Lorena Cruz believes she might be a dropout statistic if not for the support she received at Laurel House, a shelter for at-risk youth.
Instead, the senior at Foothill High School in Tustin is heading to college on the strength of a 4.0 grade-point average.
This week’s recommended read comes from Orange County Register writer Susan Christian Goulding, who shares the story of a local 17-year-old girl who turned her life around after enduring remarkable adversity, including an assault when she was 13.
These days Cruz’s name regularly appears on Foothill’s honor roll, and she has her sights set on a nursing degree. She was even recently honored by the Tustin Unified School District. Again, this one’s worth your time.
And here are a few other education stories that caught our attention this week:
- Five Orange County teams competed at the California Academic Decathlon last weekend. Irvine’s Woodbridge High, which won the last two county championships, finished 13th overall at the state-level contest, which was won by a team from El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills.
- Cheered on by their creators, more than 50 student-built robots competed at the FIRST Robotics Orange County Regional held at UC Irvine.
- Anaheim Union High School District Superintendent Michael Matsuda has been recognized by the California Council for the Social Studies for his efforts to promote civic education.
- Linda Brown, who was the central figure of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board ruling in 1954 after being denied enrollment at an all-white school in Kansas, has died. She was 76.
- The Association of California School Administrators is honoring a trio of OC educational leaders as part of its annual awards program.
- Garden Grove Unified plans to transform one of its elementary campuses into the district’s first-ever computer science academy beginning in 2018-19.
- A Mater Dei High School senior has won California’s 2018 Poetry Out Loud competition, becoming the first Orange County student to do so.
- Orange County students were represented on stage and in the crowd during a March 24 rally and march for stricter gun laws that drew about 5,000 people to Santa Ana’s Centennial Park. Students and teachers from San Clemente High School participated in a similar event in their hometown.
- Firefighters, police officers, lifeguards and a group of U.S. Marines from Camp Pendleton gave student runners a little extra motivation during El Morro Elementary’s annual Jog-A-Thon fundraiser in Laguna Beach.
- A Dana Hills High School student designed the winning artwork that was selected to replace a 30-year-old mural inside the iconic tunnel that leads to Salt Creek Beach. Aleena Malik and about 50 fellow art students painted a 22-by-50-foot mural of a Volkswagen bus and a female surfer as a tribute to the beach’s rich surfing history.
- Newport-Mesa Unified trustees discussed ways to deepen the responsibilities of student board members, who have traditionally served as liaisons between their campuses and the Board of Education.