In August of 2018 I started a journey with 120 (give or take) students from over 15 countries in the City Heights area of San Diego. City Heights is known for its diversity, poverty and culture. I have worked in this area of the city for the past three years, and I have learned more than I have ever taught. This community has formed me in my faith, my understanding of people and my belief in humanity.

Now, 10 months later, the year is coming to an end. Tonight, three students will graduate from the high school I am at, the first graduating class from City Heights Prep school. Yesterday we celebrated our 8th grade promotion, pictured above, which was also an amazing accomplishment for many of these students who come from broken, and disadvantaged homes.

I have seen students rise above their circumstances and achieve greatness. I have seen students push back on the cards that were dealt them, and win in so many areas of life. There is something special that happens when people believe in you and give you the motivation and the opportunity to succeed. Students in the worst of circumstances will rise up and become great when encouraged and pushed by someone who can see the other side and that getting there is possible.

I am proud of our students, and excited to see our three seniors walk the stage tonight to receive their high school graduation diploma.

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