Escondido, CA
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A program that recognizes “rising stars”


Like many of you, we at the Chamber are taking this time to reflect back on our achievement’s accomplished this year, and preparing for another calendar year. 

We’re just about done with our hosted events for the year and we’re taking this time to slow down, take stock of our accomplishments, review our policies and procedures and make any mid-year adjustments necessary to assure we’re meeting our strategic goals set forth and build on the value Chamber membership provides. 

We operate on a July through June fiscal reporting year which allows us to take this short break to review and make any course changes necessary to finish out our fiscal year with all boxes checked off. In other words it’s kind of our annual physical. I’m proud to report the Chamber is healthy with all vital signs pointing upward. We’re keeping a keen eye on our cholesterol levels and watching what we eat but, we’re good.

This is because of the support you’ve provided to the Chamber.  

I’ve just come back from our Rising Stars Scholarship breakfast and pardon me if I take a moment to reflect on this morning. This is one of the many programs the Chamber provides to the Community and is in the midst of its second year, The Rising Stars Program. It is a collaborative program between the Escondido Unified High School District, the Chamber and our sponsors. The program is centered on recognizing students who are succeeding while overcoming real challenges. These students are selected by their teachers/counselors. The stories are simply amazing. These are students whose stories you will rarely hear, the unsung heroes, students who are not being recognized otherwise. This program is in the midst of its 2nd year, and we couldn’t be more proud of this one. 

Each student and their Principal, parents/families, are invited to attend and all are asked to come up on stage to receive their award and are honored with stories from their Principals, teachers and families. And, then they are asked to share their stories. Oh, what stories they share. Each of these students is an example of what makes Escondido great. The students share their experience, giving their stories of challenges they face whether this be bullying, homelessness, addictions both themselves and their families, or various other impediments they’ve overcome to be chosen as examples of success at their school. Rising Stars indeed.

On that note the results of last week’s poll question are in and the overwhelming response to the question of “Do you prefer Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?” was an easy one as Merry Christmas was the runaway winner!

James Rowten (JR) is CEO of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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