When Mark Thomas Topoozian saw the amount of food that his high school was wasting, he decided to launch Bullard High School’s food recovery program, said Mark Topoozian, his father.
Bullard High Principal Carlos Castillo said the food recovery program lets students donate their unused cafeteria food to Masten Towers in downtown Fresno where it’s redistributed.
“He found out that if he got hooked up with the correct organizations, that the school could give this food to low-income housing facilities,” Topoozian’s father said.
The food recovery program launched during the 2016-2017 school year. In addition, Topoozian helped launch the Drive Club during the same year.
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Castillo said Topoozian helps the club organize food drives, toy drives and more for the community and Valley Children’s Hospital.
“He makes Bullard look good and he’s compassionate,” Castillo said. “He includes everybody at school and he has school spirit.”
Topoozian served as the freshman and sophomore class president and will be serving as the associated student body vice president for his junior year.
He has a 4.08 GPA, is on Bullard’s varsity baseball team and holds a black belt in martial arts.
“He is a superior student in all aspects of being a student, not just in the classroom, but all around,” Castillo said. “He is a perfect representation of Bullard.”
School: Bullard High
Parents: Mark and Marylyn Topoozian
Achievements: 4.08 GPA, is on Bullard High’s varsity baseball team, founder of Bullard High’s Drive Club and started the food recovery program at Bullard High.
KATHERINE LOUISE MENDYK, 16, Fresno
School: Clovis West High
Parents: Stephen and Ruth Mendyk
Achievements: Mendyk is a sophomore who is enrolled in a multivariate calculus online course at John Hopkins University. Counselor Patricia Gilbert said Mendyk spends her morning working on the course and completed an AP calculus course during her freshman year of high school. In addition to academics – she has a 4.25 GPA – she is a competitive swimmer and a member of the women’s swim team at Clovis West.
MONSERATH CASILLAS-RIOS, 16, Five Points
School: Riverdale High
Parents: Yaneth and Baudelio Casillas
Achievements: Casillas-Rios has a 4.33 GPA and is an English-language learner. She has been named to the honor roll every quarter and was Riverdale High School’s student of the month. In addition to academics, she plays basketball, participates in canned food drives and the Leo Service Club.