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Turlock native speaks at Berkeley graduation
graduation pic
Turlock Christian High alumna Bianca Davoodian speaks at the Dec. 16 UC Berkeley commencement ceremony. - photo by Photo Contributed

While a sense of pride and accomplishment were felt throughout the assembly of graduates at UC Berkeley, the bonds of the Davoodian family were particularly meaningful during the Dec. 16 commencement  ceremony. Bianca Davoodian, an alumna of Turlock Christian High, was honored by her peers and professors as the commencement student speaker.

Over 4,500 had the opportunity to hear Davoodian's words of inspiration, the thanks she offered to her family, especially her brother Andrew Davoodian, and the influence he made in her life.

“I would jump if he jumped, cry if he cried, and do whatever he liked to do,” said Bianca during her speech.  “From collecting football cards to playing basketball and video games, I was like his shadow.  I even managed to follow his way into UC Berkeley.”

To say that Bianca Davoodian is impressive might be putting it a bit lightly.  She graduated with honors in Psychology and was recently accepted to work in a social psychology lab at Harvard University under Dr. Ellen Langer, a top researcher in the work of mindfulness.

 “I truly feel blessed, it’s kind of surreal,” said Davoodian.  “Being a first generation college student I have come to learn and have a strong belief that higher education is so important in the lives of young people.  None of this could be attainable without a strong support system.  I have my family to thank for that.  I would not be here today if it wasn’t for their encouragement and constant support.  They are my pillars.”

Bianca will continue her education with the hopes of obtaining a doctorate in social psychology.

“I want to do it all,” she said.  “I want to do research, teach on a university level and also open my own practice someday.  I’ll follow my education wherever it leads me, but close enough to where my family is.”

For now, Bianca is looking forward to the next chapter of her life. She hopes to inspire others in pursuing their education.

“I hope that I can inspire young people of Turlock to live their dreams and empower them to believe in themselves,” she said.  “I hope to continue forward with my education so I can have a bigger voice of influence and inspiration to the youngsters in the future.”