Senator Square: First generation college grad shares his story

Editor’s note: The following was written by Yetti De Luca, Carson High School’s district work-based learning coordinator.

Sergio Trejo, Jr., a Las Vegas native and first-generation college graduate, visited several Carson City schools recently to share his inspiring story about his admittance to medical school. Trejo presented to more than 150 students. According to district work-based learning coordinator Yetti De Luca, “Sergio is a humble young man and a great role model, and during his presentation Sergio connected the importance of doing well in school and pursuing a passion with financial opportunities available to pay for college.” Trejo said, “As a middle school student, my plan was to finish my studies after graduating high school, but this changed in high school when I discovered my passion for biology and patient care.” Trejo told the students, “I was a member of HOSA — Future Health Professionals, attended a CTE magnet academy and I was hooked.” Fast-forward several years later when Trejo continued his education way beyond high school. Trejo is now completing his master’s degree in public health, and he looks forward to at least four more years of medical school. He has studied in China and is currently working for the Community of Bilingual English Spanish Speakers Exploring Health and Sciences, an interdisciplinary project funded to the University of Nevada, Reno by the National Institutes of Health. The project aims to increase the linguistic diversity of healthcare professionals in Northern Nevada. The following link will allow readers to meet Sergio Trejo, Jr. and others ( Additionally, the Carson City School District’s WBL program initiative and the Career and Technical Education team have been diligently working on building a Career Center at CHS. While the team has been working on logistical and staffing details, CHS senior Kai Ikehara, as part of his graduation requirement, selected the CHS Career Center as his senior project; Ikehara then developed a career guidebook for students and worked on establishing protocols for student appointments as well as tracking the number of students attending events hosted at the center. The CHS Career Center also welcomes Natalie Satter, hired to fill a grant-funded full-time position; she will soon start offering one-on-one student services. Satter’s position will allow students to individually visit and receive assistance with career exploration, resume building, career advising, job shadowing, internships and post-graduation opportunities. Please stop by the CHS Career Center or email De Luca at for more information.


Senior projects are due March 12, and as the community of Carson City is always so reliable when called upon, senior project judges are needed to evaluate student portfolios. Judges are needed to evaluate portfolios between March 25 and April 6. Moreover, those same judges are needed to evaluate the senior project presentations of those seniors April 8. For information on the senior project process, contact Melisa Kunter at or to volunteer as senior project judge, go to For more information about the Career Center, contact


CHS senior Alicia Singleton, as part of her graduation requirement, ran a Pet Supply Drive from March 4 to 8. Singleton and fellow members of Future Farmers of America put on this weeklong drive for the Nevada Humane Society and asked individuals to drop off items in CHS Agriculture teacher Charles Mann’s classroom and shop. Singleton distributed flyers around the school with examples of what donations were needed, such as toys and food, and every contribution was greatly appreciated.


The Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Orienteering Team went to the NJROTC National competition this year held at Vazquez Rocks Regional Park in Agua Dulce, Calif. Competing against 29 teams and more than 500 cadets, CHS took third place overall. Team awards included: varsity took third and junior varsity took fifth place overall. Notable achievements are Riley Dunn who took fourth place, Christopher Paluch took fifth place and Kyle Navarro took 13th. Briana Sanchez took third for junior varsity females and Bryar Fancher took ninth, though she came in first place on the second day. Besides the above runners, the majority of the rest placed in the top 25 percent. Coach Ingram said, “Please let them know what a great job they have done; they often ride the bus for several hours, run a one- to two-hour course and then get back on the bus; these cadets are seriously dedicated.”


The Winterfest dance, known as Winterfest Part II, as it had to be rescheduled for March 2 due to an intense winter storm, turned out to be a gigantic success with almost as many students attending as there are students in the school. The week prior to the dance was a Dr. Seuss themed spirit week, and the excitement around the school was contagious.


CHS’ most talented musicians participated March 6 in the Northern Zone Nevada Music Educators Band and Orchestra Festival at the Carson City Community Center. The names of these students are Ivy Campbell, Mira Caraway, Illy Cartright, Gabriel Covington, Hunter Fiorentino, Bita Jazani, Shawn McConnell, Sy’Johnniqa Moore, Christian Rodriguez Contreras, Emma Rosen and Eleanor Sturm.


Molly Dahl, author of “Youth Positive,” and Dr. Debb Oliver, Mindful Social Emotional Academic Development (SEAD), are involved with ninth grade health classes to help students realize how social emotional practices better their engagement in schools, help with stress management and improve overall wellbeing. CHS teacher Erin Bean said, “We are excited to have them partnering with CHS to help improve student success.”


