The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Class of 2024: Featured Post-Grad Plans

Oscar Melchor, a varsity soccer player who is going to play professional soccer in Portugal. (Courtesy Oscar Melchor)

Oscar Melchor

After eight years of playing soccer, senior Oscar Melchor will continue his career beyond the collegiate setting: he will make his professional debut at Clube de Futebol Os Belenenses based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Before committing, he played varsity soccer for Los Altos and other out-of-school clubs such as Silicon Valley F.C. and Oakland Roots F.C. To help hone his skills, he trained with Stirling Albion F.C. in Scotland, where he learned what it was like to play professionally.

“Since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamed of playing professionally in Europe,” Oscar said. “When I got the opportunity, I knew I had to take it.”

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Through playing in Scotland, he was able to get in contact with Belenenses and try out for the team. Eventually he was invited to join their roster. Coming straight from high school, Oscar admits that leav ing home for Portugal will be hard.

“I definitely feel like it’s going to be a massive culture shock,” Oscar said. “It’s going to be challenging to leave my friends and family.”

Despite the setbacks, Oscar believes the transition to the professional league out of high school will give him an early advantage.

“I think playing in an environment where there’s so many big-name clubs definitely motivates me,” Oscar said. “I want to elevate my career and hopefully play on the biggest stages in the world someday.”

Jasleen Sidhu, a varsity cross country and track runner who is going to run at the United States Air Force Academy. (Courtesy Jasleen Sidhu)

Jasleen Sidhu

Senior Jasleen Sidhu has dreamed of working for the government since a very young age. Now, Jasleen has achieved that dream with her commitment to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She will be studying Operations Research and running cross-country and track.

 “I knew through going to a service academy, it could help with my goal to work for the FBI,” Jasleen said. “It just seemed like the right way to get my dream job.” 

Instead of applying the traditional route, Jasleen chose to commit in a way she would’ve never expected: cross country and track. Picking up the sport in freshman year, Jasleen quickly became a great runner, breaking school records and competing nationally for Los Altos.

Jasleen was eventually scouted through running by Air Force, one of her dream schools that also fit her goal of running track at a Division 1 level.

“I fell in love with running and I knew I wanted to do it at the next level,” Jasleen said. “I got a great opportunity to both run at a high level and go to a dream school of mine.” 

For Jasleen, the choice between running and service is a difficult one, but she hopes to make the best out of both.

“I know I can’t run forever,” Jasleen said. “To have an amazing running career as well as a career in the government — to succeed in both ways — that’s the goal.”

Omer Suker, a varsity basketball player who is going to play at IMG Academy. (Courtesy Omer Suker)

Omer Sukur

After playing varsity basketball for Los Altos, senior Omer Sukur will continue his basketball career at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Rather than directly committing to a collegiate team, Omer opted for a prep year to further raise his playing level before entering the college recruitment process.

“I wanted to take an extra prep year to improve my skills and hopefully get a scholarship from a really good college team, like Kentucky or UNC,” Omer said.

This led him to IMG, which offers postgraduate years to develop college talent such as Omer.

“Through a family friend who played at IMG, we were able to connect with them,” Omer said. “They have over 20 NBA scouts and 80 college scouts who come to watch the games, and around 30 NBA players have attended the school.” 

Beyond its impact in producing NBA talent, IMG is also notable for its emphasis on health, a big factor that led to Omer’s decision.

“Nutrition and an athlete’s mental health are a big part of the school,” Omer said. “Not only do they focus on sports, but also on an athlete’s well-being.”

Through his development at IMG, Omer hopes that it can help lead him to a future in basketball. 

“From what I get from IMG, I’m hoping I can go to a good college and then make it to the NBA or play overseas,” Omer said

Zehen Vivekanandan, who is going to study at West Point Military Academy. (Courtesy Zehen Vivekanandan)

Zehen Vivekanandan

Senior Zehen Vivekanandan hopes to pursue a career in the military, and he is one step closer to that goal as he heads to West Point Military Academy in New York next fall.

