BELMONT, Calif. (KGO) --This marks the 11th year ABC7 has celebrated student achievement with our Star Scholars program. ABC7 recognizes seven Bay Area high school seniors for their extraordinary achievements and awards each with a $1,000 scholarship toward his or her college education. Here's a look at a Peninsula student whose focus is to promote acceptance and help others feel included.
"We talked about the all gender bathroom option and we're trying to get that started next year," said Sarah Schisla.
Carlmont High School's co-salutatorian prides herself on acceptance, inclusion and rallying her peers to make positive change.
This Redwood City teen and ABC7 Star Scholar will soon be studying chemical engineering at Stanford University.
"It's a degree that's very versatile," she said. "Right now I'm looking into biopharmaceutical research or searching for sustainable alternative energy."
Schisla says this major will help her do all kinds of things to help make the world a better place.
She's served as co-president of Carlmont's "Gender and Sexuality Alliance" and founded "The Harmony Project," a web-based network that promotes education and support among LGBT youth across the country.
"We live in the Bay Area and it's pretty accepting and I realized that a lot of these other people may be experiencing what I was experiencing when I would move to a new place and feel disenfranchised for a while."
"She has her hand in so many projects, but they all have a bent toward some sort of social justice or helping other people on campus or in the community," said Andy Ramroth, GSA advisor and calculus/geometry teacher.
Like volunteering with disabled and developmentally challenged youth and campaigning for voice-donors to help those using speech devices sound more human than robotic.
"It is amazing to be recognized as an ABC7 Star Scholar," she said. Hopefully I'll find something that I love and something I'm passionate about and something that allows me to help people with my degree."
You can watch our ABC7 Star Scholar special on Saturday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Do you know a change-maker in your community? They can apply for a $500 Summer of Service grant for their community project. Just go to ysa.org/beinspired.