Meet the 2021 Superintendent's 21st Century Award Winners!
Each year, six graduating SFUSD seniors receive a scholarship for exemplifying characteristics of the Graduate Profile.
Kayvan Zahiri, Balboa High School
As a child, Kayvan enjoyed expressing his creativity through piano, drawing, and doodling. At 9 years old, surgery for a large tumor in his spine hospitalized him for six months and he lost his ability to speak, swallow, breathe on his own, and function from the waist up. He was afraid that without the use of his arms, his creative expressions were not truly his own.
At Balboa HS, Kayvan rediscovered his ability to both draw and design with an animation class, using computer software operated through his feet.
Irina Tamayo, John O'Connell High School
Growing up in a community where violence was common, Irina was inspired to show more empathy and help others. Instead of adapting to violence, she chose to change her perspective on it.
Romaissa Khaldi, Galileo Academy of Science and Technology
As the eldest child, Romaissa withdrew from school at age 11 to support her family in Algeria. Her mother contracted chronic liver disease from a blood transfusion and with her father gone, this left her with the responsibility of supporting her family. “This stressful period taught me accountability, patience, and resilience in the face of adversity,” she says.
Lana Nguyen, George Washington High School
Lana started taking on responsibilities for her family at an early age. The strain of major health problems of a parent, combined with financial struggles were challenges that she met by informing herself on different sectors of healthcare, researching poverty, and the lack of affordability and resources that play a role in limiting many people’s well-being.
Jackson Deng, Thurgood Marshall High School
Jackson emigrated to the US from China at age 9. Lack of motivation at the beginning of high school resulted in failing grades until he sought extra support and developed his own inner drive to succeed. As his confidence grew, he joined the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC )Upward Bound, program which provided social, cultural, and personal growth opportunities and empowered him to want to lead and help others.
Caleb Parker, Mission High School
In 10th grade, Caleb made the decision to create his road map to college. He was raised in Bayview Hunters Point by a single mother. As an athlete, provider, caregiver, and student he struggled in high school until he committed to putting his academic journey at the forefront. He enrolled in San Francisco State University Step to College program and Saturday academic programs and took advantage of all the resources he was given.