Lejla Pepic is going to Stanford University.
For the Manteca High senior, this, no doubt, is a dream come true.
“It’s really unbelievable,” said Pepic, who is the daughter of Sanela and EJ Pepic.
If her last name sounds familiar, her two brothers, Marhir and Edvin, were also top-achieving students at MHS.
Marhir Pepic was valedictorian for the Class of 20015 while Edvin Pepic was salutatorian for the Class of 2016.
Both are currently at UCLA.
Lejla did consider becoming a Bruin. But in December, she was accepted – via early action – to Stanford.
The great news may have come as a surprise for Lejla but not so for her brothers.
“Mahir and Edvin had both said that Lejla will be the one in the family to go to Stanford,” recalled Pepic’s counselor at MHS Martha Dias, who was also the counselor for both siblings.
Lejla Pepic is the first person from the school to be accepted to the prestigious university since Adam Knepp in 2000, Dias recalled.
Besides academics, Lejla Pepic has proven to be an all-around athlete. She ran cross country and played basketball, soccer and tennis for the Buffaloes in recent years.
She opted to step back from athletics this year to focus on her work as the Give Every Child a Chance site coordinator at Walter Woodward Elementary School.
Prior to that, Pepic was a volunteer tutor for GECAC since she was in fifth grade.
“She wanted to work to help her parents out,” said Dias, noting that they’re already supporting her and her brothers. “This says a lot about her, as a person.”
Pepic was also involved in the MHS Academic Decathlon squad. During this past weekend’s district-wide event at Lathrop, she did an essay on World War II as her contribution to the team.
Dias, meanwhile, noted that Pepic should be getting word on scholarships to help her way through Stanford. “They’ll come trickling in,” she said.
With college right around the corner, Pepic is planning to study Neuroscience, with dreams of becoming a neurologist.
“It’s been a lot of hard work (towards getting accepted to Stanford. But I couldn’t have done it without the support of friends and family” she said.
Pepic, in addition, acknowledge the teachers and staff at MHS.
“We’re all proud of Lejla,” Principal Frank Gonzales said.