Senior Gira Patel, 18, of Sterling, is one of Sterling High School’s February Students of the Month. She is the daughter of Mukesh and Minaxi Patel of Sterling; her sister is Rinku Patel, 23, of Rockford, and her brother is Shivam Patel, 13, a seventh-grader at Challand Middle School.
Favorite class: Publications. We put out the monthly student newspaper and the yearbook. We’re such a diverse group, and every year, we get so close. Plus, the class requires a lot of skills outside of those in any other classroom.
Top teacher: Steve Johnson, chemistry. He goes above and beyond just lecturing. He is personable, calm and collected.
Extracurriculars: Tennis and track; founder of the Young Doctors League, secretary of the National Honor Society; Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) and service learning.
After graduation: I don’t know yet. It’s between Marquette University in Milwaukee and Loyola University in Chicago for dentistry.
Paycheck: I’m an intern at Sterling Dental Group. I love it – every part of it. I get to learn a lot of things about dentistry that I don’t think I’d learn otherwise. It’s a great opportunity, and I’m not even in college yet.
Best friend: Dhvani Patel (no relation) of Boston. We met years ago at a youth camp. We just get along so well. Whatever I do, whether it’s good or bad, she always gives me an honest opinion.
Favorite singer: Usher.
Favorite actress: Anne Hathaway.
Favorite movie: Disney’s “Cinderella.”
Favorite TV show: “Once Upon a Time.”
Hobbies: Reading. Traveling; it’s my goal to see the world before I’m 30.
Favorite outdoor activity: Swimming.
Favorite food: Frozen yogurt.
Favorite place to shop: Forever 21.
Favorite website: Pinterest.
Biggest fear: Snakes.
Pet peeve: I hate when people say, “Ignorance is bliss.” It’s not. I don’t like ignorant people.
I’m in the dictionary next to: Passionate. I’m very passionate about everything. I strongly dislike something, or I strongly love something. I put my everything into everything I do.
Personal trivia: I don’t think there’s anything about me people don’t know. I’m pretty much an open book.
Dream job: Elementary school teacher, because I know I’d never do it otherwise.
Trading places: Michelle Obama. I think she’s the perfect first lady for America right now, in terms of where we are as a society. She just brings so much positive to the country.
Trading spaces: Brazil. It’s so beautiful, full of so much history, and there’s so many fun things to do there.
Read this: “The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare. I really enjoy Shakespeare, and the fact that it’s a comedy makes me love it so much more.
What would you do if you had $100,000? Logically, I’d put it toward my education. Irrationally, I would splurge on a two-week getaway to a super warm destination.
What do you wish your high school offered? An ancient language.
What’s a tip you would give freshmen for making high school life easier? Don’t be afraid to get involved. Do things you wouldn’t normally do.
Shout out to: The girls track team, the publications class and the Sterling Dental Group.