“I wanted to go somewhere where I could make a difference,” Zehen said. “Through going somewhere where I will be working in the military, I think that’s the best way to do so.”

At West Point, students are obliged to serve in the military for five years. Throughout that service, Zehen hopes the experience can help further his interest in working in military intelligence.

“Coming to West Point, I knew that a big part of it was military service,” Zehen said. “There’s an option to go into politics, but I’ve really wanted to go into military intelligence for my future.”

In particular, Zehen wants to work in Japan and go into counterintelligence for potential East Asian conflicts.

“I’m just thinking about it. I’m still learning a lot about the military,” Zehen said. “If I decide to fully commit to military intelligence, counterintelligence in Japan sounds really interesting to me.”

While mandatory service may be difficult, Zehen hopes to use the experience to gain the people skills necessary to help with his future in military intelligence.

“When you’re in the military, you definitely have to gain some idea on how to be a leader,” Zehen said. “It’s also going to help me learn how to work with a lot of people.”

Keyon Raissinia, who is taking a gap year abroad in London, England and Seville, Spain. (Courtesy Keyon Raissinia)

Keyon Raissinia

Unlike many of his classmates, senior Keyon Raissinia has chosen to venture outside of the country to study abroad in Lon-
don, England and Seville, Spain next year. Keyon, who will be attending Loyola Marymount University and majoring in business, was interested in the program due to his love of traveling.

“When I first heard about this program, I knew I liked to travel, so it was a perfect fit,” Keyon said.

The study-abroad program, Verto Education, helps first-year students study abroad. What stood out about Verto, in particular, was the freedom given to its students: Keyon will be able to experience both traditional college education as well as the fun that comes with traveling abroad.

“I’ll wake up in my dorm, go down to my classes and then get lunch whenever,” Keyon said. “After that, I’m free to explore.”

For a lot of people, living that far from home can lead to homesickness and isolation. While Keyon acknowledges these
hardships, he says people should feel excited studying abroad.

“You gain a lot more from living in a different country long term rather than just living there for a few weeks,” Keyon said.

After studying abroad, Keyon hopes the program will help prepare him for different environments and teach him how to work
with all types of people.

“I think it’ll prepare me more for different situations, especially if I ever work outside of the US,” Keyon said. “Going abroad will
help me interact and work with different kinds of people.”

Aspen Lee, who is taking a semester abroad in London, England. (Courtesy Aspen Lee)

Aspen Lee

Adding to the list of LAHS seniors studying abroad next year, senior Aspen Lee’s love of traveling will take her on a new adventure to explore foreign economies.

As a student at Northeastern University, students are given the opportunity to attend a semester in London, England. Aspen, who had always liked the city, felt inclined to study abroad.

“My mom really likes London, so she jumped at the opportunity to have an excuse to go there,” Aspen said. “We joke about how I’m not going home for Christmas and instead, my family will come and visit me in London.”

For Aspen, one thing that attracted her to the program was Northeastern’s ability to help their students travel around London.

“Northeastern gives their students Oyster cards for the two main train lines, which allows me to basically go anywhere in
London,” Aspen said. “I’ll have a pretty light workload, so I’ll get a lot of time to explore around the city.”

In London, Aspen will be exposed to a wide variety of different cultures and languages, which she believes will give her
the people skills necessary for Northeastern.

“Being in London will take me out of the ‘American bubble’ and introduce me to different cultures,” Aspen said. “It’s good to explore during college and studying abroad gives you a chance to put yourself out there.”

As a finance major, Aspen hopes that studying abroad will help her understand foreign economies and find work internationally.

“Through studying abroad, it’ll help give me a wider perspective on the world’s economies, not just the U.S.,” Aspen said. “It’ll definitely give me an advantage wherever I decide to work in finance.”

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About the Contributors
Adam Alfi
Adam Alfi, Staff Writer
Tyler Elman
Tyler Elman, Staff Writer

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