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Teen Hall of Fame: Kimberly Chea

Kim is one of the most active students at Downey.

The newly elected ASB president spends more time at school than the teachers sometimes, arriving early in the morning for her zero-period leadership class and leaving around 5 after tennis practice. This just scratches the surface of her academic activities.

Besides maintaining a high GPA, Kim has been active in art club, been the secretary for Club Asia and volunteered at her Cambodian church, doing odd jobs like painting and helping out when needed.

She's also been in Downey's leadership class for her entire high school career, filling the position of treasurer for the past three years. She was on her school's track team her freshman year and participated in Mock Trial more recently.

"I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, and it was really fun," Kim said of Mock Trial. "And our coach, Mr. Moreno, was 'the bomb.' "

Kim also is a member of Key Club, a nationwide community service organization. "I got involved with Key Club because my mom was in it when she was my age growing up in New Orleans," she said.

Key Club organizes events and fund-raisers, like giving gifts to needy children at Christmastime. "It's a lot of fun, and the kids have great smiles on their faces that warm your heart," she said.

Kim is on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges committee, as well. Last year, she was interviewed by WASC on her school.

"I answered their questions, wanting to help Downey out as much as possible, because it's a really great school," she said.

Through leadership, Kim has been involved with several fund-raisers and committees for her school, helping fund the installation of artificial turf in Chuck Hughes Stadium.

She also has helped at other schools, including aiding at Martone Elementary's annual carnival, where she ran booths and stations. Kim also has participated in Martone's and Downey's Special Olympics.

On top of her numerous activities, Kim also makes room for one of her favorite hobbies, playing music.

"My dad plays piano, so I've been surrounded by music my whole life," she said.

She plays cello, bass, piano, flute, violin and guitar. He favorite, though, is guitar.

Her interest in music has led her to an internship at Modesto Sound, a local recording studio.

"Mainly, I just run errands and help with fliers to promote the bands," she said.

FAMILY: Parents, Sophie and Kevin Chea; younger sister, Kellie, 13

HOBBIES: Going to Save Mart early in the morning with my friends Jordan Nicholson and Grecia Chavez and singing to people while playing the accordion and ukulele

LAST BOOK I READ FOR PLEASURE: "The Republic of Plato," by Allen Bloom

BIGGEST INFLUENCE: My parents, because they came to America from Cambodia with the clothes on their back and became successful. They had great aspirations and are now living the American dream.

FAVORITE MOVIES: "Pride and Prejudice" and "The Motorcycle Diaries"




I think it's great that you want to help out other countries, but our establishment of government doesn't work for everyone.

ADVICE FOR KIDS: Every song has an ending, so let's enjoy the music.

ADVICE FOR ADULTS: Listen to your children because they're pretty smart. Help them out and encourage them to do their best.

WHERE I'LL BE IN 10 YEARS: Hopefully an A&R (artists and repertoire) rep in the music industry



To nominate a student, call 578-2310 or visit