California and private schools within the state. “I’ve also decided to apply to Washington State University, Oregon State University and the University of Nevada.
Her intended major for her bachelor in science degree is Biological Science, but at some schools she has selected Neuroscience as her first choice for a major with an ultimate career as becoming a veterinarian. “It has been a dream since childhood. I have always known that I wanted help and treat the world in some way and I believe I could best contribute to caring for animals. It is a high pressure career path with several years of schooling, but I am fascinated by it and determined.”
She attended Central Catholic High School in her freshman year before transferring to Ripon High School in her sophomore year. As a freshman she was involved with the Interact Club, Key Club, Art Club, Speech/Debate Club and the Social Justice Club.
At Ripon High she has been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Girls League, California Scholarship Federation (CSF), Renaissance Club, Outdoors Club and Link Crew. During her junior year she became a member of Peer Assistance, In her senior year she holds the office of Senior Class Treasurer along with treasurer of ASB Leadership, co-director of marketing in the Clean Campus Club and co-vice president of the Financial Foundations Club. She also participated in cheerleading both at Central and at Ripon High.
For many years she has been involved in soccer from recreational games to a competitive level and on to traveling teams and on the high school.