• Alejandra Serrano

    Mission High School

    Foodwise Teens, Family Translator, Environmental Stewardship Intern

    Studies/Goal: Psychology

    Alejandra attended Marshall ES and Hoover MS. She was 2 years old when her family migrated from Mexico with the dream of economic and academic opportunities. She is an outstanding writer and grasps complex topics such as, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, systemic racism, intersectionality, gentrification, generational wealth gaps, and many others. Alejandra is empathetic, kind, fair, hardworking, reflective, and very intellectual. Instead of letting fear immobilize her, she faces it head on and works through it. She is someone who takes action and can apply what she learns to her life. Alejandra has also been proactive in the Black Lives Matter Movement, understanding the connection of the oppression of Black and Latinx people.

  • Andrea Alvarado

    Lowell High School

    Causa Justa Intern, Family Translator, Caregiver for her sister who has challenges

    Studies/Goal: Dietetics and Nutrition

    Andrea was born in Guatemala and attended Spring Valley ES and Marina MS. She is proud to be a first generation Afro Latina. Andrea has the ability to keep going despite all that she must carry. She is a student who understands the seriousness of the things we are facing and knows how to remain resilient. Andrea overcomes her struggles and builds upon her strengths. Despite the circumstances, or because of the circumstances, Andrea is clear about who she is and has been and is putting forth her best self.

  • Andrea Hernandez

    SF International High School

    International Committee, Gay Straight Alliance, LGBT+, Caregiver for niece

    Studies/Goal: Medical Assistant or EMT

    Andre (as they are called) is a thoughtful student who is good at building relationships. They have overcome many challenges while at school. Andre was raised by their grandmother in El Salvador and was very close to her until she passed away this year. Andre has also been reunifying with their mother, which has been a challenging process. They are always willing to participate and engage with academic material, even when it is challenging. Since 10th grade, Andre has progressed tremendously especially in English.

  • Ben M Handleman

    Ruth Asawa SOTA High School

    Cross Country Captain, Mock Trial, SOTA Intersectionality Council

    Studies/Goal: Philosophy, Economics, Political Science

     Ben was born in Guatemala and attended Dolores Huerta (Fairmount) ES and Hoover MS. Ben is an excellent student and demonstrates a strong commitment to his academic studies. He consistently shows great professionalism and critical thinking skills. Ben assists at implementing lessons that are engaging and have a unique student perspective, making him an important part of enhancing the learning of everyone. Ben has been through a lot during his time in high school and weathered it with a grace and determination far beyond what could reasonably be expected of anyone. Ben is a steady, calming presence in classes. He identifies what’s important and stays focused on that, whether it be school work, a role in a show, or helping a friend. He is unfailingly kind, considerate and thoughtful.

  • Brandin J Perez y Perez

    T Marshall High School

    After School Program, Culinary Club

    Studies/ Goals : Nursing

    Brandin immigrated from Guatemala to the United States by himself at 13, to live with his older sister and her family. He has been focused and determined as he considers opportunities and pathways for his future. Brandin asks questions and seeks out help when needed. He is empathetic and expressive. He has big feelings and big dreams. He has always helped his classmates, especially in translating English to Spanish. The trip was dangerous. He had bug bites over his whole body, got ill, and was sent to a detention center for unaccompanied minors. Fortunately, he was finally able to unite with his sister. Brandin is determined to succeed in college and in his future.

  • Camilo Garduño

    Burton High School 

    UCSF CURE Internship, SF Jewish Home, My Path

    Studies / Goals : Psychology

    Camilo was born in SF and attended Willie Brown MS, City Arts & Technology. In addition to being a talented and motivated student, Camilo is a genuinely nice person. He is easy going and gets along with everyone. He is quick to help others when they need assistance, and he always participates in group discussions and projects. Camilo changed schools during high school, including at the beginning of senior year. He had to adjust to new schools and new people. His efforts to find the right school shows persistence. Camilo’s desire to explore potential careers and give back to the community have driven him to overcome challenges. He has become comfortable in diverse environments and has sought out many opportunities. He is a leader and always takes time to help others. 

  • Carlos Alcantar

    Lincoln High School

    La Raza Co-President, Gay-Straight Alliance, Solidarity Organizing Project

    Studies / Goal : Psychology

    Carlos was born in Mexico and attended Revere ES and Hoover MS. He is hardworking, determined, intelligent, and motivated to serve young people who need the support he craved as a young person struggling with his sexuality in a heteronormative household. He constantly looks for ways to advocate for those that go unheard. He is a powerful, dedicated and hopeful person who firmly cares about his community.  Whether he is leading a class discussion, meeting with his mentees, or going to Alcatraz for the Indigenous Peoples’ Day sunrise ceremony, he pushes himself and others toward growth and justice. Carlos’s work goes well beyond just Peer Resources, he is also a Wellness ambassador. 

  • Christopher Castro

    Ida B Wells High School

    Football, Videography, After School Program

    Studies / Goal : Undeclared

    Christopher was born in SF and attended Malcolm X ES and Hoover MS. He is a community builder, critical thinker, and a natural facilitator. Chris is able to ask challenging and clarifying questions that prompt classroom engagement. His ability to use meta cognitive skills adds to the learning of others. Chris is committed and dedicated to his goals, often staying after school to engage in programs like gardening, Black Student Union or Latino Student Union. He is interested in Marine Biology and Astronomy. Chris has humility but an eagerness to get further ahead financially so he can support his family. Despite the odds, He has proven to be resilient and has persevered through obstacles. He is excited about learning and being a contributing member of his community. Chris is driven to break the cycle of poverty.

  • Cristopher Tijerino

    Mission High School

    Awaken Dreamers, Volleyball, Poetry

    Studies / Goal: Literature and Music

    Christopher was born in Nicaragua. As Dreamers Club president, he leads by example so that other students like him come out of the shadows and learn to be unafraid and unashamed of being undocumented. This is a student who exemplifies the importance of community and human connection. Chris is deliberate in his discussions with his peers and teachers. He has a profound love of learning, particularly literature, poetry, and writing in all its forms. Chris is eager to engage in difficult conversations around justice, privilege, and power. He has led projects around immigration and education. He planned a field trip to SF MOMA to experience “Drawing The Line,” a conceptual dismantling of the border wall, a border that Chris himself crossed as an infant when he was separated from his mother in Nicaragua and delivered to his father in the U.S. Chris is absolutely determined to uplift his family and community.

  • Dayana Gomez

    Washington High School

    Boys and Girls Club Volunteer, Mayor’s Youth Employment/Education Program

    Studies / Goal : Psychology

    Dayana, the eldest child of 6, was born in SF, raised in the Tenderloin, and attended, B Carmichael ES and Roosevelt MS. The TL is a challenging place to grow up, but Dayana and her family, are resilient. She is disciplined and engaged, which has helped her expand her capacity to be a leader. Dayana participates in job readiness, and college prep programs, including consistently volunteering. She helped her younger brother through distance learning and works part-time to help her family. She is a powerful, organized, and resourceful Latina leader. Dayana is dedicated to assuring a better future for herself and her family. She is kind, loving, dedicated, hard-working, and humble. Many of her peers look to her for support because of her positive and welcoming spirit. 

  • Elsy “Gabby” Orellana

     Balboa High School

    Senior Center Volunteer, Food Drive Organizer, Multicultural Club

    Studies/Goal: Biochemistry or Psychology

    Gabby was born in El Salvador and raised by her grandmother. She is resilient, intellectually sparkling and enthusiastic. She is a force and a wonder, always positive, humble, creative, and resolute. Her presence, her questions, and her comments in class uplift the conversation and the pedagogy. She is a beautiful artist whose drawings decorate the walls of her classrooms. Conversations with Gabby are full of passion. She is a keen observer and a vivid writer who can bring to life simple stories of walking to school. If you are lucky she regales you with stories of life in El Salvador. Learning in the community is what grounds and drives her. Rather than being defeated by challenges, Gabby is galvanized to study more and be more creative. In the darkness, she finds light, love, and purpose. 

  • Fernando Cortez

    Lincoln High School

    Soccer, After School Job, Bridges Program

    Studies/Goal: Medical Assistant or Veterinary

    Fernando was born in El Salvador and lives with his aunt and cousins. He is committed to his education, always gives his best effort and maintains a positive attitude even during the most difficult times. Fernando is a well-respected member of the school’s soccer community. He has earned the trust and respect of his teammates and coach. Fernando never dwells on his mistakes or points the finger at others. He simply focuses on what he can control, which is his own attitude and effort. Fernando is the face of newcomer students who work to achieve their dreams despite all obstacles.

