Saturday, April 25, 2015
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 |

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 [email protected] 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

Transportation leaders point to need for funding changes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Together to remember children lost to violence

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
‘Cinderella’ carries on despite theater flood

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
3 letters to Vacaville may cost $100,000 to answer

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Church offers free Southern Gospel concert

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Summer Spare the Air season set to start

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: April 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Food often a conduit to something more

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

San Francisco Catholics deeply divided over archbishop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Colleges starting to offer brewing courses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Hate crime charges for homeless beating suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Supreme Court ruling keeps sex offender registration in place

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

SFPD to pay for settlement of wrongful termination suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
16 students injured when school stage collapses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Thousands march to mark anniversary of Armenian massacres

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Man ordered to stand trial for kidnap, rape charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Nuclear launch officers charged in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Rubio looking to gain support in Iowa

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hep C, HIV cases spike throughout Indiana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Obama uses hospital funds to help push for Medicaid expansion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hawaii raises smoking age to 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Gray should have received medical treatment

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Italy police arrest nine terror suspects in sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Yemen rebels ordered to pull back

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

US completing review of hostage policy following drone strikes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Chaos in the primaries

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

 
Joy of baseball back in my life

By Deon Price | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: April 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Daughters’ ex is determined to turn their children against her

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

.

Entertainment

Seriously silly, Monty Python reunites for a weekend tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

SCC baseball team wins to claim share of BVC title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 2 Comments

 
Ynoa, Butler send Rockies to 6-4 win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Vikings fall to Jaguars 4-3 in 8 innings

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
After working OT in NBA playoffs, Curry, Rose can earn rest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Goodell: LA projects viable for bringing back team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Buckeyes teammates Cook, Sindelar top Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Swafford, Weekley atop Zurich Classic leaderboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Logano wins pole at Richmond, his third of the season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Usain Bolt: Gay’s reduced doping ban sends wrong message

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Scott Dixon is chasing IndyCar wins leaders, not spotlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ducking the spotlight, some stars decide to skip NFL draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Garber: MLS plan in 6 months to expand beyond 24 teams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dortmund, American Pharoah vie for favorite in 141st Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Harden, Howard lead Rockets to 130-128 win, 3-0 lead on Mavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Olympic sailing events may be moved from Rio’s polluted bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Canadian Henderson shoots tournament record for LPGA lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bowyer and Stewart looking for good runs at Richmond

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Oregon wins distance medley relay at Penn Relays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Signups for Saturday, April 25, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B3

.

Business

Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable bid after gov’t pushback

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Cheaper fuel has airlines soaring to record profits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Wynn Resorts shareholders: Elaine Wynn won’t return to board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Ford recalls 390,000 cars to fix door latches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Winners and losers of the demise of the big Comcast deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
What could McDonald’s do to fix its business?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 3 Comments | Gallery

Durable goods orders up, but business investment falls again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Harley recalls nearly 46,000 motorcycles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 4/25/2015

Ask a Designer: decorating with spring pastels

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1 | Gallery

Real estate transactions for April 25, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.65 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3