Student of the Month- October
The Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce kicked off the 2021-2022 Student of the Month program in September. The students are nominated by their teachers and staff at their respective school sites and are chosen for their character, integrity, love of learning, ability to persevere and overcome challenging circumstances, community service, and how they make a difference on their high school campus.
October’s students and their families attended a breakfast sponsored by the Perris and Menifee Chambers of Commerce along with local businesses and organizations. Principals and teachers from each high school shared stories about the students and they each received certificates of recognition, numerous gifts, congratulations and encouragement from local, county, state and federal dignitaries.
Paloma Valley High School’s Student of the Month is Chad Moore. Chad currently holds a 4.5 GPA and is number one in his class. He is a member of ASB and plays on the boys volleyball team. Chad shows a passion for education and science and has never missed a day of school. This is extraordinary as Chad has Type I Diabetes. He shared how having diabetes has changed his perspective on life and science in general. So much so that he created a club on campus, For the Cure. It’s main purpose is to spread awareness and educate the community on the disease. Along with his extracurricular activities, Chad also carries a full load of AP courses. He loves the thought of higher education and is looking forward to going to college. Although his first choice would be to attend Cornell University, he is happy to go wherever is best for him. Chad plans to enter the medical field and become an endocrinologist.
Perris Lake High School’s Fiona Dye is October’s Student of the Month. Life can sometimes be difficult and Fiona has experienced more than her share in her life. According to Fiona’s dad, Larry Dye, Fiona has been through a lot of adversity, and at times it was very tumultuous. However, Fiona has been able to overcome many of those obstacles to the point that she is now recognized as Student of the Month. Fiona shared how she struggled last year with her classes. She had no motivation, became depressed, and felt she couldn’t speak with her dad feeling embarrassed of her circumstances. However, after attending Perris Lake, Fiona received amazing support from teachers and staff to help her turn her circumstances around. So much so that as of October 8th, Fiona has passed all of her remaining courses and is now a graduate of Perris Lake High School. Fiona plans to work for a bit to earn money for college and then continue her education studying music and forensics.
Belinda Amponsah is Heritage High School’s Student of the Month. As an immigrant coming from Ghana, Belinda has had to overcome many challenges. Belinda shared that coming from Ghana with a different school system, it was difficult to adjust to the system here in the US. “In Ghana we use British English which is the English I was taught growing up. When I moved here, I had to learn, and adapt to American English,” she said. It made making friends challenging. It wasn’t until Belinda entered high school that she was able to find her true self. Joining the Black Student Union (BSU) helped her share her story, along with meeting others with similar backgrounds like herself. Belinda is also a part of Link Crew helping freshman transition into high school. Belinda plans to attend a Cal State university majoring in business administration. She would like to return to Ghana as a businesswoman helping in her community.
Perris High School’s Student of the Month is Grace Villegas. Grace is described by staff as inspirational, successful, resilient, and compassionate, among other attributes. Dealing with a disability has been challenging for Grace. However, it has not stopped her from accomplishing so much while at Perris High. She has been a part of AVID all four years. She is also the treasurer for FFA and is a peer tutor for other severely handicapped students on campus. Despite the challenges she’s had, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA and has taken numerous AP courses. Grace shared one life lesson she has learned is that she can do it all. Any obstacle she has faced in life, she has been able to work through it. “I have a disability and people believe that it stops me from doing what I want to do, but that’s not true,” she said. She continues to pursue her goals. Grace will continue her education pursuing her psychology degree and return to Perris High as a therapist.
All of these students demonstrated a desire to work hard and have a drive to exceed others and their own expectations. The Perris Valley Chamber and the Menifee Valley Chamber wish them the best in their endeavors. If you wish to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, please contact founder, Sally Myers at (951) 506-8024.
Pictured are October’s Students of the Month; Front row - Grace Villegas, Perris High School; Belinda Amponsah, Heritage High School; Chad Moore, Paloma Valley High School; and Fiona Dye, Perris Lake High School. Back row - Sally Myers, Founder; Mayor Bill Zimmerman, City of Menifee; Kirk Skorpanich, Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce; Italia Garcia, Senator Richard Roth; Joe Fuentes, Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto; Alejandra Herrera, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools; and Dalia Bahu, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools.