Class of 2010
Meet the Class of 2010
Bezait moved from Ethiopia to the United States just five years ago. Her goal is to study architecture and law so she can help build homes around the world for the homeless.
Despite being left by her mother in the 8th grade and constantly battling poverty, Claire maintained an almost perfect academic record. She will attend UCLA in the fall.
In the 6th grade, Eddie's mother passed. He went on to stay with various relatives, at times unsure of where he would find his next meal and once sharing a two bedroom apartment with ten people. His mother had always hoped he would go to college. Eddie will be attending UC Riverside.
Cindy came to the United States in 6th grade from a village in Oaxaca, Mexico. Cindy charged her family's views by working hard to earn money for the family while earning a place on the honor roll. She will attend UC Merced.
Musadiq's family moved to Pakistan in order to escape war-torn Afghanistan. Besides excelling in his studies, Musadiq plays on the varsity basketball and baseball teams. He will attend George Washington University in the fall.
Despite Earvin's hardships, he maintains a 4.0 GPA, is the Vice President of Students for Justice, interns for Upward Bound, and is an all-around athlete. He will attend UC Berkeley in the fall.
Christian has a passion for social justice. In his role on the San Francisco Youth Commission, Christian has used his experience and challenges as a disadvantaged youth to help change the future for other young people. He will attend Grinnell College.
The future Simone sees for herself does not include the drug culture that surrounds her every day. As a member of the Youth Advisory Board, she shares her story in the hope of providing encouragement to others. She will attend Mahattanville College.
When the chaos of her mother's alcoholism and mental illness threatened to overwhelm her, Jenny turned to her creative interests -- music and writing. Jenny is determined to become the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. She will attend Sonoma State.
Marley hopes to work as a photographer for National Geographic, where she can combine her love of art, science, and anthropology. She is active in environmental awareness programs and in peer counseling. She will attend Humboldt State.
Growing up without a father, Lawrence struggled to find positive male role models. In an effort to become the change he wants to see, he mentors elementary students in West Oakland. He will attend St. Mary's College.
When the violence and drug abuse in John's household in Ohio escalated to a point where his father was sent to prison, John reached out to an aunt in California to rescue him and his two younger siblings. John will be the first person in his family to graduate from high school and go to college. He will attend Holy Names College.
Growing up in poverty, Sumat never realized that there were families who could afford to give their children birthday gifts. Recognizing that education was the only way to improve his family's life, Sumat dedicated himself to his studies. He will attend Stanford University.
Growing up in poverty, without a father and with a mother who has serious health problems, Melissa is dedicated to helping others. When she's not studying, she works with the homeless and tutors a friend. She will attend San Jose State University.
Richard took on the responsibilities of an adult at the age of nine when his father abandoned the family. While maintaining a 3.7 GPA, he plays competitive badminton, volunteers at his Chinese School, and serves as a peer tutor. He will attend UC Berkeley.
Jennifer's hardships led her to volunteer at Children's Hospital and to help young children in an Oakland-based program called Youth Roots. She would like to be a social worker and care for the youth in her community. Jennifer will attend UC Berkeley.
Javier watched his siblings follow in the footsteps of his father and use drugs and alcohol instead of focusing on school. Javier is determined to forge a different path. By studying hard, and using sports as a release for his frustration and anger, Javier has already taken the first steps in a new direction. He will attend Colgate University.
Surrounded by drugs and violence, Noe's oldest brother succumbed to the lure of easy money on the streets and ended up in jail. Noe decided to follow the example of his middle brother, Giovanni (SRA Class of 2006), and focused his attention on school and working part-time to help support his family. He will attend Sonoma State.
Justine knows what it is like to be responsible for the care of others. While her mother worked the night shift, Justine cared for her younger sister. She will attend Wesleyan College.
Marjorie is a student leader, creative writer, loves poetry and dance. Every day when Marjorie walks home from school through her West Oakland neighborhood, she is reminded why she works so hard to attend college. She will be attending San Francisco State University.
Removed from her parents' care at age six, Adrian lived with eleven different foster families in ten years. The constant upheaval made her early years difficult. While maintaining a 3.5 GPA, Adrian plays water polo, competes on the swim team, and sings in her church choir. She will attend UCLA.
