Student Spotlight: Aino Hakkinen


Aino Hakkinen

Aino Hakkinen is a current senior at YLHS, with aspirations of attending Aalto University in Finland.

Mabel Ra, Editor

When it comes to star students at Yorba Linda High School, Aino Hakkinen (12) is one exemplary Mustang equipped for everything life has to offer.


Aino was born in Finland, but her family took the venture to California when she was in middle school. From there on, she took the initiative to work hard in academics to become one of the most stellar students out there.


In her sophomore year at YLHS, Aino wanted to improve her public speaking, so she joined the Speech and Debate class under the supervision of Ms. Dagampat. The event she practices is “dramatic interpretation,” which entails a 10-minute presentation of a piece cut from a dramatic book or play. With performances like this, the interpretations often come with a bit of acting, which Aino adds is “a lot of fun.” Speech and Debate competes at tournaments four times a year. Recently, Aino placed 2nd at the Cal State Fullerton Invitational.


One of Aino’s strongest attributes is her ambition to succeed and push herself to work hard. Since freshman year, Aino has been ranked into the top 10 students with the highest GPAs in her class. In maintaining her perfect grades and strong testing scores, Aino reveals her work habits of working on her homework and completing it as quickly as possible. However, Aino avoids spending her entire afternoon to schoolwork. Rather, she suggests keeping studying interesting, because “getting too stressed will just lead to burnout.”


Throughout her years in high school, Aino has challenged herself to a rigorous course load filled with challenging classes. The class that has impacted her the most is AP Chemistry, taught by Mrs. Ward, because she “loved the challenge the course offered.” The class was what intrigued Aino into the realm of chemistry, in addition to the teachings of Mrs. Ward, who “genuinely cares about her students” and “dedicates a great amount of time to her classes.” Currently, Aino is taking AP Biology, AP Physics, and AP Macroeconomics.


Beyond school, Aino sees herself returning to Finland, pursuing a career in chemical engineering, and attending one of Finland’s most prestigious colleges, Aalto University. Aino comments that she has “always wanted [her] career to be something where [she] can help other people.” Because of this, she is open to other career paths, including pharmaceutical research.


In the long-run, Aino wishes to build a career in Finland, in addition to traveling the world and experiencing everything life has to offer. As stated in her words, her number one goal is “to find happiness and remember to enjoy all the little things in life.”


Yorba Linda High School is so lucky to have a student as special as Aino Hakkinen. She will be a Mustang whose legacy is forever remembered!