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San Pasqual Academy Student Honored as ‘Remarkable Teen’

San Pasqual Academy Student Honored as ‘Remarkable Teen’

San Pasqual Academy (SPA) senior Alurah Chappell was recognized by the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office for her ability to overcome adversity to succeed at its 5th Annual 25 Most Remarkable Teens awards ceremony.

Alurah received the award for Courage to Overcome: Family Situation. She has been in the foster system for the past three years as a result of a tumultuous family situation. While life on her own has been challenging, she has excelled at SPA where she plays five sports, has maintained a 4.0 GPA, and received 10 awards for academic excellence. 

“I am proud of Alurah for everything she has overcome and accomplished thus far in life,” said Christopher Toomey, a counselor at SPA who nominated Alurah. “As her journey continues, I can't wait to see what the future brings. She is a promising young lady with a bright future ahead of her.”

Alurah hopes to attend UCSD and be the first in her family to graduate from college. This past summer she took a college class at Palomar College and also passed a difficult oceanography class. Toomey said she is the first one to volunteer when it comes to community events and has been a role model to her fellow peers. 

“While waiting to receive my award the instant thought in my head was, ‘I don't hold a dime to any of these kids around me.’ I felt like I had nothing to offer besides a sob story to tell,” Alurah shared. “After my story was read, I saw tears in people's eyes and even my own started to water. Standing there in the light made me feel like everything was finally coming together and my work and effort were finally paying off. I am very appreciative to all who joined me for my ceremony, and who have been supporting me for years. I would like to thank all the politicians, and even the mayor who I got the chance to meet.”

The 25 teens were selected from a pool of more than 155 nominees after virtual interviews and a review of supplemental materials by a panel from the Public Defender’s Office. The 25 Most Remarkable Teens in San Diego County are set apart from other teen award honorees because students selected to be “Most Remarkable” are not only talented, but are driven to succeed, overcome adversity, and are passionate about civic issues or projects. 

“Alurah is hard working and determined to meet her goals. Her tenaciousness and resilience help her move any obstacles that might be in her way,” said SPA Principal Suzanne Miyasaki. “Being recognized as one of the 25 Remarkable Teens in the county reaffirms her dedication to her future self.” 

Learn about other remarkable teens at the County News Center

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