In partnership with the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs of Cypress, the Cypress School District held its eighth annual Every Student Succeeding Awards Breakfast at the Cypress Community Center. Inspired by a student recognition program of the same name created by the Association of California School Administrators, the event honors students who have overcome obstacles to find success in school, according to Supt. Anne Silavs.
She said students were recognized from the Cypress School District as well as other schools within our community, including Cypress College, Cypress High School, Oxford Academy, Lexington Junior High School, St. Irenaeus Parish School, and Grace Christian School. Family members, teachers, school administrators, school board members, and city leaders were in attendance to show their support for these remarkable students who have demonstrated courage and perseverance when faced with personal challenges.
The Cypress School District has released summaries of some of the students involved. Here are their stories:
Despite personal challenges, Elijah has shown great resilience and a strong work ethic. To better understand his successes, it is important to acknowledge the obstacles he has overcome. Elijah only has vision in one eye and is hard of hearing, which makes communication difficult sometimes. However, through hard work and determination, he is a successful student and motivates others to do their best in school. Elijah takes great pride in his accomplishments and enjoys celebrating them with his teachers and loved ones!
At just 17 months of age, Teagan was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. At one point, she was having as many as 90 seizures a day. This delayed her cognitive and physical development, and there were concerns that perhaps she might never be able to live independently. Despite these obstacles, Teagan faces each day with a positive outlook. Even though it is extremely difficult for her, she loves school and never complains. She embraces life to the fullest and is a powerful example of what can be accomplished when you remain positive and persevere through life’s challenges.
Perseverance means persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. There is no better word to describe Cody who has faced almost every obstacle a young child could have in his early life. He has seen and heard things that resulted in him being removed from his parents and his siblings. Nonetheless, Cody comes to school every day with a smile on his face and works hard to overcome challenges. With support from his foster family and school, Cody is a successful and conscientious student. His perseverance will continue to take him far in this world!
When Evan first came to school, he was like a seed with great potential for growth. But transplanting to a new location can be very difficult. He had to make new friends and navigate a school that was foreign to him. However, school staff and family helped Evan take root and created a safe and nurturing environment for him to grow. As a result, he learned to manage his feelings and regulate his emotions. He developed social skills and achieved academic success. He made friends and learned more about himself and the young man he wants to be. Evan has truly blossomed and will continue reaching for the sun!
Since her birth, Samantha has lived an unstable life. In addition to food and housing insecurity, her parents struggled with drug addictions that derailed their lives. She navigated living in motels while taking the city bus to school and keeping up with her studies. Samantha now lives with a foster family, but they really can’t give her more than a place to sleep. Despite adversity, she maintains good grades and works after school to support herself. Samantha will be attending college in the fall and plans to earn a degree so she can continue her success in this world.
Born early, Kamden didn’t meet many of the typical early childhood milestones. He didn’t talk until he was one year old and when he eventually did, he required speech therapy services. His doctor later discovered that Kamden had fluid in his ears which prevented him from hearing properly. Though the fluid was drained, he had an uphill battle to catch up, and he has worked exceedingly hard to do just that. His teachers and family are all very proud of Kamden, his accomplishments, his sense of humor, and his kindness to others. Never underestimate the power of determination!
As a serious-natured young man, Max can be hesitant to open up to others. It’s not unusual to find him lost in a book to escape chaotic surroundings. He knows about many subjects that most kids his age, and even some adults, don’t know. Perhaps this is because of his life experiences, combined with an innate curiosity to read and learn. Either way, he always brings a unique perspective to the classroom. Max has been working on self-confidence this year, emerging from his shell to become a leader among his peers. He is finding his joy and learning to embrace all the experiences that school has to offer!
Growing up, Wesley faced many challenges in his life. He had to juggle the responsibilities of caring for a younger sibling while trying to keep up with his academics. He had to learn how to use the public bus system at an early age to get to and from school each day. This year, he had an unfortunate accident and broke his neck. He had to wear a brace for months. Despite obstacles, Wesley continues to show up with a positive attitude, a smile on his face, and a commitment to succeed in school. His story is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit!
Samantha proves that anything is possible when you have the determination and drive to succeed. While she endured many hardships growing up, including food and housing insecurity, she found the inner strength to conquer adversity. As a troubled teen, she became a single parent at a young age. Determined to make a better life for herself and her children, Samantha successfully turned her life around. She attended Cypress College, earning a 3.8 GPA, and has been accepted at California State University, Fullerton, where she will continue to excel in her studies and achieve her goals.
Over the years, Michael has learned to be optimistic when dealing with obstacles. He has also learned to appreciate the little victories because he can build on each one of them to achieve more. Maintaining a positive attitude helps him overcome the challenges associated with his attention and hyperactivity disorder, and he consistently looks for the bright side in difficult situations, which helps him to persevere. How one responds in times of struggle reveals character. Michael’s characteristics include kindness, strength, positivity, and persistence. With those qualities, there’s nothing he can’t accomplish!
This year presented a new challenge for Andrew when the program he had been participating in was moved to a different school. Even though he was transitioning to a new campus with new people, he enthusiastically introduced himself to his classmates and teachers and quickly embraced his new school community. Andrew is always curious and loves learning new things. Even when the work is challenging, he rises to the occasion and puts forth his best effort. Andrew will make another transition when he goes to junior high next year, but his enthusiasm, his curiosity, and his kindness will ensure his continued success.
By being diligent and putting in the extra effort, Joseph has excelled in all of his endeavors. In addition to achieving academic excellence, Joseph is a well-rounded student who strives to make the world a better place. He organizes food and toy drives for families in need through student government. He serves as the chief community officer for the Association of Latin American Students, coordinating book drives and collecting school supply donations for an orphanage in Mexico. Joseph consistently gives his time and talent to help others and give back to his community.
This article was released by the Cypress School District.