College Week is March 11 to 14, and all CHS teachers are posting their college seals by their classroom doors and getting ready for a week of college-focused activities and opportunities a mile long. During College Week, a student scavenger hunt is the activity that leads the way, and scavenger hunt winners will be chosen at random and will receive a Dutch Bros gift card. Teachers also had a door decorating contest for their alma maters. Students are to wear gear from their favorite colleges, and on March 14, colleges will be visiting during lunchtime. Seniors are also asked to share their college acceptance information to be featured on the Acceptance Wall of Fame on the CHS Library windows. For College Week, teachers were given a list of fun ideas to cover: write to colleges for catalogs; teachers talk about their college experiences at the beginning of class; watch an admissions video; brainstorm a list of colleges; do an online college scavenger hunt; interview parents and community about their college experiences; make a packing list of everything to take to college; make a list of dream jobs/careers, and look at the level of education needed for that career. Love history? Find out how colleges were started, by whom and when; look at creative ways to pay for college; research the difference between a college and university; research and present about a college to the class; research where famous people went to college; and, finally, students can make a list of all the people who could support them in their quest for graduating from college debt-free. Each of the following schools will have a table set up in Senator Square during lunch. March 11 and 13 is WNC, Paul Mitchell School and Sierra Academy of Style, and March 14 is Vento Education and Sierra Academy of Style.


Interested in the military, but also passionate about college? Come hear Cadet Benjamin J. Hallinan during lunch March 14 in the CHS Career Center talk about his acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy, where he will graduate with both a college degree and be appointed as an officer in the U.S. Army. Go to Edmodo to reserve a spot.


It is time once again to make a big decision, one of the biggest of the year; who will become the next Mr. Carson High? This year’s theme is “Red Carpet Oscars,” so who will win the Academy Award for best picture? Reserve 6:30 p.m. March 15 to visit the Carson City Community Center for an evening filled with great talents and entertainment; 17 CHS senior boys are competing for the title of Mr. Carson High 2019. There will be some great raffle prizes to win as well. Each raffle ticket is $2, and each general admission ticket is $10. Moreover, and please take note of this unique opportunity, VIP admission tickets are available and include a dinner served at the Community Center with preferred seating starting at 5:30 p.m. The cost is totally reasonable at $20. For information, contact Sheila Story at


Any current sophomore or junior interested in a career in education, please consider applying for the UNR EDU110 class next year. Applications are in the Guidance Office and due no later than March 11.


Attention juniors and seniors, after completion of the ACT exam March 12, representatives from Tesla will be at CHS from 1:15 to 2:05 p.m. in the upstairs cafeteria discussing employment and apprenticeship opportunities, so come and hear what they have to say. Sign up on Edmodo or stop by the CHS Career Center.


The “Under the Big Top” annual Father-Daughter Ball, a community-wide event for all ages held at CHS, is coming from 6 to 9 p.m. April 26. Tickets are $40 per couple and $10 for each additional daughter. The event has sold out each year and will definitely sell out again this year. Order tickets by going to and search for Father-Daughter Ball — Carson City. Online ticket purchase fee applies. Tickets also can be purchased in person at the CHS main office on the following dates only: between 2 and 4 p.m. March 26, 27 and 28 or between 9 a.m. and noon March 30 at the CHS Big Gym entrance. Only cash or checks taken for in-person ticket purchases. No credit cards, please. Circus actors will be taking photos of fathers and their little princesses, and light deserts will be served. This event is a fundraiser for the following CHS organizations: FBLA, SkillsUSA, WebDesign, Leadership and Photography. Please e-mail CHS teacher Angila Golik at for more information.


Tenth grade student Brianna Duckworth is the CHS Student of the Week. According to CHS teacher Dr. Brian Fox, “Brianna shows leadership skills in orchestra by volunteering to help others, and she demonstrates a positive attitude and has a grasp of how to achieve larger goals.” Congratulations to Brianna Duckworth.


Congratulations to Alondra Gomez on being awarded Senior in the Spotlight this week. Alondra has a weighted GPA of 4.22 and is in several Honors and Advanced Placement classes such as government, economics, English, trigonometry and pre-calculus, computer science principles, French II and NJROTC IV. She has been a part of SkillsUSA for the past three years, and last year her team placed third at nationals by designing a promotional board display about “Job Readiness.” Also, this is Alondra’s third year as a part of NJROTC. She is in command of issuing and ordering uniforms for everyone. After graduation, Alondra is going to boot camp and AIT training. Upon completion of boot camp and communications training, Alondra will be a member of the Army National Guard and will begin attending UNR, at the same time, majoring in the nursing program. Senior in the Spotlight is an honor, and the faculty, staff and students of CHS congratulate Alondra Gomez on achieving such an outstanding award.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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