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Oct 30, 2017, 9:34 AM
The Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) is a 501c3 organization in San Jose that provides free after-school fitness and confidence-building opportunities to young girls in communities where obesity and diabetes are prevalent, who are not being exposed to organized sports or physical education…
Oct 24, 2017, 8:48 AM
Jacqueline has known the stares and whispers her entire life. She was born with lymphatic malformations, a rare condition that formed large masses in her cheeks, tongue, and chest. She underwent multiple surgeries to remove the diseased lymph nodes, but to no avail. Her parents were told she might…
Oct 17, 2017, 9:26 AM
Rodrigo Portillo has had more responsibilities than many teenagers. His parents were born in Mexico, but immigrated to the United States in hopes of providing a better life for their children. Rodrigo flooded his schedule at Ukiah High School in Ukiah Unified School District in return, aware that…
Oct 10, 2017, 9:26 AM
When Jatia was just 6 years old, her father died of a brain tumor. She moved in with her aunt to what she thought was a safer environment but she became a victim of human trafficking. After years of abuse, Jatia struggled to trust men. But that all changed when she met Covina Valley USD Fairvalley…
Oct 3, 2017, 8:18 AM
Christian Lopez grew up in Cuscatancingo, El Salvador, home to the infamous 18th Street Gang. El Salvador has a murder rate that is 22 times that of the United States. In 2014, Christian’s mom arranged for her son to move to California to live with his dad. He enrolled in LA Unified School District…
Sep 27, 2017, 8:24 AM
Viviana grew up in Tecoman, Colima in Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was five years old. She is a caregiver to her younger siblings and a shining example for them of what it means to work hard and focus on success. A typical day for Viviana includes rushing home from school to…
Sep 21, 2017, 8:23 AM
Chris entered the Merced County Office of Education Sierra Program, a place for students with behavioral issues and conduct disorders, at the end of his fifth-grade year. After his father left the family when he was 10, Chris struggled to control anger, throwing chairs, desks and books at his…
Sep 12, 2017, 8:30 AM
The man Destiny Stallings affectionately calls “Papa”, her grandfather, stepped up and took over as her caretaker after a rocky start to her life. When he was diagnosed with cancer, her world fell apart. Both her grandfather and her uncle died within months of each other, pitching Destiny into a…
Sep 5, 2017, 8:30 AM
David Jasuan was born in Myanmar to a Christian missionary. As a result of government persecution, David and his family were forced to escape the country. They crossed the border from Myanmar to Thailand and then to the Malaysian jungle. Thanks to the United Nations Refugee Agency, David and his…
Aug 29, 2017, 8:30 AM
Carnisha Martin’s childhood was filled with both loss and neglect, yet she never lost her drive to succeed. She bounced from house to house, family member to family member. And she lost her mother after a battle with breast cancer. Despite the upheaval and constant uncertainty, Carnisha’s resiliency…
Aug 22, 2017, 8:30 AM
In infancy, Richard’s grandparents took him from his parents, both addicts, and raised him as their own. When they died while Richard was still young, depression became yet another battle he had to fight. A host of educators in Riverside Unified School District banded together to help out. Julie and…
Aug 15, 2017, 8:30 AM
Maria’s first commitment is to service. Her second… to social justice. Maria was born in Salvatierra Guanajuato, Mexico. While her father served as a migrant worker in the United States, Maria grew up in poverty with her mother and her siblings. As she learned English and adjusted to the culture…
Aug 8, 2017, 8:30 AM
Rodney Lacanienta will be the first to tell you that growing up, he made some bad choices. After years of bouncing in and out of prison and struggling with addiction, Rodney finally found his way with the help of his family and the committed educators at Poway Adult School in Poway USD in San Diego.…
Aug 1, 2017, 8:30 AM
Jessica Nord and her twin brother were born premature at just 30 weeks, and Jessica was diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia, a brain injury that affects development. She spent years in and out of hospitals, missing copious amounts of school. She endured 13 surgeries and came out of it more…
Jul 25, 2017, 8:30 AM
Victor never liked school…that is until he found himself at David Stine Chaffey West run by the San Bernadino County Office of Education. The school is a community day school that helps at-risk and behaviorally-challenged students whose primary goal is to help students realize their potential. That…