Student Spotlight: Yahari Guadarrama-Sandoval, Independent Study Academy, Class of 2020.
When asked about Yahari Guadarrama-Sandoval, his teachers and peers all use one word to describe him; hardworking. Whether it’s on the soccer field or in the classroom, Yahari has impressed everyone who meets him with his work ethic and attitude. But working hard doesn’t always get you ahead if you aren’t given the tools for success and Yahari found himself struggling in traditional school.
“I wasn’t really doing that well in school,” Yahari said. More than anything, he lacked the support from teachers and fellow students in a traditional school setting. Yahari needed a safe, supportive learning environment and a personal relationship with his teacher to achieve his educational dreams. At Visions In Education, Yahari was introduced to teacher Simone Kunst who helped him get back on track.
“She’s a really, really good teacher,” Yahari said. “She really helped me and pushed me to get better.”
At Visions, Yahari also had the opportunity to take part in the Success Through Education Mentoring (S.T.E.M.) program in partnership with U.C. Davis. For more than three years, Yahari has partnered with experienced students from U.C. Davis who provide students with educational mentorship and a first-hand account of life as a college student. Visions’ flexible schedule also allows Yahari to participate in a local soccer league and help his parents out while staying on top of his schoolwork. Yahari’s hard work and dedication recently earned him a SleepFirst Student of the Week award, distinguishing him as an exceptional student in the Sacramento area.
“He does right by his family and works hard to get the grades that he does,” said Yahari’s principal Shannon Alward.
Yahari is set to graduate from Visions in spring of 2020. Inspired by his time in the S.T.E.M. program, he plans to go on to U.C. Davis and major in business. He credits his time at Visions with changing how he looked at school and helping him focus on his schoolwork and personal goals.
“It was a really cool experience,” Yahari said. “The teachers here really help and support you to get you where you want to be.”