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Chamber honors “Rising Star” students


“The stars don’t look bigger, but they do look brighter.”—Astronaut Sally Ride

Evelyn Zamudio, Valley HS – Sean Duenas, San Pasqual HS – Juan Rios, Del Lago Academy – Liam Scales, Classical Academy – Esmeralda Gatica, Orange Glen HS – Perla Quiroz, Escondido HS – Areebah Hoda, Escondido Charter HS

Perspective has a lot to do with how we see things. For example, take a look at the photo of the April Rising Star honorees. From the outset, they are pretty ordinary, happy go lucky high school seniors. But when you pause a moment and hear their story, you will see that they are shining brightest amongst their peers.

Fortunately, most high school students are able to focus solely on academics and club involvement. However, as with one of our stars, the responsibility of financially supporting the family takes precedent. Her income literally puts food on the family table. Yet, in spite of this challenge, she is able to give to others through her service on Youth Court and via the food drive she led that fed thirty five families over the holidays. This rather petite young lady is an example of true sacrifice and commitment…and a soon to be UCLA Bruin.

The international Stars exemplify the quality of our educational resources. High school is already a challenging undertaking. Imagine coming to the U.S. as a freshman or junior in high school. The language is different and the culture is shocking! However, these students realize the opportunity they have to learn and ultimately change their trajectory. They are naturally curious and eager to learn.

And finally, this star is the youngest in her family. Her older siblings have assumed the role of parents, which they took on while teenagers themselves. Young adults who are determined to be the best they possibly can be despite their circumstances. You would not know by glancing at her bright smile or her quiet demeanor, but she was the first female wrestler to make it to the state championship.

This was the final Rising Star breakfast for the year. Over the course of six months we have honored 42 seniors who are eligible to apply for the Rising Star of the Year scholarship. The scholarships are solely funded by leaders in our community who wish to invest in the success of our youth. Thank you to Sculpt Nouveau, Aelott Air Conditioning, Rancho Computer Networks, Tri State General Contractors, Sunrise Rotary, Allbrand Toner Cartridges, After 5 Rotary and Workplace Services for your generosity and support! The Rising Star of the Year awardees will be recognized at the Grand Avenue Festival on May 19 at 10 a.m.

Rorie Johnston is CEO of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce.

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