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Meet the 2023 Linked Learning Students of the Year

March 16, 2023 | Linked Learning Alliance

The Linked Learning Alliance is thrilled to announce the first-ever Linked Learning Students of the Year. We established this brand-new award to recognize civic excellence, honoring high school seniors who have made meaningful contributions to their community through their Linked Learning pathway experience.

This award underscores how Linked Learning students are making connections far beyond the classroom to enhance their own learning—and that this benefit is mutual, carried into the communities and workplaces where these students are active. For these Linked Learning students, the difference they are making is beginning well before they enter college or the workforce.

Linked Learning is a proven approach to education that integrates rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services to prepare students for success in college, career, and life. Through Linked Learning students learn in educational pathways that intentionally connect the classroom to local business and civic life to encourage students to discover their power and make a real difference in their communities.

The Linked Learning Student of the Year Award underscores the Alliance’s commitment to centering our work in the student experience. Awardees were nominated and selected in partnership with educators in Linked Learning communities. Each award recipient will receive a $250 cash prize.

Learn more about the 2023 Linked Learning Students of the Year and be on the lookout for more opportunities to hear from the awardees.

Ethan Ethridge

Ethan Ethridge
Building and Construction Pathway, Cajon High School, San Bernardino City Unified

Ethan established a program within the Building and Construction Trades Pathway that addresses facilities issues at his school site. Through this program, he hones his management skills, collaborates with faculty and staff, trains and recruits new students, and has increased student interest in the pathway. Ethan loves the challenges and opportunities of the construction trades and intends to pursue apprenticeship after graduation.

Genesis Flores

Genesis Flores
Production and Managerial Arts Pathway, Los Angeles High School of the Arts, Los Angeles Unified

Genesis has served as an adept stage crew leader, learning all vital roles, honing artistic skills, writing computer programs, and studying CAD software to bring major stage productions to life at her school. She has also interned with Inner City Arts and was lead costume designer for the LA-based Chavez Ravine Production group. Genesis is planning to pursue a computer science major in college.

Stephanie Galindo Hernandez

Stephanie Galindo Hernandez
Biomedical Science Academy, Eastside High School, Antelope Valley Union High School District

An enthusiastic learner pursuing a wide variety of courses, Stephanie served as a student ambassador and traveled to Washington, D.C., to explore starting a peer support group for new students from military families. She will be the first in her family to attend college and hopes to enroll in a U.S. military academy and major in aeronautical engineering.

Elijah Garcia

Elijah Garcia
Academy of Engineering, Harmony Magnet Academy, Porterville Unified

Elijah took on a massive project, coding and creating an online database for an initiative to renovate the lighting and HVAC systems at his school. His work fast-tracked the initiative, which is expected to help improve indoor air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Working with a mentor he sought out, Elijah is planning to major in chemical engineering in college and pursue a career making semiconductor manufacturing more sustainable.

Bryant Gray

Bryant Gray
Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation Pathway, Ralph Bunche High School, Oakland Unified

Despite facing multiple barriers to his education, Bryant recently completed a capstone project, is on track for graduation, is developing post-graduation plans, and is exploring career opportunities in aviation or entrepreneurship. A dedicated scholar and student with extraordinary people skills, Bryant challenges himself every day, supporting office and classroom staff as a student worker—and is about to leave his school community a better place than he found it.

Christina Levya

Christina Leyva
Arts, Media, and Entertainment Pathway, John Muir Early College Magnet High School, Pasadena Unified

Christina has challenged herself to develop her computer media skills, recognizing their application beyond the media and entertainment industries. Through her pathway experience, Christina has developed the skills and confidence to explore new experiences, build new relationships, and pursue her goals. She will attend Dickinson College in the fall and plans on a career in speech language pathology.

Janeth Morales

Janeth Morales
Medical and Health Sciences Pathway, Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles Unified

Through her participation in student government and other organizations, Janeth has shown exemplary leadership and devotion to the CTSO-Career technical student organization. Meeting Dean of the USC Medical School, Dr. Carolyn Meltzer, inspired her to follow her medical interests, listen to the needs of the community, and connect people in problem solving. Janeth plans to study nursing at UCLA or UC Irvine.

Destinee Qurino

Destinee Quirino
Patient Care Pathway, San Andreas High School, San Bernardino City Unified

A leader and inspiration for her classmates, Destinee transitioned from a student who did not see an academic path for herself to a young adult with clear goals and ambition, self-discipline and drive. She plans to attend Valley College in San Bernardino following her high school graduation and is currently exploring careers in the pharmacology, radiology, and ultrasound fields.