2005 Scholars

Marvyn Arévalo Avalos
Marvyn Arévalo Avalos
Marvyn Arévalo Avalos
University of California, Davis

Marvyn graduated from Oakland Technical High School. When he first came to the United States, he could not speak any English. He worked hard and never gave up, eventually becoming fluent and excelling in his academic endeavors. One of Marvyn’s goals at U.C. Davis is to major in Computer Science and prepare himself to become a systems analyst or programmer. He also plans to minor in Physics and possibly pursue a career in the science field.

“Marvyn came here from a troubled land, having had to leave family behind. Yet, from the start…he has been very motivated and cheerful. Others look up to him. Marvyn will go far.”

Vicki Silkiss, Department Chair, ESL
Oakland Technical High School

Martin Cordero
Martin Cordero
Martin Cordero
San Francisco State University

Martin graduated from Castlemont High School. He came to America from Mexico not knowing how to speak English. He goal is to get a higher education and return to Oakland to improve life in his community.

“Martin is a quiet leader who leads by example; he is a great motivator and encourager of his peers.”

Erin Carlson, English Teacher
Castlemont, East Oakland School of the Arts

“At an inner city school where many kids go down the wrong path, Martin has exhibited excellent judgment and responsibility.”

Jacqueline Brechner, College Advisor
Castlemont High School

Burt Jones
Burt Jones
Burt Jones
Sacramento State University

Burt graduated from McClymonds high school in June ’05 and will be attending Sacramento State University in the fall. Burt successfully rose above the negative influences in his environment to become an outstanding student and athlete. His struggles made him a stronger person. He plans to use his higher education to help turn community around for the better.

“Burt is an intelligent, funny, creative and motivated young man who shows great potential for educational success… Recently Burt hosted one of the largest pep rallies in our school. He took on a leadership role by setting a positive tone for our school.”

Tricia Speid,
McClymonds High School

Diana Lee
Diana Lee
Diana Lee
San Francisco State University

Diana successfully graduated from Oakland High School, while working and helping to care for her siblings. She plans to get a college degree in business or law and use it to make a difference in people’s lives. She dreams of helping others in her community rise above their struggles and succeed in society.

“Diana ranks in the top 1% of all the youth I have worked with. She has a resolve that is unmatched and carries herself with a high level of dignity and integrity.”

Tam Dinh, Police Officer and Youth Advisor
Asian Youth Services, Oakland Police Department

Carlos Loera
Carlos Loera
Carlos Loera
San Francisco State University

Carlos is a graduate of Castlemont high school. He came to the United States from Mexico, not knowing how to speak English. His dedication and determination enabled him to become fluent and to excel in his academic endeavors. He will be the first in his family to go to college when he enters San Francisco State. One of his goals is to give back to his community by volunteering at a math development program in Oakland.

“Carlos is an exceptional young man who leads by example both in class and out. Carlos is incredibly conscientious and on top of things… and perseveres even when things are challenging.”

Erin Carlson, English Teacher
Castlemont, East Oakland School of the Arts.

Angél Macedon
Angél Macedon
Angél Macedon
University of San Francisco

Angél graduated from Life Academy high school and will be entering University of San Francisco in Fall 2005. He participated in several programs to develop his leadership and helped to build a community center in a rural part of the Dominican Republic. His goal is to help people of color as a sports medicine doctor.

“Angél’s numerous extracurricular activities exemplify both his initiative and leadership potential&133; He has demonstrated great resiliency in overcoming his many family obstacles.”

Erin Darling, College Advisor
Life Academy, East Bay Consortium

Leonel Mendoza
Leonel Mendoza
Leonel Mendoza
University of California, Berkeley

Leonel is a graduate of Life Academy high school. While attending school, he also worked and took on responsibility for his home and his sibling. Through this experience, he learned many important life skills and came to understand the value of perserverance and hard work.

“Leonel is a powerful leader at Life Academy. He has tremendous influence in creating a positive learning community. He has a passion for inquiry, respect for his community and an understanding of the world around him.”

Yumi Matsui, English Teacher
Life Academy

Adriana Perez
Adriana Perez
Adriana Perez
San Francisco State University

Adriana graduated from Fremont high school. While in school she actively participated in community-based service programs. In addition to her excellent academic performance, she learned valuable social skills. Her goal is to continue creating awareness and finding solutions to making our society a better place. She wants to be an advocate of higher education within Oakland.

“Adriana is a great student and has a great heart. She doesn’t hesitate to help others.”

Antonio Olmedo, Teacher
Fremont High School

Lakeisha Richardson
Lakeisha Richardson
Lakeisha Richardson
Smith College, Massachusetts

Lakeisha graduated from Oakland Technical high school. She established a black student union at her high school to support fellow students in their personal and academic development. Lakeisha places education as her highest priority and she plans to become a psychologist to help other black people create positive changes in the community.

“Lakeisha is always ready to participate in a good discussion and is even willing to play devil’s advocate in order to get a discussion going. She has an intellectual curiosity that is exciting for a teacher to encounter.”

Elizabeth S. Haugen, Teacher
Oakland Technical High School

Rickey Smith
Rickey Smith
Rickey Smith
San Jose State University

Rickey is a graduate of Skyline high school. Despite extremely difficult family circumstances, Rickey earned a place on the honor roll each semester and has become a strong, motivated individual. He is on his way to accomplishing his dream to get a college education.

“The fact that Rickey has overcome such obstacles and is applying to college is truly remarkable. He is a true survivor and deserves (and has worked for) every opportunity possible.”

Susana Hernández, Academic Coordinator
Mills College, Upward Bound

Rona Yee
Rona Yee
Rona Yee
Mt. Holyoke College, Massachusetts

Rona graduated from Oakland high school, where she became a strong student and leader. Through an outdoor experience, Rona learned to believe in herself and handle life’s challenges with confidence. She will be attending Mt. Holyoke College in the fall.

“Rona has grown into an authentic leader through her own self awareness and new found confidence in what she is capable of.”

Lorna Chui Velasco, Executive Director
Summer Search