By PAUL PAYNE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Victoria Heyman has straight A’s, high college admission scores and a portfolio of award-winning photography.
But there’s more to the 17-year-old senior in Santa Rosa High’s ArtQuest program than stellar academics and top-notch extra-curriculars.
Heyman has shown her leadership by devoting countless volunteer hours working with the homeless, tutoring younger students and raising money for causes, such as cancer research.
“Helping others makes me feel good,” she said. “I get to know that I can make a difference.”
Heyman hopes to combine her mutual interest in science and art to major in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley with the goal of being a cosmetics chemist.
She hasn’t yet been accepted, but it shouldn’t be a problem. Heyman has a grade-point average of more than 4.0 and scored 2,100 on her SAT, including 800 on the math portion.
She’s already taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College while completing a high school workload that includes advanced placement calculus, biology and honors Spanish.
Coupled with her photography work, which appeared in the Sonoma County Museum, Heyman said she averages about three hours a night of homework.
She gets motivation in part from her pet bird, an African Gray parrot named Tiki, who says, “Victoria, do your homework.”
But it doesn’t stop there.
Heyman helps out after school at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Rosa, where she tutors children age 6 to 10 in math. She spent the whole summer doing it, she said.
“Math is my strongest subject,” she said.
She’s also worked at the Salvation Army food bank on Stony Point Road and raised money to fight childhood cancer by opening a campus lemonade stand with other members of her National Honor Society club.
The lemonade made with fresh lemons proved popular. She ended up raising more than $200.
“When I was young I started hearing about a percentage of the world starving or hurting,” she said. “I’m always thinking about how there are so many people less fortunate than me. So I try to give back.”
Heyman was born and raised in Santa Rosa. Her parents both work at Agilent Technologies. Her younger brother, William, is a freshman at Santa Rosa High. She went to Rincon Valley Middle School.
She credits her Vietnam-born mother with pushing her in school and life.
“Mom came from Vietnam with nothing and built herself up,” Heyman said.
Heyman has traveled to Vietnam and is fluent in the language. She’s also been to France on a six-week study program.
When she’s not poring over books or helping others, Heyman likes to sleep or relax over a video game. Lately, she’s been getting into “Call of Duty.”
“It helps with my hand-eye coordination but really it’s a break from the rest of my life and school work,” she said.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at paul. email@example.com or 568-5312.
NAME: Victoria Heyman
Birthplace: Santa Rosa
Lives with: brother, William, 13; mother, Thanh Ostheimer; stepfather, Larry Ostheimer
Music on my iPod: “Cold War Kids,” Indie Rock
Favorite hobby: Photography, makeupstry
Dream job: Cosmetic chemist
Favorite TV show: Lost
Favorite Food: Mashed potatoes
My moto: Hard work pays off.