Pajaro Valley High School graduate Julissa Rocha said her time in high school had its ups and downs, but the support from her community pushed her to be the best person and student she is today.
Rocha noted the difficulties during her time in high school, having faced the obstacles of distance learning during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, district-wide understaffing and limited resources. However, that did not stop her from excelling in her studies.
She said having access to clubs such as the College and Career Club, and Early Academic Outreach Program, and the resources they offered such as tutoring, academic advising and applying to colleges, helped her stay on track.
She credits her success to her hard work and determination, the clubs she was involved in and three teachers who made a lasting impact on her: Cecilia Navarro, Erin Caldwell and Maria Rodriguez.
“They are teachers who enjoy their job and really want to see all of their students succeed,” Rocha said. “They would remind me that I’m capable of anything I put my mind to and always made sure I knew they were proud of me.”
In the fall, she will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles and plans to major in business economics. She hopes to one day work at a non-profit organization and eventually open her own business.
Rocha said although business interests her, her major and career path are not set in stone and she’s open and excited to explore her many interests at UCLA.
“It still feels unreal that I’m graduating this year. I have many mixed emotions, I’m nervous and sad, but I’m also very excited to see what the future holds for me,” Rocha said.