Meet the 2020 Superintendent's 21st Century Award Winners!
Each year, six SFUSD graduating seniors receive a scholarship for exemplifying the characteristics of the Graduate Profile.
Geraldine Marie Urgel, John O'Connell Technical High School
Geraldine Marie Urgel learned through John O’Connell High School’s Public Service Pathway how to identify needs of immigrant communities and finding creative solutions to meet these needs. She established a scholarship for students without legal immigration status and how to partner with her teammates, teachers, and SFUSD’s community based organizations to succeed. In addition to advocating for immigrant justice, she also pursued her goal of democratizing literacy in her community by organizing book drives. The 2019 book drive served more than 300 families with the inclusion of 600 kids.
Meilina Limitau, Independence High School
Meilina Limitau transferred to Independence High School after a car accident caused her to reflect and refocus her energy into being proactive about her education. While becoming an integral part of the Independence HS community, Meilina learned life skills that she will apply to her future after SFUSD including time management, responsibility and punctuality.
Lenin Hernandez, Galileo Academy of Science and Technology
Lenin Hernandez of Galileo Academy of Science and Technology challenged himself to overcome his fear and the stigma of joining the cheerleading team and discovered his passion in high school. He learned that the best way to overcome people’s prejudice and judgment was to succeed and show members LGBTQ+ community flourishing. He was first named captain of the cheerleading team his junior year and has served as captain for two years. Lenin aspires to be a teacher, wanting to help students find and pursue their passions as his teachers taught him.
Hannah Dedji, Lowell High School
Hannah Dedji of Lowell High School discovered her love of music in SFUSD. After spending six years in West Africa, Hannah returned to the United States at the age of 9 and overcame language and cultural differences by connecting with others through music. Her first exposure to instrumental music was at Jefferson Elementary school and continued with choir at A.P. Giannini Middle School. She experiments with musical applications online, creates tracks, writes and composes songs, directs skits, expressing creativity and motion through music to continue becoming the best version of herself.
Jake Leon, Abraham Lincoln High School
Jake Leon is a senior from Abraham Lincoln High School and a champion for helping others. While maintaining strong grades that helped him be accepted to the Honors Program at University of the Pacific, he has also been working as a special education assistant at A.P. Giannini Middle School and as a volunteer for four years at The Family House, a home for youth with life-threatening illnesses. His experience at SFUSD has enabled him to develop a sense of purpose and sense of self, recognize and feel compassion for those who have felt excluded.
Elena Rodriguez from Mission High School was one of seven students selected to attend the Model United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Bringing everything she learned about social justice and human rights to an international conference, she witnessed how young people from all over the world have similar passions and drive to change the world. Elena had the opportunity to learn Spanish and Mandarin while attending Mission, helping her connect to her dual cultural heritage and her greater community.
This page was last updated on June 3, 2021