Escondido, CA

Chamber of Commerce recognizes “Rising Star” students

Shown in the photo are: Guadalupe Ortega, Escondido HS / Kimberly Najera, San Pasqual HS / Jessica Hernandez, Del Lago Academy / Janna Scroggins, Orange Glen HS / Zachary White, Escondido Charter HS / Cristian Macedo, Valley HS and Karrson Heumann, Classical Academy.

Last week the Escondido Chamber of Commerce hosted the tenth Rising Star breakfast since launching this program last year. 

Chamber CEO Rorie Johnston told The Times-Advocate, “What made this group particularly interesting were the similarities of their attributes, their self-determination and the strong parental support.”

What makes these students Rising Stars?

Aside from academic achievements, each of the honorees were noted for their humble spirit and desire to help others. One of the fathers began to cry when he found out that his daughter is in the top of her class. Being at the top simply wasn’t her focus. 

“From another student, we learned how his father taught him to care for others even in the midst of life’s challenges,” said Johnston. “Being laid off for ten months created a financial hardship. But the family pulled together, scraped by with the help of others, and still sought out ways to meet the needs of others. Experience is the greatest life teacher.” 

Though they are young, their personal life experiences, including hardships, are equipping them to be influential leaders and change makers. 

About Rising Star Students of the Month program.

The Rising Star program brings the community together to honor local high school seniors for demonstrating character, integrity, love of learning, involvement in school and community activities and/or ability to overcome challenging life circumstances without compromising their education. These are students who make a difference in their home, school and community with sincerity and passion.

Each student is eligible to apply for a “Rising Star” scholarship, which has been provided by local businesses and organizations who believe in investing in our youth. To find out more about “Rising Star,” go to

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