By the time she was 10 years old, Citlaly experienced physical abuse from close family members, and watched the disintegration of her parent's marriage. With a 3.8 GPA, Citlaly is determined to go to college. She will attend UC Santa Barbara.
Angie knows that strength can come from sharing your problems and asking for assistance. Her mother speaks little English, and her father lives in a special care facility. She will attend UC Berkeley -- she hopes to make her parents proud.
Sha'Nice lost her mother when she was 13 years old, and it is her grandmother who sustains her with love. Sha'Nice holds two jobs while singing in the choir and participating in NAACP for Youth. She will attend CSU Sacramento.
When her mother returned to Mexico and abandoned Susana and her brother, Susana experienced a period of grief and confusion. She moved around, living first with her aunt and then with her father's girlfriend. She is now an excellent student with a 3.98 GPA and is a competitive boxer at the local youth center. She will attend St. Mary's College.
Jasenia's mother became a parent when she was 15, and Jasenia witnessed the violent breakdown of her parents' relationship. She learned the importance of staying focused, working hard, and establishing goals. She will attend UC Riverside.
At an early age, Ta'Kijah took responsibility for the care of her six younger siblings as her mother battled drug and alcohol addiction. Ta'Kijah is now taking a full schedule of Advanced Placement classes, she is active in her church, a member of the local chapter of the NAACP. She will attend Long Beach State.
Six years after leaving California to live in Pakistan, Afshan, her siblings, and her mother returned to the U.S. to escape her father's abuse and neglect. They arrived with no money and no place to live. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and plays junior varsity tennis. She will attend Oxford College.
After finishing first grade in California, Uzma moved with her mother and siblings (including her twin sister Afshan, see above) to Pakistan to live with her father in his home town. Uzma is an excellent student and looks forward to the opportunities college will provide. She will attend Oxford College.
At the end of first grade, Homero's parents took him and his three siblings to live and work on a ranch in Mexico for six years. During that time, Homero helped his parents with chores, cared for animals and hunted iguana for food. That work ethic allowed him to become a straight "A" student and a leader among his peers. He will attend Marymount College, Palos Verdes.
Kosa moved with her mother and two siblings to Ghana when she was four years old. At fourteen years of age, she returned to the United States. Kosa's mother died of breast cancer in 2008, leaving Kosa to live with her 91 year old grandmother. Kosa would like to study in the biomedical field in the hopes of discovering a more effective treatment for cancer. She will attend CSU Channel Island.
Juan was born in the United States, but spent most of his early years in Mexico. Upon returning to the United States, his family eventually moved into a homeless shelter, and then into a dangerous neighborhood in Santa Rosa known for its gang activity. Today, Juan is a model student, plays on the soccer team, and volunteers at several locations including the homeless shelter where he once lived. He will attend Holy Names College.
Sammi moved from Hong Kong at age eight and spoke no English. Her parents divorced and with no employment opportunities, her mother had little choice but to receive government assistance. She works to help support her mother, pay for her own braces and school supplies. She will attend UC San Diego.
Carly grew up in a tumultuous home environment, made all the more so when her father died when she was seven years old. At an early age, Carly determined she wanted to be a veterinarian. She plans to study Veterinary Science at UC Santa Cruz.
Gabby began helping her mother clean houses when she was a young girl, in the hopes they could earn enough money to move the family out of the garage where they were living. She still works with her mother on the weekends, and is now by her mother's side as she battles ovarian cancer. Gabby is looking forward to college while continuing to support her mom. She will attend Mt. Holyoke College.
Yecica is an accomplished artist and enjoys expressing herself through photography, art and poetry. She recruited 25 girls from her high school to tutor K - 8th grade girls through an after school program, Girls to Women. She will attend Bryn Mawr University.
Diana received the Eastside College Prep Excellence Award for her academic achievements just one month after her father passed away from a long illness. She honors his memory by working to fulfill his dream that one day she would become an accomplished young woman. She will attend Stanford University.
Tanesha leads by example. She is an active volunteer with the Oakland Boys and Girls Club, and serves as a role model for children who don't have one at home. She lives with her grandmother and works after school to help ease the financial burden. She will attend UCLA.
Tanisha values her education and looks for ways to make the most of her experiences. As a school leader, she recently organized the first ever Cesar Chavez assembly to help students understand his importance in their community. She will attend Manhattanville College.