By Mike Hiles
Special to Valley News 

Soboba students excel


Last updated 8/15/2019 at 2:53pm

Rodrigo Pena Photography photo

Jade Makayla Reyes receives a Platinum Certificate of Academic Excellence for maintaining a 4.0 GPA last school year from Soboba Tribal Council members Isaiah Vivanco, Monica Herrera, Scott Cozart and Rose Salgado at Soboba's Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony, July 28, at the Soboba Casino Resort Event Center.

As a new school year begins, members of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians already know what to expect at the end of a successful year. Students who have maintained a GPA of 3.0 and higher, as well as those who graduated from high school, were honored at the fourth annual Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony held at the Soboba Casino Resort Event Center, July 28.

Tribal Council Chairman Scott Cozart, Vice Chairman Isaiah Vivanco, Secretary Monica Herrera and sergeant-at-arms Rose Salgado presented each student with a certificate, trophy and braided lei with dollar bill rosettes as they took the stage to be applauded for their efforts.

"We want to acknowledge all the elders and family members that are here today supporting the success of our Tribal youth and more importantly, we are here to celebrate the achievements they have made," Cozart said. "Achievement can be defined as something accomplished with special effort. These youths have proven that hard work and dedication can result in amazing accomplishments for our people. We owe it to them to provide them with the tools to succeed."

Herrera said, "We are constantly looking for ways to bring our community together and to recognize our youth for their accomplishments; we are very proud of them."

Jade Makayla Reyes was the only recipient of a Platinum Certificate of Academic Excellence for her 4.0 GPA. She is a seventh-grader at Rancho Viejo Middle School in Hemet, and she said her favorite subject is art.

"It is such a nice feeling to see these young students do so well and to recognize them for excelling in their academic careers," Salgado said. "I am also happy that we were able to honor our recent high school graduates as well."

Vivanco said the event is just one way to help young tribal members succeed. He also let them know that there are agreements in place with local colleges such as California State University San Marcos and the University of Redlands so they can have a smoother pathway to continue their educations.

"We are fortunate to be able to help alleviate some of their stress," he said. "We're a small community so it's easier to assist those headed in that direction."

A Gold Certificate of Superior Achievement for a GPA of 3.5 to 3.9 was earned by Jayden Basquez, Iyana Briones, Ava Ciccone-Cozart, Kaya Ciccone-Cozart, Yawaywish Laupsa-Briones, Avellaka Manzanilla, Dilhitchalakai Delores Modesto, Tishmanim Rhodes, Lorraine Andrea Salgado-Galvan, Rudy V. Sanchez and Riley Ward.

Those recognized with a Silver Certificate of Outstanding Achievement for maintaining a GPA of 3.0 to 3.4 were Jasmine Basquez, Jarred Briones, Jimmy Briones, Tatianna Briones, Crystal Rae Devore, Loovi Herrera, Victor Hurtado, Byrie Lindsey, Lawrence A. Modesto III, So'a Nelson, Luisa Rivera, Tanya Elizabeth Rivera, Soowut Rodriguez, Carmel Paul Valenzuella IV, Alex Vallejo IV, Daniel Vazquez and Jocie Yepa.

Class of 2019 high school graduates who additionally received a hand-etched pottery plate and a Pendleton blanket with the tribe's logo on it were Ataax Arviso, Delbert Briones, Shaleen Castello, Eliana Duro, Skylar Gavin, Sherrina Herrera, Brandon Karnes, Canyon Lindsey, Ryder Lindsey, Italia Manzanilla, Jade Lisa Morillo, Nicholas Novotny, Celena Pimentel, Antonio Reynoso, Lynnae Rhodes, Jetta Rikerd, Louie Rivera, Temet Etu Rodriguez, Raquel Romero, Ariyana Salgado, Raymond Smestad and Anthony Vallez.

Rodrigo Pena Photography photo

Recent high school graduates recognized at the Soboba Tribal Council's annual Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony included, from left, Louie Rivera, Jade Lisa Morillo, Raquel Romero, Italia Manzanilla, Anthony Vallez, Temet Etu Rodriguez, Celena Pimentel, Sherrina Herrera, Ataax Arviso, Ryder Lindsey and Canyon Lindsey.


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