High school is already an emotional roller coaster. For Christopher High School graduate Ashanti Clayton, moving from Bakersfield to Gilroy at the end of her sophomore year piled on the additional stresses of getting settled in a different school and establishing a new social circle.
“I’ll never forget her first day here when she was registering,” said Christopher High School Principal John Perales. “She kind of had a worried look on her face. I think she was worried about fitting in and starting out at a brand-new high school.”
With a “spark for life” and a spot on the CHS varsity girls’ basketball team that bolstered her confidence and helped establish a new network of friends, Clayton went from new girl to cool girl in no time.
By the time her senior year rolled around, “I thought, ‘this is my last year, so I might as well go all out,” said Clayton, who got involved in drama and was elected homecoming princess.
“She kind of has this look in her eyes that tells you she’s going to do amazing things in her life,” said Perales. “She stands out to me and seems like a great representative for our high school.”
As someone who has weathered ups and downs during her high school career – and decided to make the most of it – Clayton’s motto is “don’t be afraid to meet new people, because if you do, you’re going to be stuck in your bubble and hating the world and you’ll probably miss a lot of opportunities.”
More about Ashanti Clayton
Where are you from, originally? Jackson, Miss.
What city do you currently live in? Gilroy
What are your plans after high school? I plan on going to San Francisco State and majoring in communications.
Favorite high school memory? It’s a two-way tie between winning homecoming princess of the senior class and finishing first in the Monterey Bay League and hanging the first varsity girls’ basketball banner.
What was your biggest challenge in high school? My biggest challenge was moving to a new town and new school in the middle of my high school career where I knew absolutely no one!
Extracurricular activities: Basketball, choir, drama
What inspires you? People who work hard to get what they want out of life.
What’s your dream career? My dream career would be any career where I can have a positive impact in someone’s life.
Favorite subject: English