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Twin sisters earn Valedictorian/Salutatorian honors at Rancho San Juan High School

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- The Salinas Union High School District announced that two Seniors earned the 2023 Valedictorian and Salutatorian distinction at Rancho San Juan High School.

Twin sisters Karen and Carolyn Dorantes earned these distinctions. Karen Dorantes earned class Valedictorian with a 4.54 GPA and Carolyn earned Salutatorian with a 4.52 GPA.

Karen plans to attend Yale in Fall, with a major in ethnicity, race, and migration, on a near full-ride University grant. In comparison, Carolyn will attend Harvard University and plans to study computer science with a minor in politics. She will have a full scholarship from the University.

The twins are first-generation students. Their parents, Fidelia Montano, and Marino Dorantes, were both born in Mexico. Mr. Dorantes is from the town of Santa Catarina, Guanajuato. Ms. Montano was born in Santa Maria Sola de Vega, Oaxaca.

“Having them be immigrants and us being first generation, I think they passed down their ambition to us,” said Karen. “There is this sense that they're passing down their dreams that they had that they couldn’t accomplish. Passing down those hopes to us so we can see those struggles they had and how they flourished from that, that’s what I’ve taken from their experiences and viewpoints.” 

Both twins were given various scholarships and were both awarded d the $40,000 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship and the Gates Scholarship.

Read more: From Salinas to Ivy League, the story of the Puente Program

Karen also earned the $20,000 Elks National Foundation Award and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Gold Award for Social Justice and Public Service. 

Carolyn received the $20,000 Coca-Cola Scholarship and earned the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Silver Award for Social Justice and Public Service. 

Despite both twins applying for the same scholarships and receiving different ones, the sisters claim there is no competition.

“The universe somehow works its magic,” said Carolyn. “It evens out in the end. I don’t think it was competitive. It was more of a support system you had next to you.”

Salinas Union High School District will honor all of its Valedictorians and Salutatorians at a special Board Meeting ceremony on Wednesday, May 3. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. You can watch it here.

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