Brave, adaptable, determined, solution focused
... these are just some of the many wonderful qualities that describe Ruben, who comes from a close-knit, immigrant-home of Latino and American Indian descent. He credits his strong family bond to his successful school career. However, 2017 was the toughest year in his young life when his father, the main provider for his family, was detained and later deported out of the country. In addition to grieving the loss of his father, Ruben also had to step up and become the man of the house and operate the small family business. It was an incredibly painful and stressful time for Ruben, but he kept it to himself. He didn't want anyone to know he was struggling. In his greatest time of need, a teacher reached out to him,
and Ruben shared his story. It was an important turning point in his life as teachers and staff helped him develop a plan to maintain his focus on education while establishing a system to help his family. This experience has taught Ruben
to not let barriers control his future. He recalls the words of his father, "Don't forget how far you have come; don't let that go to waste."
Known as the "miracle girl," Gabrielle was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age three. After two successful surgeries, she is now tumor free, though she
continues to be closely monitored by her doctors. "I think I am the only kid at my school that has not only a pediatrician, but a neurologist, oncologist, ophthalmologist, psychologist, and physical therapist!" Despite some lingering issues with balance, Gabrielle is an outgoing and vibrant student. She's landed the lead role in
a number of theatrical school productions, including Fiona in Shrek Jr., Alice in Alice in Wonderland Jr., and Wendy in Peter Pan. Gabrielle credits her success to the support she receives from her teachers and parents, "They have helped me build my confidence, and they have taught me how to be mentally prepared for any challenge that comes my way."
A child's first spoken word is an important milestone in his or her development. However, sometimes speech doesn't come as planned. When this happens, parents and educators must intervene promptly.
This was the case for Robert. As a result, his education began at a very early age at the Regional Center of Orange County. When he turned three, he was enrolled in the Cypress School District's special day class preschool program. In addition to the wide variety of services provided at school, Robert endured hours of intensive services beyond his school day, too. Today, it is hard to imagine that his early years were so challenging. When you meet Robert, you see that he is a bright and insightful young man who is succeeding both academically and socially. In addition to these successes, Robert also plays the trumpet and recently performed in the school talent show. Robert has worked very hard to be where he is today, and we honor him for all his accomplishments!
Not only is she a dedicated student, talented artist, and loyal friend to others, Eesha is a shining example of resilience. In addition to managing the same preteen issues as most kids, Eesha must also manage
life-threatening food allergies. Simply touching a contaminated surface could cause a severe reaction. As a result, every aspect of her home and school environment must
be carefully controlled; nothing can be left to chance. In spite of these limitations, Eesha's strong spirit prevails. She loves school and is passionate about her artistry. In fifth grade, she won an art contest with a beautiful drawing of an angel wrapped in ribbons labeled with all of her health conditions. Her most recent sketch was that of a lotus flower. When asked why she chose that as her subject, she explained that while it grows in dirty water, it is beautiful. Eesha is thoughtful and wise beyond her years. Her resiliency in the face of adversity is a true inspiration to all!
Even when he feels lousy, Eduardo comes to school after his doctor's appointments and chemo treatments. Just by looking at him, his teachers can tell when he is exhausted, nauseous, or has a headache. However, despite his medical challenges, Eduardo rarely complains. He comes to school with a great attitude and always gives his best effort. He smiles, works hard, perseveres, and makes it through the school day. Although he cannot always participate in physical education activities, he is committed to doing what he can. For example, when other students are running the mile, Eduardo tries his best to speed-walk the course. While he has shown tremendous strength, Eduardo accepts and appreciates help from others. One of his teachers says of him, "There is just such a sweetness to Eduardo. He always says 'thank you' and shows appreciation for every little bit of extra help he receives." Indeed, Eduardo is a very special young man!
The loss of a parent is a devastating event in a child's life. In second grade, John unexpectedly lost his mom, which forever changed his world and how he interacted
. Having to grow up a little quicker than most children his age, John has resolved to take ownership of his
learning. While he doesn't enjoy being the center of attention or giving speeches in class, he pushes himself to do it anyway and move outside his comfort zone. He is resolved and
, volunteers in
collaborates with fellow students, and helps those in need. "Friendships are very important to John, and he goes out of his way to be a good friend to others," notes his classroom teacher. John is on a positive trajectory, and his principal and teachers know he will continue to accomplish great things in school.
Adan is a leader at school who demonstrates academic skills, enthusiasm, and a great attitude! He follows directions, completes his school work, and is a good friend to everyone. Adan has worked very hard to achieve this level of success in school. When he was a toddler, he experienced some developmental delays. Fortunately, he received the support he needed to overcome these difficulties. He attended the Cypress School District special day class preschool program and later advanced to transitional kindergarten where he continued to progress. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and that is certainly the case for Adan, who is blessed to have an extended family and a network of teachers who have supported him in his educational journey. His teacher notes, "Adan is a wonderful student who is a leader, an athlete, a friend, and a bright student. He also has an amazing sense of humor! We are proud of Adan's accomplishments and look forward to being a part of his continued growth and success in the years to come!"
Her teacher will tell you, Charley is one of those students you never forget. Her battle with cancer began in first grade, a crucial time for learning important foundational skills. While she received tutoring during that time, it was hard for her to stay awake, let alone do any school work. As a result, she fell behind. When Charley returned to school in third grade, she had a lot of catching up to do. With determination, humor, hard work, a wonderful family, and dedicated teachers, Charley found her way. Today, she excels in the creative arts. She loves The Wizard of
Oz book series, writing fictional stories, and doing class presentations which always include dressing up. In art class, her friends always joke that they have to hide the glitter from Charley. She also loves beautiful dresses, fancy shoes, and cooking yummy food. She laughs easily at people's jokes and cares for her friends and pets dearly. Charley has the fortitude and spirit to overcome any obstacle and find success in life. She is an inspiration to everyone!
Evelyn immigrated to the United States as an infant. Being raised by a single mom who works hard to provide for her four children, Evelyn has had to assume many adult responsibilities from a young age. She picks up her siblings after school, cooks them meals, feeds them dinner, helps them get their homework done, and makes sure they're on track in school. At times, she goes to work with her mother to help make sure the family has enough money.
Family is a very important part of Evelyn's life and, although many of her family members live in other countries, she uses the internet and email to keep in touch. Evelyn has a high interest in learning as many world languages as she can and has already started picking up some Hindi, Arabic, Turkish, French, and Italian, in addition to her native Spanish. Someday, she would like to be an actress because she feels she can relate to the ups and downs of life that the characters experience and wants to share these feelings and emotions with others.