  • Hazel Salazar

    SF International High School

    Oasis Program, Peer Tutor After School Volunteer, Volleyball

    Studies/Goal: Psychology

    Hazel was born in El Salvador and grew up with her grandmother, brother and cousin because her mom had come to the U.S. to work. She arrived three years ago and has overcome many challenges through her hard work. Hazel is a patient, independent, and empathetic student leader who is always calm and collaborative. She likes participating in sports and clubs, especially volleyball and the Peace Club. Hazel has made friends across cultures and is always willing to help others. She is self-driven and has maintained a 4.0 GPA. She is a positive role model for her peers because of her focus, collaboration, and willingness to improve. Combined with her drive for a better life, Hazel’s persistence, humility, and eagerness will lead her to success.

  • Heidy C Bamaca Perez

    T Marshall High School

    Goat 23, CAN Program, Grupo de Apoyo

    Studies/Goal: Nursing

    Heidy was born in Guatemala and went to work at the age of 14 in agriculture. When she immigrated here an uncle supported her, but now she lives on her own and pays all her expenses. Heidy is a confident young woman with great potential. She is inquisitive, insightful, and quite funny, too. She is an active participant in class discussions and a team member that always works well with her group. Her outgoing personality and no-fear attitude about life is infectious among peers and adults. She is a confident go-getter and very mature for her age, as she’s had to grow up quickly. Heidy has high “emotional intelligence,” thinks critically, and is not hesitant to express her point of view. She has already been accepted into a nursing program. 

  • Isaac Calderon

    Galileo High School

    JROTC, Football, Homeaway Afterschool Program

    Studies/Goal: Education, Society, and Human Development

    Isaac was born in Arizona and has lived through hard times. Such things can leave trauma in their wake, but Isaac managed to turn his anger and fear towards determination, empathy, and leadership. In junior year, he went out for his high school football team. He not only made the team, he became the Jr. Varsity Quarterback, and he raised his GPA. In 2021, Isaac got a job as a teaching assistant in SFUSD. He fell in love with working as a leader and playmate with the 3-5th graders he managed. When his supervisor fell ill, Isaac stepped up, running the class purely from having observed his head teacher. He copied lessons and led the class in learning for almost 2 weeks. Isaac demonstrated confidence, dedication, and knowhow. When Isaac is challenged he steps up! 

  • Jacson Perez

    Mission High School

    Varsity Soccer, Childcare, MPACT Afterschool Program

    Studies/Goal: Engineering, Business or Architecture

    Jacson was born in El Salvador and arrived in the US at 12. His mother was looking for work, so they moved to three different states, finally settling in SF, where he attended BVHM K-8. Jacson is fighting for a better life for his family. He pushes himself to work night shifts to help with finances. Jacson is not just a scholar, but also an athlete. He’s on the Mission Soccer Team and earned the prestigious title of team captain. His team leadership has guided the younger players to be scholars as well as athletes. Jacson has the courage to stand in front of a room full of strangers and speak about his life lessons. He strives for excellence in himself and also uplifts those around him. 

  • Jazmine Guzman

    O’Connell High School

    Arts Equity, Stanford STEM to SHTEM, Code Nation

    Studies/Goal: Electrical Engineering

    Jazmine was born in SF and attended Flynn ES & BVHM. In a family of nine, she works part-time, and translates for her parents, while balancing the demands of academics, work, extra-curriculars, and friends. Jazmine has a calm demeanor and is a joy to work with. She is determined, intelligent, and humble, with extremely high expectations for herself while also supporting others. Jazmine chose to take Algebra in addition to Geometry so that she could take AP Calculus in her senior year demonstrating her ability to set goals and reach them.

  • Keily Lopez

    Thurgood Marshall High School

    Summer School

    Studies/Goal: Law

    Keily was born in Guatemala and arrived here in 2016. She loves books, asks questions in class, and is intentional with her time. Keily is always respectful, thoughtful, and willing to collaborate with her classmates who often go to her for help. She is always a bright light in class, bringing levity and fun to even difficult and frustrating occasions. Keily is always smiling, always willing to help, and always a reminder that even though work can be hard, it’s important to stay positive.

