Canyon Clark is a 16 year old junior at Los Alamitos High School. He is a scholar and an athlete. Canyon played volleyball his first two years at Los Alamitos High. Canyon is committed to several community-based mentor programs where he can learn how to become better and have success in high school and college. He is also a teacher’s assistant at Charles R, Drew University-Saturday Science Academy where he is helping younger children with math and science. Canyon is interested in engineering and STEM related activities such as coding and robotics. Canyon was an inaugural member/founder of a local community based First Robotics team.
1. Who inspired you achieved so much academic success? What is your recipe to success being fully occupied with academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and STEM?
I think that my family has inspired me to try and achieve academic success. Seeing my dad have a college degree, my mom going back to school over summer to get in extra classes, my brother go to UC Irvine and my sister go to Loyola Marymount University has helped me to envision where i wanted to be after high school: college. So seeing myself wanting to be in college, I knew I had to do well academically in order to get there. The key to academic success is to always push yourself even when you are tired or lazy or busy because in the end you can rest when you’ve reached your goal. The present time is the time to work or else there will be regrets on what you could have done. Perseverance is the key because sometimes there is not balance. Often, it will be more work than play, but in the end you have to know it will all work out.
2. What advice would you give to young students who think they do not have enough time or bandwidth to do more for themselves and their communities?
I would say focus on one thing at a time because you can’t do everything at once leading to more stress, which never helps. Focus on the grades and gpa first before anything, in my opinion. Get the good grades secured and then when you feel like you have a cushion, that’s when you can move on to trying to volunteer more or do extracurriculars. Throughout high school I have learned that you have to be your own advocate and do things in order to benefit yourself and better your community. So even though your friends are going to the movies or the beach, that time could be used for volunteering and such.
3. What do you do on the daily basis to maintain a healthy lifestyle and sleep 8 hours a day? Any routines that you have to stay sharp mentally and physically?
The truth is, some days I definitely will not get 8 hours of sleep, but I will take naps the next day after school. Even though the nap seems counter-intuitive and a waste of time, it actually helps me to recuperate and feel re-energized to do another day of work. They say that some of the very successful individuals over time have taken power naps, and it seems to work for me too. I know some people that use a system where they work for a certain amount of hours and then a timer will go off cuing when to take a break. I have done this from time to time to help me stay on task. As for what I eat, I try to eat healthy with no sweets such as soda or candy, which is at times hard for me because I do have a sweet tooth. Regardless, I keep in mind to have or do everything in moderation. My mom taught me that.