Neomi Chavez Named Region 7 2021 ESS Student

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Congratulations to Neomi Chavez, Region 7’s ESS student for 2021. Neomi, a senior at Lathrop High School in the Manteca Unified School District, was nominated by her principal, Greg Leland.

Neomi was a typical 8th grader, she earned excellent grades, enjoyed playing sports, and was looking forward to attending high school. During the summer before the start of her freshman year, she was assaulted, causing Neomi’s life to begin to spiral downward. Anxiety, depression, risky behavior, and shame began to emotionally drown her. Her grades, attendance, and friendships began to suffer. She went from being a straight A student who was involved in Leadership and athletics to a student that is in the bathroom until her panic attacks subsided.

Neomi discovered that she needed to make some very difficult, life-changing decisions immediately. At her lowest point, before she hit rock-bottom, some very important special adults entered her life, her high school counselors. Together with Neomi, they realized that a plan to turn her life around needed to be developed. In Neomi’s words, the plan was “scary,” but she knew she had no other choice.  She found a safe place with her high school counselor Lisa Wilson and Valley Community Counselor Ariana Romero. Neomi went to night school to make up her failing grades. She credits her Manteca Adult School teacher and Lathrop High School teachers with engaging her in her studies and helping her achieve in the classroom again.

Neomi is currently a senior, carrying a grade point average of 3.75, working part-time, and more importantly, where there was once anxiety and despair, she now has optimism and hope. She dreams of becoming a neurologist one day, helping students overcome adversity and trauma in their lives, such as she was faced with as a 13-year-old. Neomi says, “My trauma is part of me, but it’s not me.”

Neomi is a wonderful example of a high school student overcoming tremendous odds and adversity at such as early age in her life. Most students might have given up but not Neomi. She truly epitomizes the true spirit of Every Student Succeeding.