Amy Gonzalez exemplifies how students in Momentum Learning schools can overcome obstacles through effort and determination.
Amy is a junior in North County Technology and Science Blended Academy's independent study program, which is part of the San Diego County Office of Education's Momentum Learning portfolio of schools. She was recognized last month by the County Board of Education as this quarter's Winners' Circle award recipient. The award honors Momentum Learning students who have made outstanding progress and achievement.
Though she joined the program unsure about her future and her abilities, she's now tutoring other students and serving as a role model, said Principal Joel Spengler.
"Amy Gonzalez is another one of our fabulous leaders who really exemplifies what the Winners' Circle is all about — overcoming obstacles, making real outstanding progress in her academics, and being a role model," Spengler said.
Amy has been with Momentum Learning for two years. She said the independent study classroom groups at North County Technology and Science Blended Academy and teacher Tony Matoian have really helped her succeed and realize how intelligent she is.
"He's a teacher who goes above and beyond for his students," she said. "Throughout all of my school years, I have never met another teacher like Mr. Tony. He is the kind of teacher who wants us to learn, who wants us to know new things, to make the best out of everything, and to reach our goals."
Matoian said he picked Amy for the recognition because of her dedication to turning her life around and devoting herself to her studies.
"She shows nothing but leadership in the classroom, not by talking to people, just by modeling," he said.
Amy's advice for other students: Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
"Don't ever give up on yourself, because after all, everything you do is for the good of your future," she said. "I know what it's like to be put down, to feel powerless. I've had people tell me I couldn't do it. We don't have to let our limitations become reality. You have the ability to prove them wrong. In those moments when you need a reason to continue, close your eyes and picture yourself in the future saying, 'They told me I couldn't, so I did.' "
After she graduates, Amy plans to go to college to become a nurse.
"Growing up, I always wanted to go to medical school," she said. "I will take on anything that stands in my path to being in the medical field."