Murrieta Chamber of Commerce announces students of the month

The Murrieta Chamber of Commerce, county and city officials honored six high school seniors as Student of the Month, Oct. 19, at a breakfast celebration held at Sizzler restaurant in Murrieta. Shown sitting left to right are Fernando Cortes of Calvary Christian High School, Jacquelyn Olson of Murrieta Valley High School, Lauren Callella of Vista Murrieta High School, Ashley Guerrero of Murrieta Mesa High School, Velma Sanchez of Murrieta Canyon Academy and Julian Eshkol of Springs Charter School. Kip A. Cothran of KC Photography photo

MURRIETA – The Murrieta Chamber of Commerce recognized six high school seniors as Student of the Month, Oct. 19, including Fernando Cortes of Calvary Christian High School, Jacquelyn Olson of Murrieta Valley High School, Lauren Callella of Vista Murrieta High School, Ashley Guerrero of Murrieta Mesa High School, Velma Sanchez of Murrieta Canyon Academy and Julian Eshkol of Springs Charter School.

Guerrero maintains a 3.75 GPA while taking several Advanced Placement classes. Guerrero is a company commander in the NJROTC program. She is also in student leadership, the Link Crew club and Cal HOSA. Guerrero is a member of National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation; she volunteered for Paws for Law and the district’s Special Olympics event. Guerrero is also a member of the varsity lacrosse team. She plans to attend the University of California Irvine or California State University San Marcos to study nursing.

Sanchez began attending Murrieta Canyon Academy during her sophomore year. When she came to the school, Velma was a semester behind in her coursework. She said Murrieta Canyon enabled her to work at her own pace and she is now on track to graduate a semester early. Sanchez volunteers at Animal Friends of the Valley. She wants to attend Platt College and become a veterinarian. Sanchez has a positive outlook, strong work ethic and firm dedication. Her teachers are confident of her potential.

Olson maintains a 3.95 GPA while taking rigorous courses. Olson is in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program, and she was in the color guard for three years. She is involved in the Associated Student Body and is the ASB City Council representative.  Olson has been in the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club, for four years, the last two years as co-president. She has attended national SADD conferences in Pennsylvania and Florida over several summers. Selected as one of the top students in the nation, Olson attended SADD Speaks in Washington, where she had the opportunity to speak to lawmakers. Olson plans to attend a four-year university, go to medical school and become a surgeon.

Cortes is a scholar-athlete who leads by example. He is the captain of the football team, and he has been on the track and field team. He also played soccer and volleyball. Cortes is the leader of the Fellowship of Christian athletes at his school. He hopes to attend California State University Long Beach or San Marcos or California Baptist University. He plans to study biochemistry and molecular biology. Cortes is known for his character, diligence, trustworthiness and kindness. He is resolute, and he has learned to overcome challenges.

Eshkol has made a positive impact on his school. As president of the school’s Associated Student Body, he has worked hard to provide memorable experiences for the students. He has also participated in the Springs Charter chapter of the National Honor Society and has tutored his classmates. Eshkol is inquisitive, tenacious, disciplined and driven. He is dedicated to learning multiple languages and plans to study applied mathematics, romance literature and go into science, technology, engineering and math research.

Callella maintains a 4.23 GPA while taking AP and Dual Enrollment courses. She is the Associated Student Body president this year and is a member of National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, Link Crew, Interact Club and the Sole Hope Club, which repurposes denim jeans and sends them to an organization in Uganda where they are combined with discarded tire treads to make shoes. Callella earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her 200-plus hours of community service. She has also been involved in the California Association of Student Leaders and served as their southern director this year. Callella plans to go to a four-year university, earn a degree in business administration, followed by a master’s degree in psychology and eventually build her own practice.

To learn more about the Student of the Month Program, contact founder Sally A. Myers at (951) 506-8024. To sponsor the Student of the Month program, contact LouEllen Ficke, chair of the Murrieta Student of the Month Program, at (951) 719-1213.

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