Volume 5, Issue 5
February 2020

In partnership with the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs of Cypress, the Cypress School District held its fifth annual Every Student Succeeding Breakfast at the Cypress Community Center on February 20. Inspired by a student recognition program of the same name created by the Association of California School Administrators, the event honors students who have overcome personal challenges to find success in school.

Students were recognized from the Cypress School District as well as other schools within our community, including Cypress College, Cypress High School, Oxford Academy, and Lexington Junior High School. Family members, teachers, school administrators, school board members, and city leaders were in attendance to show their support for these remarkable students who demonstrate courage and perseverance in the face of adversity.

We invite you to learn a little more about these amazing students and hope you find their personal journeys as moving and inspirational as we do! 

Anne Silavs, Superintendent
Each day is a blessing that is sometimes taken for granted, but not for Lucy. Every day is a gift and an opportunity to fight on. In October, Lucy became unexpectedly ill, and the diagnosis was devastating. While no longer able to attend school, she demonstrates grit and determination each and every day in the classroom of life. Her inner strength and perseverance are a testament to her character and steady spirit. To learn more about Lucy’s story and how you can help, please visit her Go Fund Me page .
There’s one word that sums up Devin, and that’s resilient. Despite the struggles he has experienced, he remains positive, “All I can do is look ahead and move forward.” This statement exemplifies how Devin approaches life’s challenges, which up until last year caused him to miss a lot of school. Not only has he worked hard to catch up academically, but he also seeks leadership positions at school. Devin strives to be a role model for others who have experienced hardship because he wants them to know they will be okay.
Jeremiah D.
The first seven years of Jeremiah’s life were traumatic and heartbreaking. He moved frequently, which made it hard to make friends. He struggled academically, and this made him hesitant to try. Thanks to the love and support of his family and school staff, Jeremiah now has the will and confidence to succeed. He says he used to push people away because it was easier to leave behind enemies than friends. In a note to his teacher he wrote, “I want to be the boy you are proud of. I want to be the boy that makes your day better, and the boy that makes you smile.”
It is never easy to switch schools, especially when that school is in a different country and the instruction is not in your primary language. For Alejandro, the first couple of months of second grade involved a lot of hand gestures and pointing, but that didn’t last very long. With support from his classmates and family, he approached each and every day with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard. Now, as a fifth grader, all of his efforts have paid off. Alejandro is now reading above grade level!
Life has not always been easy for Briona. The fact that she has attended 27 schools during her K-12 school career says a lot about her childhood challenges. Despite difficult circumstances, Briona rises. She is on track to graduate high school this year with a 3.8 GPA. That says a lot, too, about her grit and determination, but this is just the beginning of her success story. Following graduation, Briona intends to study nursing. She would also like to be a motivational speaker and help others overcome life’s obstacles.
Tristan strives to do his best in school and has worked hard to overcome his struggle with attention. He takes responsibility for his learning by asking questions to clarify information he missed while distracted and pushes himself to meet any challenge. Tristan is a success story because he has the attitude, character, drive, determination, and heart to accomplish his goals. Even though he prefers certain tasks over others, he is always open to his teacher’s “suggestions.”
Succeeding is what Ashley does on a daily basis. She succeeds in exhibiting a genuine smile despite a number of challenges outside of school. She succeeds in her creativity and how she approaches her assignments and classwork. She succeeds at being genuinely happy despite the sadness she feels at times. She succeeds at being a joy in class and having empathy for others. (As a teenager, she also succeeds in rocking her hot pink Doc Martens.) In every way that matters, Ashley succeeds!
Even though Paul has met more than his fair share of challenges, both academically and in his personal life, he understands that these things do not define him as an individual. He approaches challenges with his very best effort, making no big to-do about it, but his teacher sees his incredible determination every single day. Paul consistently demonstrates that he is a capable young man and, through hard work and perseverance, he can achieve anything.
As a full-time student at Cypress College and a single mother of three, Tyuana has worked hard to achieve success. She has been recognized for excellence in communication and leadership by the Legacy Program, which facilitates the retention and transfer of first-generation college students of color. In the past 12 months, she has received Legacy's Leader of the Month Award and Mentor of the Year Scholarship. Tyuana exemplifies resilience and the power of dedication and perseverance.
Jeremiah M.
Jeremiah has experienced multiple obstacles in his life that no kid should ever have to face… domestic violence, hunger, and homelessness. Despite these challenges, Jeremiah remains steadfast in his determination to be successful. He wakes up each morning at 5:30 to ensure he is on time for school. He then takes public transportation for over an hour to get home at night after sports practice. Committed to his studies, he maintains excellent school attendance. Jeremiah’s tremendous character and fortitude will ensure his continued success! 
Candi Kern - Sandra Lee - Brian Nakamura - Bonnie Peat - Lydia Sondhi, Ph.D.
Anne Silavs