Syria Myers, freshman at Monarch School, was recently named one of San Diego’s most remarkable teens for her ability to overcome personal adversity.
At the age of 8, Myers and her mother became homeless. She missed several years of school while living in the streets and in various shelters. Now at Monarch School, she is able to focus on school and her art. In the last two years, Syria has exhibited artwork twice at Art San Diego and will be on display again at the More Than exhibit at Liberty Station.
“Syria is a jewel in our community. She has a rare, genuine empathy that compels her to care for anyone in pain, regardless of who they are or whatever hardships she is personally pushing through,” said Aliza Cruz, the teacher that nominated her. “It is a pleasure to feel the ways that her heart, wisdom, and strength spill out into the people around her.”
The 15-year-old was one of 25 teens honored by the San Diego County Public Defender Youth Council, a team of civically engaged middle and high school students developing and working on projects that will make a difference in their schools and communities. Teens were honored in multiple categories, which included youth activism, social justice, leadership, and performing arts. It’s the first year San Diego has presented these awards.
San Diego County supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Kristin Gaspar and San Diego councilmembers Barbara Bry and Monica Montgomery presented the awards to the 25 teens.
Julianna Campos, a former Monarch student who passed away earlier this year, was honored posthumously for her leadership abilities.
Cruz also nominated Campos and wrote this about her, “I can confidently say that had Julianna lived to see her high school graduation, she would have left an indelible mark of hope and agency on the Monarch community. She inspired me, an adult, to live with more patience, humility, and grace. Whatever setback her young life dealt her, Julianna was just beginning to discover the power of leadership to change her life, and by extension, the lives of people around her.”
Myers will be recognized by the San Diego County Office of Education board at its June 12 meeting.