by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Soul of Photography

Gifted Student

Every now and again you hear about a particular student star and it stops you right in your tracks. There is no question that TPHS senior Liana-Melissa Allen has this effect on people. Her large array of talents and accomplishments are extremely impressive. At just eighteen years old, Liana-Melissa is a successful pianist, winning several awards including two for Piano Theory grade 1 and 2 by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and receiving a certificate from the American College of Musicians. Apart from her musical talents, Liana-Melissa is also a gifted writer and illustrator, already having published four children’s books, including one in Spanish. While Liana-Melissa continues to author children’s books and improve her piano skills, she looks forward to the future where she hopes to publish novels for young adults and explore animation as a way to make videos and promote her books.

In her academics Liana-Melissa has been recognized for “Dedication and Excellence” by the school’s English department. “I have also been awarded Teen Service Learner of the Year by the county of San Diego for participation and commitment to the Del Mar Library,” she added.

Like her skills in music, Liana-Melissa’s writing and drawing abilities were acquired at a young age. “Art, drawing, writing, and reading came about from my enjoyment of reading children’s books when I was little and my dad’s emphasis on reading,” she recalled. “He used to read to me every day in what we called the ‘Big Chair’ and delighted me with his many voices for the characters in the stories.”

It’s her father to whom Liana-Melissa credits much of her success. “The greatest inspiration in my life is my dad,” shared Liana-Melissa. “He has been a huge part of who I am today and has been so supportive of my massive amount of interests that can sometimes drive him up the wall, but he’s supportive nevertheless.” She also noted, “My mom has also been very encouraging and supportive of my many interests, [and] I’ve had some magnificent English teachers who have fueled my enthusiasm for literature … the art teachers I’ve had at TPHS have been fantastic.”

Motivated by her love of horses, Liana-Melissa is finishing the second book in her children’s book series titled, A Horse Valley Adventure. “Horses have inspired me all through my life because they are such majestic and beautiful creatures that inspire the imagination and have played a major role in my stories,” she shared.

At A Glance

Name: Liana-Melissa Allen (18)
School: Torrey Pines High School
Grade: 12
Parents: R. Paul Allen & America Carillo
Sibling: Christian Carillo (28)