Best Valedictorian - 2010
Flavia de la Fuente
Our own Gustavo Arellano gave the commencement speech at this year's UCLA graduation, but it was student speaker Flavia de la Fuente who earned the standing ovation. The Woodbridge High School graduate and Irvine resident nabbed the spot due to her tireless activism on various issues, most prominent of which is her efforts on behalf of undocumented college students (de la Fuente's parents are from Chile). She's one of the founders behind dreamactivist.org, the country's preeminent advocacy website for passage of the DREAM Act (which would create a pathway to citizenship for college students without papers), and was one of the pro-immigrant organizers who helped shut down Wilshire Boulevard for hours this summer in a protest that drew nationwide attention. De la Fuente is currently in the hinterlands of Texas working for the Sierra Club, but she promises to return to la naranja sooner rather than later to take on her hometown's Know Nothings.