As a current junior at Mesa Ridge High School in Colorado Springs, Ciera is a star shining bright. Holding a GPA of 3.8, this aspiring songstress is making waves at her school. As an active member of the volleyball, basketball, and tennis teams, she is no stranger to hard work, commitment, and teamwork. The work does not end on the courts. She is a recipient of her school’s “Presidential Award.” Ciera also loves to serve her community through her church’s food pantry. With a strong aspiration to top America’s music charts, Ciera is keeping her academics in focus and setting her sights on a four-year college after she graduates.
Je’Nia has been nothing short of a treasured jewel at her school Odyssey Early College and Career Options in Colorado Springs. Holding an astonishing 4.1 GPA, Je’Nia is often called upon by the Dean of students to host incoming new students/parents, board members, and others. As the current President of both the National Honor Society and Spanish Club, Vice President of Future Farmers of America (FFA), and a member of the Business, Ethics, Speech, and Debate teams, Je’Nia takes pride in being a role model and leader. She has made an impact in her school district by being a part of multiple round tables that include how to improve District 11 high schools, social and emotional learning, and mentorship programs. After graduating in May 2021, she hopes to attend a university in Hawaii majoring in Marine Biology with a minor in Chinese. This future Marine Biologist recently won a scholarship from Underwater Connections which will pave the way for her obtaining certification in open water diving.
Brandon is a senior at Widefield High School. With a GPA steadily holding at 3.79, his goal to become a Civil Engineer is not far from reach. This five-time national Junior Olympic qualifier and active member of the “Colorado Springs Striders” holds a strong belief in self-discipline, honor, and personal courage. Brandon’s laser focus on success and excellence comes from his parents, who are both Master Sergeants in the United States Army. Brandon is currently narrowing down his college options, and he is beginning his journey to attain a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering this fall.
Gabrielle Jenkins is a sophomore with a 3.4 GPA at Vista Ridge High School. As the successful owner of Prints by Gabby, this young entrepreneur is on the move! Her love of fashion inspired her to create a business that specializes in designing custom clothing for her customers. Gabrielle’s parents have taught her that she can do anything with hard work and faith by her side. After high school, she plans to attend a local college and major in business administration with an emphasis on marketing or communications.
Jevon McKinney is a senior with a 3.95 GPA at Widefield High School. As class president, he provides students with fun and lighthearted moments in the midst of this unprecedented year. Although academics are a strength, Jevon’s real enthusiasm is as a singer and an instrumentalist. He has been singing for over twelve years, and playing the alto saxophone and guitar for over five years. Jevon’s singing accolades have led him to be accepted into the LYNX National Arts and Media Program at CU Denver and to perform in multiple honor choirs at various universities. He will also be the lead male role in the Widefield High School spring musical.
Jaylean Franck recently graduated from Harrison High School with a 3.8 GPA and is currently a freshman at UCCS majoring in computer engineering. He received four scholarships to assist with his college ambitions. Education is extremely important to Jaylean, and he has put sports on hold during his freshman year. He believes the foundation his parents and ancestors have laid is worth the fight to be great. Jaylean’s life and future aspirations are heavily guided by his religious beliefs.
Leilah Burgos is a freshman at John F. Kennedy High School in Denver, CO. Leilah ended the 8th grade with a 4.0 GPA. Her passion for leading others is evident because of her accomplishment in creating the first Black Student Union (BSU) at Bear Valley International School. This new organization is providing a positive voice from students and offering unity within the group. During her first year of high school, she continues to provide input to her middle school as she mentors others on the BSU team.
Xavior Collazo is a tenth grader with a 3.9GPA at Fountain Fort Carson High School. As an honor roll student, he enjoys solving complex math problems. Xavior’s talents include parkour, public speaking, and improv. After high school, Xavior aspires to join the Army Special Forces.
Ja’Nia Gray is a rising freshman at Grovetown High School in Grovetown, Georgia. She recently moved from Colorado Springs after graduating with honors from Mountain Vista Community School. Ja’nia’s being recognized as gifted and talented is a great accomplishment. She has always loved the subject of science and knows that study will carry her far into the future. Because of her love of animals, she aspires to be a marine biologist.
Yesenia Cruz Garduno is a senior with a 3.2GPA at Atlas Preparatory School in Colorado Springs. After several suicides occurred in Yesenia’s community, she was determined to change the narrative. She worked with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to develop new messaging about mental health and suicide prevention. This project ultimately led her to help create a suicide prevention campaign at her school. Yesenia plans to attend Pikes Peak Community College, and then transfer to a university. She aspires to be a police officer.
Kaycee Calcote is a middle schooler at Timberview Middle School in Colorado Springs. Because of her love of science, Kaycee creates experiments while utilizing mathematical equations. She placed 1st in a regional science fair in 2019. In the future, Kaycee hopes to attend a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) focusing on the field of medicine. Her dream is to assist others by becoming a nurse.
Amirah Griffin is a 9th grader at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs. Her love for connecting with people has drawn her to pageantry. This platform allows her to meet new people and to participate on a big stage. When she competed in the 2017 Miss High School America pageant, she won a four-year scholarship to Western State University. Amirah plans to take pre-med classes and then attend medical school to become an OB/GYN. She aspires to have her own medical practice one day.