For the final round of honorees in the Student of the Month program at Escalon High School, five were selected for recognition by the Escalon Sunrise Rotary Club.
Those honored were seniors Mariana Alvarado and Sophia Carrasco Gomez, along with juniors Jenelle Anderson, Jennifer Van Lewen and Christian Rodriguez.
Mariana Alvarado was nominated by Pinder Dosanjh.
“Mariana Alvarado partnered up with Delta Blood Bank and organized a very successful blood drive. As a Vice President of Interact, Mariana managed two more blood drives at Escalon High School. She has been an active member in Interact for three years,” Dosanjh noted.
In addition, she has been president of the Spanish Club, member of the gay straight alliance club, active on the cross country team, Friends Helping Friends club, and a member of the Academic Decathlon team. She is also involved in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and is part of the Nocturnal Adoration Society at the church.
She plans to attend San Diego City College and transfer to UC San Diego. Her goal is to become a pediatric surgeon.
“Mariana also plans to volunteer in the Peace Corps and hopes to create her own organization to help people in need,” said Dosanjh. “It has been my pleasure to be her teacher and advisor. I am certain Mariana will achieve personal success as well as her goal of helping those in need.”
Among the awards she has received, a Seal of Biliteracy, Sports Block E, and Acadec participation medal.
“I would like to thank my mom for always supporting me on what I pursue in life,” said Alvarado. “Friends for pushing me to be the best I can be and everyone that has believed in me and has helped me achieve great things.”
Sophia Carrasco Gomez was nominated by Derek Scott.
“Sophia is a great life skills peer leader on all projects assigned to her. She is a tireless worker in the snack bar or any classroom event. She is willing to do any job needed and will work with a huge smile on her face,” explained Scott. “It’s very rewarding for me to see her feel good about herself as she’s leading other people by example.”
Her student achievements include being manager for the Escalon High wrestling team snack bar and helping with buck a lunch, volunteering for any outside activities at EHS and the Escalon Wrestling club and she has received awards including being on the honor roll and was recognized for being the wrestling team manager.
“I wish Sophia great success in her life, and if she believes in herself, she can do anything,” Scott said. “It has been my pleasure to have her in my class and work with her the past four years.”
The student had several people on her ‘thank you’ list that have been important to her during her years at EHS.
“I would like to thank Mr. Scott who has been there for me when school was getting rough. He helped me to get enrolled in college and believes in me and always pushes me to do good things,” she said. “Mrs. Northcutt who has been there during hard times and to encourage me to do it and help me through my work and studying for a test. All the staff that has supported me, and helped me along the way. I feel privileged to have attended here for four years.”
Jenelle Anderson was nominated by George Megenney.
“The purpose of recognizing students for each month of the school year is to highlight accomplishments, behavior, improvement, and character. We do this both to celebrate individual students and to call to attention to their peers their positive contributions to our school,” Megenney pointed out. “It is for these reasons that I have nominated Jenelle Anderson for student of the month. Jenelle possesses a number of positive attributes that have led her to be a successful student and a good role model to her classmates. She has consistently worked hard to maintain good grades, makes strong efforts to understand class objectives, create quality work, and has always shown an interest in helping those around her to succeed. These are qualities worth celebrating and rewarding.”
Among her student achievements, Anderson is a Key Club member, has played AAU travel basketball since eighth grade and coaches Cub basketball. Nominated as treasurer for senior class next year, she also plays basketball for EHS where she has been recognized with multiple awards. Academically, she is part of the ELC program and is in the top 9 percent of Escalon High academics.
“I would like to thank my mom for supporting me in all my decisions, sacrificing her free time off work to drive me to basketball tournaments and helping me through the rough times in my life,” Anderson said. “Dad for being my hero and coaches for handling both my good and bad days and always pushing me to be better than I was before.”
Christian Rodriguez received his nomination from Pinder Dosanjh.
“I have known Christian for the past two years as a student and Interact President. Christian has excelled in his academic classes as evidenced by being an Academic Scholar and earning a GPA of 4.67. He has a rigorous schedule, which includes AP classes,” noted Dosanjh. “Christian possesses a unique ability to do whatever needs to be done without being asked. He is a self-starter requiring little or no supervision.”
Among his student achievements: CSF, Academic Decathlon, Sacred Heart and Interact member. President of Interact Club, planning Kids in a Box, Haven of Peace visits and Senior Estate visits. He also volunteers at Escalon Public Library in Give Every Child a Chance, tutoring. He has received an Academic Block E, Academic Scholar for three years, and academic excellence awards.
“The best quality in Christian is his ability to get along with differing groups of people. He has excellent communication skills, a pleasing personality, outstanding organizational skills, and an inclusive leadership style,” Dosanjh added. “As president of Interact, Christian took the lead and conducted two very successful blood drives. He supervised Kids-in-a-Box and performed various other duties with exceptional leadership. More importantly, Christian has always conducted himself in a manner that makes me proud to be his advisor.”
For the junior, he offered thanks to his parents for helping him focus on what is important.
“I would like to thank my parents for the important values they’ve instilled in me. They have taught me that with dedication and persistence I can accomplish things that might seem impossible,” he said. “Thanks to them I continuously push myself to do better and to accomplish more than what I did before.”
Jennifer Van Lewen was nominated by George Megenney.
“I am happy to nominate Jennie Van Lewen for Student of the Month as she has consistently shown persistence toward learning that is to be commended. The purpose of recommending a student for recognition is, in my opinion, to highlight the accomplishments, actions, behavior and determination of the individual as both a celebration of their accomplishments as well as a demonstration of strong character for their peers,” Megenney said. “Jennie is a highly responsible young lady who works very hard to complete the tasks set before her, does not shy away from asking questions in order to improve her understanding of concepts taught in class, and remains diligent with regard to her studies. This has resulted in a high level of performance in class. I have had a very good opportunity to observe her curiosity, perseverance, humility and interpersonal collaboration skills. Students like Jennie help to give hope that the future will be a positive one.”
Active in Friends Helping Friends, other student achievements for Van Lewen include being involved in Sacred Heart, Jazz Band and Band member. She also volunteers to make cards for people who are sick and in the hospital and spends some time volunteering at Bethany Home assisted living care center and for Escalon children services, where she helps children with their homework.
Involved in Track and Field her freshman and sophomore years, she ran the 800 meter, pole vault and 400 meter, and was part of the 4 by 400 relay. She also is a Cougar scholar and has received some Block E awards.
“I would like to thank my parents and Oma for always encouraging me each and every day to help shape me into the person I am today,” she said. “Also Mr. Megenney who gave me this award that I am very honored to receive.”
The five honored students were recognized prior to the end of the school year, at a breakfast meeting of the Escalon Sunrise Rotary Club.