Thriving students reinforce success of San Francisco schools

I’m happy to report that overall our graduation rates are among the highest in the nation for urban school districts, and they keep growing.

At the end of the school year, we celebrate thousands of students who will soon put on caps and gowns and walk across the stage to receive their diploma. Throughout this month, I’ve had the joy of hearing about students who have received full rides to prestigious universities and students who have overcome tremendous obstacles to reach this milestone.

At the San Francisco Unified School District, we have a graduate profile: six core competencies we want all of our graduates to possess by the time they embark on their journeys after high school.

This week, I will be awarding six of the many students who embody this profile with the Superintendent’s 21st Century Award.

Here is a little about these outstanding grads in their own words:

Bahrom Buranov, San Francisco International High School

“When my family moved here from Uzbekistan, I worked several jobs — picking up recycling, working night shifts in a restaurant — to help support my family as we started over. Now, I’m going to San Jose State to study business and computer science. These days, you have to be ready to tackle any challenge. Me? I am beyond ready.”

Angie Mah, Raoul Wallenberg High School

“When I took on the African Library Project, I spent hours researching and writing, and now I’m headed to Hofstra University to pursue a journalism degree. I’m a little scared, but feel ready for the opportunities ahead.”

Hatim Mansori, Mission High School

“While walking to the bus stop a few years ago, I was stabbed in the abdomen. My mom, who had been struggling to support our family since the recession, left her job to take care of me. After this near-death experience, I decided to go to college and pursue a life as a humanitarian.”

Jennifer Oliveros, Abraham Lincoln High School

“I never want to settle for less than I am capable of achieving. As a Green Academy senior, I teamed up with others to create change in the amount of plastic used in our school food packaging. I feel very prepared by my teachers and my family to be out in the world.”

Karen Guzman, John O’Connell High School

“As a student in the Entrepreneurship and Culinary Lab, I developed real-life experience and professional connections. By interning in a tech company’s kitchen, and then at two public relations firms, I know now that I am meant for a career where I am constantly meeting new people and facing new problems to solve.”

Priscilla Zhang, George Washington High School

“Mental health was a mystery to me until the day I heard a lecture in class on how chemistry influences our internal workings. I created science workshops for students who live in single room occupancy residences in Chinatown. I love to see their faces the moment they connect science with their world.”

Let’s extend our congratulations to these and all our grads. We applaud your intellect, your leadership skills, and your ability to think and act as global citizens. We celebrate the creative, purpose-filled lives you are leading.

To learn more about the SFUSD Vision 2025 Graduate Profile, visit sfusd.edu/about-sfusd/vision-2025.

Richard Carranza is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

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