by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photo by Spark Photography



Sixteen-year-old Yasmin Khajenoori is a remarkable student. As a junior, she has received an AP Scholar Award in recognition of her academic achievements and has been named a Nighthawk Scholar for attaining a grade point average of 4.0 or higher. By the end of the school year, Yasmin will have taken a total of eight AP classes. But what people may not know about this superstar student is that she isn’t only accomplishing great things in her studies; she is accomplishing great things in the community as well.

Yasmin lives in Carmel Mountain Ranch with her parents, Joe and Roya. “I love living here because it is so diverse and beautiful,” shared Yasmin. “It’s amazing to be surrounded by so many people of different cultures and backgrounds.”

She currently attends Del Norte High School. “I love many aspects of my school, but specifically the inclusivity and kindness,” stated Yasmin. “I am a part of a program at our school called Link Crew, which emphasizes helping freshman and new students acclimate to the school. Additionally, our school has almost 100 clubs, creating an environment where every student can find a place where they belong.”


Name: Yasmin Khajenoori (16)
School: Del Norte High School
Grade: 11
Parents: Joe and Roya Khajenoori
Favorite Place in 92128: Sesame Donuts

Speaking of clubs, Yasmin is currently the president of her school’s Spanish Club. “I always had a love for the Spanish language and culture, since I’d been learning the language since preschool,” explained Yasmin. “After taking AP Spanish last year I decided to start the Spanish Club at my school to help shed light on Hispanic culture on campus. This year, we have held cultural celebrations for Día de los Muertos and Hispanic Heritage Month at our school.”

She is also part of Del Norte’s speech and debate team. “I am the parliamentary captain and help coach about 30 of my peers every week on essential debate skills,” Yasmin noted. “I have participated on the debate team for three years. I love debate because it helps teach you how to be confident in public speaking.” In an effort to spread her passion of speech and debate, Yasmin volunteers her time every week at a local elementary or middle school. At her own school, Yasmin volunteers weekly in the Writing Help and Tutoring Center.

“I love living here because it is so diverse and beautiful. It’s amazing to be surrounded by so many people of different cultures and backgrounds.”

And her effort to give back doesn’t stop there; Yasmin volunteers four hours each week at Scripps Memorial Hospital. “I have accumulated over 120 hours volunteering at the hospital,” explained Yasmin. She also coordinates and volunteers at a variety of events around the community through her school’s Key Club, gaining over 60 hours since April. “Past events include food packaging at the food bank, decorating the Ronald McDonald House for Christmas, and helping at local elementary school events,” she said. “Additionally, this past holiday season I hosted a toy drive at my school and collected toys for Rady Children’s Hospital.”

With all of her volunteer efforts, Yasmin has been recognized as Officer of the Month in her Key Club division, which is comprised of seven schools. She has also been the recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for acquiring over 200 hours of service this past year. “I love spending my time volunteering and giving back to the community that helped shape me into who I am,” shared Yasmin.

Inspired by the likes of Maria Montessori and Elizabeth Blackwell – who Yasmin described as both being “strong, independent-minded women who defied the clutches of society to help better the world” – Yasmin dreams of attending a prestigious university and pursuing a career in medicine. “These women inspire me to break through the obstacles I face in order to reach my goals and spread my passions,” said Yasmin.