SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The 2021 Superintendent's 21st Century Awards Scholarship Program is granted to six graduating SFUSD seniors who have excelled academically and have been leaders at their school and in their communities.
Each winner will receive a $3,000 scholarship. They were also honored by the superintendent at a virtual event last May 6.
Here is a short description of their work:
Irina Tamayo attends John O'Connell High School, where she spent her four years creating a positive school environment while promoting resources for students. Irina served as the class president for three years in a row. She helped advocate for and raised awareness on the challenges of many marginalized students of color, bullying, harassment and the financial divide. She will attend Sonoma State University in the fall, where she will pursue nursing.
Jiepeng "Jackson" Deng attends Thurgood Marshall High School. He came to the United States from China at the age of 9. That transition was challenging for him. He received the necessary support and counseling from SFUSD. As his confidence grew he joined several community organizations including Adopt a Senior Building Leader where he spent time teaching technology to senior citizens. He wants to major in psychology and bring mental health awareness to the Asian community. He will attend St. Mary's College in the fall.
Kayvan Zahiri attends Balboa High School where he has excelled in animation. When he was 9, Kayvan had surgery to remove a large tumor in his spine. He lost his ability to walk, and breathe on his own. At that point he thought he would never be able to create again, but finding animation at Balboa high School enabled him to find his passion with the use of computer software that he operates through his feet. Kayvan was to major in psychology and will attend USF in the fall.
Caleb Parker attends Mission High School. Raised by a single mom in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood, Caleb says he has his mother and a number of people to thank for pushing his towards greatness. Caleb volunteers with his church feeding the homeless and helping seniors with their grocery shopping. While still in high school he enrolled in the San Francisco State University Step to College program, where he learned the value of an education. He wants to major in chemistry to find the cure for cancer. He will attend SF State in the fall.
Romaissa Khaldi attends Galileo Academy of Science and Technology. At the insistence of her mother, she came to this country from Algeria as a young teenager. Leaving behind her family, Romaissa lives with an aunt. She thanks her mother for pushing her to come to San Francisco to pursue her dream of someday becoming a doctor. As part of the Galileo Health Academy, she visits hospital weekly and shadows doctors and others in the medical community. She aspired to be a physician or a nurse and will go on to attend Middlebury College in Vermont.
Lana Nguyen attends George Washington High School, where she took on a leadership role in the school's Wellness Center. There, she became involved in engaging students to seek help when needed. When the pandemic began, Lana organized a huge school supply drive to send the necessary equipment to students as they began working from home. Lana expects to major in biology and will attend either UCLA or Brown University.