Seven Murrieta high school seniors were recently honored through the Murrieta Valley Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month Program for January.
The students and their families attended a breakfast sponsored by numerous local businesses at Sizzler in Murrieta. At the monthly event, students shared personal stories of their most significant life lesson, of victory over challenging life circumstances, where they plan to attend college and how they plan to "pay it forward" when they return from college, said Karen Parris, spokesperson for the Murrieta Valley Unified School District.
Students were presented with gift certificates from community businesses along with certificates of recognition, congratulations and accolades from local, county, state and federal dignitaries, Parris said, in a news release.
Parris shared excerpts from the recognition ceremony, as well as the students' achievements and goals.
The students of the month for January are:
Murrieta Mesa High School Senior Shawn Stevenson is ranked second in his class and he plans to go into politics. Shawn would like to attend either UCLA, Stanford or George Washington University. He is in National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. He has also participated in Model United Nations and Murrieta’s Youth in Government Day. In addition, Shawn has been on the school track and field team. Shawn has learned the importance of giving back through public service and he currently tutors elementary students.
Murrieta Mesa High School Senior Allison Moreno has embraced serving others. She is the president of her school’s Invisible Children club and is a member of several other clubs on campus including the Pink Ribbon Club and Make a Wish. Allison is also involved in student government with Murrieta Mesa’s United Student Body. Although Allison is unsure of what her major will be in college, it will likely involve service to others. She has applied to Hawaii Pacific University and Cal State San Luis Obispo.
Murrieta Valley High School Senior Guicheng Ariel Tan came to the United States from China when she was 12 years old. Although it was a challenge to adapt to a new language and culture, she now mentors other Chinese students who have just come to the United States. Ariel has a 4.2 GPA. She is a member of the Crimson Cadets Performance Corp and she has reached the second highest rank in JROTC. Ariel has served more than 200 community service hours and she has taken 10 Advanced Placement classes. As a member of National Honor Society, she tutors elementary students. Ariel hopes to attend UCLA and major in psychology.
Oak Grove Senior Arisha Joseph began attending Oak Grove a year ago and in that time she has overcome several obstacles, making a remarkable turn-around in her life. Arisha has a passion for writing and the arts and she is a hard worker who is dedicated to academics. Arisha has a 4.2 GPA, she is a member of the school’s Interact Club and she is involved in student leadership. Arisha is kind-hearted, thoughtful and caring and she does what is right, setting a positive example for her peers.
Calvary Murrieta Christian High School Senior Kayla Hatch is an outstanding scholar athlete. She is a pitcher on her school’s softball team and next year she will play softball at Cal Baptist University. She plans to become an elementary teacher or a special education teacher. Kayla says she has learned to trust God for everything in her life and to follow His plan for her life. She has shown courage in the face of obstacles and she makes great choices in her life. Kayla is known for her compassion and for being a humble, mature, diligent student.
Vista Murrieta High School Senior Davin Guinn is a fierce competitor in basketball, track and field and he maintains a 4.2 GPA. Davin has a passion for video production and he is the chief editor and host of the daily Bronco Network News. Davin plans to attend either UC Irvine, UC San Diego or Brigham Young University and he will major in political science. Davin is an Eagle Scout and he was named RCOE’s Tech Education Student of the Year in 2010/11. As the oldest of six children in his family, Davin has been a positive influence on his siblings and he also sets a great example for his peers.
Vista Murrieta High School Senior Allison Vergara is a student leader who selflessly uses her talents and gifts to help other people. She also has the ability to motivate and encourage other students to get more involved in school. Allison has been involved in student government, the BBC Club, cheer and dance. She is a role model for her peers and a positive influence on campus. Allison plans to attend San Diego State University and go into nursing.
"The Student of the Month Program greatly appreciates the community's support and interest in the lives of our young people," Parris said.
To learn more about the Student of the Month Program, contact Founder Sally Myers at 951-506-8024. To become a sponsor, contact Margaret Jones at 951-677-4856. Additional questions can be directed to Karen Parris, Murrieta SOM publicity coordinator at 951-696-1600, ext. 1022.