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Banning High School Valedictorian Honored By Riverside County
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Jazmine Colon
Jazmine Colon, Banning High School's Valedictorian for the graduating Class of 2020, has been selected as one of the Top 20 Riverside County All-County Academic Scholars. The County of Riverside has 450 schools in 23 school districts and approximately 480,000 students. Of the 145 students nominated from each comprehensive high school in the county, Jazmine Colon has been named to receive this honor.

In addition to receiving this prestigious award, Jazmine distinguished herself at Banning High as not only the valedictorian but also as an athlete. Jazmine played a number of sports including cheer, soccer, and water polo. She was also the president of the AVID and High School Democrats of America clubs as well as a member of the Link Crew and National Honor Society. Jasmine is “extremely proud that I hold the honor of being the first Banning High School student to graduate with an associate degree. I enrolled in Mt. San Jacinto College my sophomore year and earned my degree in political science.”
Jazmine received acceptance to the University of California at Berkeley and has earned the Regents’ and Chancellor's Scholarship, the most prestigious scholarship offered by UC Berkeley to entering undergraduate students. Many Regent Scholars have gone on to become faculty at prestigious universities, CEOs of global corporations, and innovators and leaders in their chosen fields. With a campus community of over 800 scholars and 100 supporting faculty, the scholarship program is a catalyst for meaningful engagement. Scholars create supportive and strategic networks to cultivate academic success, future opportunities, and a lifelong pursuit of excellence and service.

Jazmine plans to remain active in student government at UC Berkley, where she will double major in Economics and Political Science with an emphasis in Public Law. Jasmine “would like to thank my family, especially my mom, for supporting me through these achievements and the rest to come.”

Banning High School Student Receives Prestigious Gates Scholarship
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Banning High School Student Leslie Paz has been awarded the prestigious Gates Scholarship. This scholarship pays for any costs of attendance not covered by other scholarships. Leslie is a true example of what it means to be Bronco Strong. Leslie’s kindness, perseverance, and creativity helped her grow during her time at BHS. As a first-generation college student she is honored to receive this scholarship and to be admitted to top rated universities.The Gates Scholarship began in 2018 and funds 300 students per year. This prestigious scholarship program is based on evidence that by eliminating the financial barriers to college, a last-dollar scholarship can enable high-potential, low-income minority students to excel in their course work, graduate college, and continue to be leaders throughout their lives.

In addition to funding, The Gates Scholarship will provide further support to Scholars by engaging with them and their institutions in a variety of ways, to ensure they have access to the resources and services they need, from their first to last day of classes, through graduation and the transition to their chosen careers.

For a video about the Gates Scholarship, please use this LINK.

In addition to the Gates Scholarship, Leslie is a Questbridge College Prep Scholar, an AP Scholar with Honors, a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, a Hispanic Scholarship Fund recipient, and a Riverside County Seal of Multi-literacy recipient.

Leslie will attend Claremont McKenna College this fall where she will major in history. Her current career goal is to become a History and AVID teacher. At Claremont McKenna, Leslie plans to become involved in debate, journalism, and community-oriented extracurricular activities. Her mission in life is to get disadvantaged students to participate in social activism and empower themselves by pursuing an education.

Class of 2020 Campus Leaders
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Kenya Nunez, Banning High School Salutatorian
Kenya was the Cross Country and Track Team Captain, and the Key Club President.  As the BUSD School Board Wrangler, Kenya participated in BUSD Board Meetings as a student member. She also participated in Solar Boat and ASB, and was the 2019 CIF Champions for Character Student Honoree for Banning High School. She will be attending Claremont McKenna next year and plans to major in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a minor in Data Science. While at Claremont McKenna, she plans to focus her research project on the impact of federal funding on public schools. Kenya’s long-term goal is to build on her experiences with the BUSD board and ultimately work in Washington D.C. for a non-profit where she can influence federal education policy. In furtherance of those goals, Kenya plans to volunteer for Teach For America and pursue a doctoral degree.

Jayson Graves, New Horizons High School / Banning Independent Study School
Jayson represented New Horizons High School at monthly school board meetings. He regularly presented updates to the school board regarding activities and important information about his school. In addition to being a member of the New Horizons School Site Council, he was a leader in the Coombs school based enterprise, "Horizons of Light".  He routinely helped develop new product and fund raising ideas. Jayson was the Student of the Month of Coombs Alternative Education in September. He regularly reminds his peers that you should "never let a loss keep you down." He is proud of his work in the recycling industry and the positive impact that work has on the environment.

Daniel Banuelos, Banning Independent Study School
Daniel represented Banning Independent Study at monthly school board meetings. He regularly presented updates to the school board regarding activities and important information about his school. He also served on the Banning Independent Study School Site Council. Daniel was the Student of the Month of Coombs Alternative Education in February. He plans to save his money and open his own barber shop. Daniel feels his purpose in life is "to be great by being of service of others. Life is a gift worth enjoying forever."