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 Student Spotlight: Nicole and Andrea

The student representatives on the San Diego County Board of Education for February and March were Nicole, a sophomore at Lindsay Community School, and Andrea, a senior at Innovations Academy of Empowerment (Innovations).

“Nicole is a resilient, inspirational student leader,” shared Lindsay principal Theresa Fox. “This year she has developed into the role as a student leader/teacher in the Street of Dreams poetry class at Lindsay, inspiring other students to feel empowered to share their voice. She is an active civic-minded member of her community and recently gave a passionate presentation at the Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) Design Jam regarding the last election.”

Nicole had thoughts about becoming a teacher but after some of the events of the past year has focused her sights on becoming a civil rights attorney. Her advice to other JCCS students is to persevere.

“You have to bounce back,” Nicole said. “Don’t allow a bad situation or others to take away or make you fall away from your education, because your education is the one way to improve your situation.”

Andrea has similar advice to fellow students.

“Make graduation a priority, apply yourself, participate, and maintain positive motivation toward learning,” she said.

Innovations principal Oscar Felix said that Andrea has become a goal-oriented and self-directed student.

“She has been interactive and open for new learning since day one,” Felix said. “Andrea gradually gained her self-esteem and maturity through her learning in a short period of time at Innovations.”

Andrea, who plans to attend Grossmont College for nursing, says it’s her consistent effort and determination that makes her stand out.

Both students are grateful to their teachers for helping them in their progress.

“All of my teachers at Lindsay have helped me,” Nicole said. “Hugo for math, Dawn for teaching history or herstory; but especially teacher Erendira Ramirez. “Endi” has always guided me to get me back in the right place when I fell off track. I am grateful and always feel she listens to me.”

Andrea says that everyone at Innovations has helped her with her schoolwork and to improve her daily learning, including teachers Ljubica Mandrapa, Pat Idica, Petia Tuisalogo, and Mirsha Garcia, and counselor Gabriela Waters.

Each month, the County Board of Education recognizes a student from JCCS at its regular meeting.

"In addition to giving the board a chance to honor a student, participation in the meeting also gives students valuable experience in leadership," said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools.