Local Teen to Sing With Stars
Tessa Mansour, a cast member of the Laguna Beach High School musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” will also perform alongside professionals at Celebrity Fight Night, a charity event honoring Muhammad Ali, in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, March 28.
Tessa will open the show with “God Bless America” and will be followed by musical powerhouses including Josh Groban and Reba McEntire. David Foster will direct the show.
Tessa was asked to join the line up by the Celebrity Fight Night Foundation president, who heard her sing an aria with tenor Andrea Bocelli at a private event in Phoenix in December 2013. She next performs in her hometown during the Saif Eddin & Friends Cabaret at the Laguna Nursery on April 18.
Rotary Chooses Outstanding Performer
Anya Gourley of Laguna Beach High is the Rotary Club’s March student of the month for the performing arts department.
The honors and Advanced Placement student has won a number of Childress M.A.C.Y Theatre honors, academic achievement awards in many subjects, and has been on the honor roll for four years.
She will be attending a four-year university to major in fine art and minoring in performing arts.
Grad Pays Back as Tech Entrepreneur
Laguna Beach High School graduate Ladan Davia (’10) recently co-founded Excelerate Test Prep, a test preparation software and web platform that helps students study for the SAT.
The no-cost software, available on http://www.extestprep.com, digitally grades SAT practice tests online, analyzes a students strengths and weaknesses, and suggests subjects on which they should focus their studies.
“I always did really well in school, but I had a lot of trouble with the SAT,” Davia said in a statement. “I wanted to create a free tool that would help students, like me, better understand how to improve their scores.”
Davia and her co-founders, engineering students from UC Berkeley, won Chapman University’s Business Plan competition in 2014, which rewarded Excelerate $5,000 in funding. Since then, the software has been in use at multiple schools and is currently assisting over a 100 students with standardized test preparation.
Davia is hopeful that her alma mater will take advantage of her software.
“It would be a great achievement to have my high school and former teachers utilize the tool we’ve created. I would love to be able to give back,” she said.
Sign Up to Host an Exchange Student
ASSE International Student Exchange Programs is looking for local families to host boys and girls between the ages of 15 to 18 from a variety of countries. The exchange students have pocket money for personal expenses and full health, accident and liability insurance. ASSE students are selected based on academics and personality, and host families can choose their student.
To become a host family please call the ASSE Western Regional Office at 1-800-733-2773 or go to www.host.asse.com.