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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Arcadia Weekly / California Students Win Awards and Scholarships

California Students Win Awards and Scholarships

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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated four California students for winning medals and scholarships last month at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference held in Florida. Two other California students are also being noted for their leadership roles in the event.

The students are members of FHA-HERO (formerly known as the Future Homemakers of America-Home Economics Related Occupations), the California affiliate of FCCLA.

Ian Villanueva, Jonathan Cayax, and Noemi Ruiz won silver medals in the culinary arts division, and also won scholarships from prestigious culinary academies and colleges. All three are Katella High School students in the Anaheim Union High School District in Anaheim. Sam Li of Rosemead High School of the El Monte Union High School District in Rosemead brought home a silver medal in the job interview event.
Also, Erika Montano of Colton High School in the Colton Joint Unified School District in Colton, and Priscilla Young of Mills High School in the San Mateo Union High School District in Millbrae are FHA-HERO State Officers who served on national consultant/president’s teams and as voting and election delegates.

FHA-HERO is a career technical student organization recognized by the CDE for providing students with real-world experience and leadership skills that prepare them for careers. This is part of Torlakson’s California Career Readiness Initiative designed to lower the student dropout rate in California and provide high school graduates with the skills needed to pursue further education and training as they prepare to enter the workforce.
The CDE received a $59,880 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help underprivileged children become more literate about the ocean and the environment.

Funding will be used to support the Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans (MERITO) Academy and will provide environmental education experiences for 1,500 students in the Ventura and Santa Barbara county schools. Children will participate in field trips to watershed, coastal, and island areas to get hands-on experience in science, as well as lessons in language arts, mathematics, visual arts, and English-language development that meet California’s academic standards. The curriculum also includes the principles and concepts outlined in the state’s Education and the Environment Initiative. Funding also will be used for teacher training, support materials, and to pay for field trips and transportation.

The CDE will pass the funding for the MERITO Academy through the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation starting this month and continuing through June 2013.

The grant is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Grant Program.

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