Clovis East High School junior Haleigh Berry spent her early childhood in a foster home. She then lived with her grandfather, but returned to the foster system after he passed away.
Through the ups and downs, Berry has managed to stay focused on school. That’s why Berry was one of the students honored at the Students of Promise dinner on Wednesday, April 10.
The annual event, organized by the Foundation for Clovis Schools, honors juniors from Clovis high schools who have overcome challenging situations in their lives. Each student recognized in the program is eligible for a scholarship in post-secondary education.
“These kids had health issues, addictions, maybe deaths in the family, even crime problems,” Foundation Chairperson Hugh Awtrey said. “I mean all kinds of issues in their life, but they’ve decided to stay in school and graduate.”
Corryn Brechmann, a student who was honored by the program in 2016, returned as the guest speaker at Wednesday’s event.
“It’s really inspirational to come back and inspire these other children,” Brechmann said. “They’re receiving the same award that I did. I know I was looking up to the person who was speaking when I got the award, so I feel like they’re looking at me the same way.”
Brechmann, now attending California State University, Fresno, said she hopes the students can see her as a product of the Students of Promise.
“They take this award their junior year and they continue to work hard and eventually they will be where I am, in college like me and continuing to pursue their dreams,” Brechmann said.
Clovis North High School junior Brooke Freeman saw her parents get divorced when she was five years old, felt devastated when her father passed away while she was in the eighth grade and experienced another tragedy when she lost her grandfather to cancer.
Freeman overcame her challenges to stay in school and earned a recognition as one of the Students of Promise.
“I feel like I have become a better person from what I have gone through,” Freeman said. “I realize that there is a greater good that I can achieve.”
2019 Student of Promise Honorees:
Justin Aguirre – Clovis High School
Savanah Anderson – Clovis High School
Alexandria Chavez – Clovis High School
Chloe Pence – Clovis High School
Raegan S’Gro – Buchanan High School
Saira Vasquez – Buchanan High School
Brooke Freeman – Clovis North High School
Saphire Ruiz-Heard – Clovis North High School
Andrew Parmer – Clovis West High School
Rebecca Pitkin – Clovis West High School
Erika Smith – Clovis West High School
Haleigh Berry – Clovis East High School
Cienna Goldman – Clovis East High School
Ted Vang – Clovis East High School
Theirra Farley – Gateway High School
Emily Pierce – Gate High School