Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

2 Vacaville seniors bound for Princeton

princeton_12_21_12

Brandon Sixto, left, and Nickolas Dreher, right, will be attending Princeton in the fall. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | December 26, 2012 | 3 Comments

VACAVILLE — Princeton, the 264-year-old Ivy League college that graduated Michelle Obama and had lecturers such as Albert Einstein, will accept its first Vacaville students next fall: Nickolas Dreher of Will C. Wood High School and Brandon Sixto of Vacaville High School.

Both are attending the prestigious university on a full-ride QuestBridge scholarship. It was awarded to only 22 students across the nation.

“It is amazing that two of us got accepted,” said Sixto. “It is a great year for Vacaville.”

No one with the Vacaville School District could recall a student from the district being accepted into Princeton.

Dreher first heard about QuestBridge in June during a seminar about college while he was attending the American Legion’s Boys State program in Sacramento, which shows students how state and local governments work.

“So I thought an extra application never hurts,” Dreher said.

QuestBridge, whose roots extend back to 1987, is an Internet-based nonprofit organization that links bright, underserved, low-income students with leading colleges and scholarship providers.

Dreher was in the school library Nov. 30 checking on the status of his profile and applications when he decided to see his status with QuestBridge.

“I saw the letter that I was accepted and my college counselor started yelling behind me,” Dreher said.

The rest of the library joined in cheering. His attempt to remain low-key in the English class that followed failed after a friend asked him why he looked so happy and Dreher formed the shape of a P with his hands, which set the class abuzz.

“It was just a great sense of relief from anxiety that I felt,” Dreher said, describing his feelings upon learning the news.

Sixto learned about QuestBridge last year when one of his teachers handed him a pamphlet about the nonprofit. He did some follow-up research and applied earlier this year.

Sixto was with his college counselor Nov. 30 when he got the email saying he was one of 22 students accepted to Princeton with the full-ride scholarship.

“I spent the next hour-and-a-half running around school telling all of my teachers about it,” Sixto said.

The excitement hadn’t worn off weeks later.

“I am still in slight shock about it,” he said.

His mother, Yolanda Sixto, said the call from her son was about the most excited she has ever heard him to be.

“This is so exciting,” Yolanda Sixto said of her son’s good news. “I have gotten an early Christmas. We always expected him to do something big, but not like this.”

Dreher’s dream come true

Dreher said he wanted to study bioengineering “as long as I can remember.” Part of that came from memories of when his grandfather died from complications of Parkinson’s disease when he was very young, while another part comes from a sense of altruism.

“I like helping people,” he said.

His track record proves the truth in the statement. He became a senior patrol leader in his Scout troop when he was 13 and later achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor, earning recognition as the best lifeguard of the with the Silver Whistle.

His Eagle Scout project was raising money to fill 600 care packages for Travis Air Force Base troops who were deployed overseas. The project brought accolades from the base commander.

Dreher’s involvement at Will C. Wood High School includes Best Buddies, Key Club, Latinos Unidos, Link Crew, Cat Kartel and Crosswalk. His volunteer work includes the annual Coastal Cleanup days, food drives and support for the community’s Opportunity House homeless shelter.

Dreher habitually starts his day at 4 a.m. with study, followed by a 6 a.m. Bible study class before heading to school. After school, he’s working on student activities and then his job as a lifeguard before ending the evening with time with his family.

He admits that attending an Ivy League school such as Princeton will be a big culture shock, but he said he’s ready.

“Pressure is nothing new to me,” Dreher said.

His mother, Marielena Cook, agreed.

“He is very easy-going and nothing bothers him,” she said.

Dreher and his family moved to Vacaville from Suisun City in 2009.

When he was growing up, his grandmother regularly read him a stack of books and his mother has been solidly behind him throughout his life, no matter what was happening in either of their lives.

“My mom did so much for me as a single mom,” Dreher said, to which Cook replied, “It is all him, because I was just trying to do the best that I could.

“I feel he was and is a blessing given to me in a time when I truly did not deserve it,” Cook said.

One incident that helped Cook and Dreher push as hard as they could was encouragement from local dentist Kejen Corsa, for whom Cook worked. Corsa, who knew Dreher’s abilities, “told me don’t think that your son can’t go to a college like Harvard just because he doesn’t have the money.”

Cook now thinks Corsa’s encouragement was almost like prophecy.

“I have always tried to do right by our family and this is a little bit of validation that I did not blow it,” Cook said.

Sixto credits his family

Sixto’s plans include studying biology and chemistry, with the goal of becoming a doctor specializing in the field of hematology.

When not immersed in advanced-placement classes at Vacaville High School, including one on calculus he designed himself, Sixto is involved with jazz music, which he described “as a way to balance myself.”

He also plays tennis after school and tutors other students. He has been involved with speech and debate competitions, the school’s California Scholarship Federation chapter, the Amigos Unidos Club and as a volunteer at the Opportunity House homeless shelter.

The rest of his year will be spent keeping up his grades and continuing to apply for scholarships. He said he is very exited to be finally through with the long hours of preparing college applications.

Sixto said it will be a little bit daunting to a college where “everyone is the best.” He said he is very grateful for all the support he has gotten from family, friends and the community.

“There is no way I could have done this without the help of my family,” Sixto said.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Supervisor candidates square off at forum

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Carli takes oath, now Vacaville’s 14th police chief

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Huge jump in Solano median home price

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

Donate a car, help build a house

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Solano DA hosts workshop to fight human trafficking

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Suisun water rates won’t rise this year

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
 
Fairfield town hall on crime delayed

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

Railway museum offers wine-tasting rides

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
 
Drugs topic of cardiac class

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Weather for April 17, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
Fairfield police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun Police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Armed robber was never told to report to prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Body of California man who jumped into river found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lost sea lion in California found mile from water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Seabird from Atlantic spotted on Alcatraz

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ex-Bell city leader gets 12 years in prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California delays decision on protecting gray wolf

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Court rules for environmentalists in water fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Governor calls special session on rainy day fund

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Denver police eye 911 response time after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Man charged with marathon hoax is held on bail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Geneva talks on Ukraine face steep hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pro-Russian insurgents seize armored vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ferry sinks off South Korea; 6 dead, 290 missing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

In support of Pam Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

 
Parenting demands responsibility

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Let’s stop Fairfield’s future thugs

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

Obamacare news you probably missed

By Martin Schram | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 17, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

.

Living

A lesson in household budgeting

By Chris Erskine | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes for April 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Daniel Radcliffe on why New York audiences rock

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Alicia Silverstone out with book ‘Kind Mama’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on ‘The View’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ailing Malcolm Young taking break from AC/DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Disney Channel’s ‘Jessie’ breaks romantic ground

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Vacaville’s Peralta to wrestle at San Francisco State

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Angels beat A’s 5-4 on Iannetta’s HR in 12th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

MEL, SCAC tangle in hoops all-star games

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Sharks take goalie questions into rematch vs Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Crawford’s 41 points leads Warriors over Nuggets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

IndyCar driver Saavedra fined $10K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sandoval’s single lifts Giants past Dodgers, 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Officer: Sharper’s DNA found on 1 Arizona victim

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spieth ready for more after Masters success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Backup QB Matt Flynn returns to Packers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sidney Rice agrees to terms with Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodwin helps Suns to 104-99 win over Kings in finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Yellen: Fed stimulus still needed for job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Fed survey: Growth picks up across most of US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Bank of America posts loss, hurt by legal charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Google’s 1Q earnings disappoint as ad prices slip

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9