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Haniyeh Semsarilar: Miss Lathrop & budding artist
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Lathrop High School junior Megan Cai will be contributing stories from time to time to the Bulletin about people and events in the community.

LATHROP – Haniyeh Semsarilar is a standout in the Lathrop community and at Lathrop High School in more ways than one.

As Miss Lathrop of 2009, Semsarilar has been very active in this city by the San Joaquin River. She is currently the president of YAC, the city’s Youth Advisory Commission, and was the force behind the launching of the Lathrop Teen Art Show which makes its third annual run in June of this year.

On the campus of the Spartans, the 18-year-old aspiring artist who is graduating in June is the Class of 2011’s ASB secretary, a position that she has held since the school opened.

Born in Persia, she came to the United States when she was six years old and speaks three languages: Farsi (a Persian dialect), Turkish, and English.

After graduation, Semsarilar hopes to study animation in college and then open up her own studio. Preparatory to her career plans, she has already made strides toward achieving that goal. She has made logos for various organizations in Lathrop such as the Youth Advisory Commission. She is also set to create the logo for the new Lathrop Library Complex that is expected to break ground sometime this year at Seventh Street next to the Lathrop Skate Park in the Old Town District.

With her artwork, she hopes to open people’s eyes to the day-to-day issues they often ignore, such as caring for elders, and to think “outside the box and see things from a different perspective.”

When she is not busy with school work, Semsarilar is pursuing her extracurricular interests that include belly dancing and tae kwon do. She has been belly dancing since elementary school and has earned a black belt in tae kwon do.

Her favorite band is Coldplay, and when she is not honing her artistic skills, she enjoys going on Twitter.

Her favorite quote by French poet, journalist and novelist Anatole France serves as her inspiration and guide in pursuing her goals in life: “In order to accomplish great things, one must not only dream, but also act; not only plan, but also believe.”