  • Melissa Morales

    Mission High School

    Enterprise For Youth, UCSF (SEP) Intern, Dolores Huerta ES Volunteer

    Studies/Goal: Child Development & Journalism

    Melissa was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. with her family when she was four. She is vivacious, curious and bold. She is able to explore social determinants of health through a highly evolved lens. Bravely advocating for herself and others, she speaks truth to power. Melissa writes and speaks with great aplomb. She is a dedicated student, skillful organizer and compassionate classmate; from her work with fellow Dreamers to her class projects, she brings focus and drive, stepping up to share and moving back to encourage others. Melissa shines at tackling hard subjects such as racism as a determinant of health, interpersonal violence and the toll of the pandemic on black and brown neighborhoods with the ease of a seasoned public health educator. 

  • Nayeli Molina Flores

    June Jordan High School

    SF Community K-8 School Intern, Bridges Program

    Studies/Goal: Women’s Studies

    Nayeli was born in SF and attended Guadalupe ES and ML King MS. She is the oldest in her family and she strives to be a role model for her younger brother. She is kind-hearted, responsible, and focused on her future. She grew up struggling with anxiety, which significantly impacted her ability to perform and show up for school. However, after working with her case manager, teachers, and peers throughout high school, Nayeli developed the skills to become an advocate for other students with learning differences. She is an active member of the June Jordan community, especially with the Special Education Department because she often spends her free time supporting other students with special education needs. Nayeli has matured to be a leader and role model through her advocacy skills. She has endured and persevered through academic and personal challenges and is dedicated to continuing her education.

  • Samantha Ruiz

    Hilltop High School

    Starbucks Barista, Felton Child Care Intern, YOW

    Studies/Goal: Psychology

    Samantha was born in SF and attended Cleveland ES, ML King Jr. MS, Denman MS, Lincoln HS and June Jordan HS. She is a young mother who has great need - but even greater potential. Samantha is an excellent communicator, a curious person, an empathetic woman, and a resilient human. She consistently seeks to help people understand one another, and to create peace. Samantha is always curious: investigating new content or trying out unique programs. She embodies the most precious assets of the Latinx community. She is a loving, caring mother and a loyal friend. Samantha's complete bilingualism and biculturalism as well as her exceptional literacy skills in both languages will help her to excel. 

  • Suly Gonzalez

    Thurgood Marshall High School

    Beit Rima Chashier/Waitress, El Centro Bayview Volunteer, JCYC Upward Bound

    Studies/Goal: Nursing

    Suly was born in Guatemala and came to the U.S. at 15. She is a model student who has blossomed as a high school student and person. Suly is determined, resilient, and motivated. She is dedicated, curious, and always the first to ask questions and keep searching until she finds the answer. Education is very important to Suly, and things that are important to her are always given time and attention. Barriers showcase her resilience and perseverance. She has the drive, curiosity, determination, and resilience to succeed.

  • Victor Del Rio

    Academy-SF High School 

    Varsity Soccer, Cross Country, Badminton Leader

    Studies/Goal: Computer Science

    Victor was born in SF and attended Fairmount (D Huerta) ES and Lick MS. He  balances an academic load with a number of extracurricular responsibilities. Victor is a positive force, sharing his optimism, humor, and generosity to every group he enters. He often stays after class to work on his essays, or to get more information or feedback. Victor is exceedingly kind, patient, funny, and his passion for learning is clear in the way that he breaks down and explains material in different ways. His easy going nature and love of problem solving have often put him into positions of leadership. Victor is a “quiet leader,” soliciting input from everyone before decision-making. He perseveres through setbacks and is able to identify his own strengths and those of others to facilitate a harmonious and effective team.

  • Vielman Juarez Ajpop

    T Marshall High School

    Soccer, Race Club, Humanitarian Aid

    Studies/Goal: International Business

    Vielman was born in Guatemala. He left his home country and faced circumstances that most students his age could not imagine, and that shaped who he is and how he reacts. Vielman knows how to push through loss and adversity, and more importantly, he knows that they represent opportunities to grow, change, and flourish in a new way. When he first entered high school, he was shy but with time, his shyness faded and he turned out to be quite social and able to make friends with students of all types. Vielman has resilience and courage that has served him well. 

Your gift helps LATA provide scholarships to high school graduates so they can be prepare for life!