Steve's Scholar offers Advice to Incoming Freshmen

This month's Student Spotlight is on Jacquelyne Casillas, who is in the first cohort of the Steve's Scholars program and is on track to graduate in 2018 from Roosevelt High School.

The Steve's Scholars program is an endowed scholarship fund for Tehipite Middle School students. The scholarship program was established in 2012 by the Farber family and comes from the estate of their late son, Steven. Steven was an entrepreneur and believed in the value of education. Eligibility for the scholarship includes the following requirements:

- Maintain a cumulative 95% attendance record
- Complete A-G course requirements
- Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher
- Participate in community service annually

Students in the program who graduate from Fresno Unified and meet the scholarship eligibility requirements will receive a $1,000 scholarship for the first two years at an accredited college or university.

What do you like about the Steve's Scholars program?

I am happy to have this opportunity to work for a goal. The program helps me to be more confident and it teaches us to give back to the community.

Tell us about your community service activities in the program?

In my freshman year, I volunteered with my music teacher. I cleaned band instruments and uniforms. Now, I volunteer at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo on Sundays. I am a Teen Leader. I set up a cart and teach children about the animals and the importance of the environment.

What have you learned from other students in the program or at Roosevelt?

I've learned to be more open and to take opportunities to experience more things in school. I've learned to be myself and to have friends who will be there for me.

What is your favorite subject or extra-curricular activity in high school?

I love band. Since I was little, I loved music. I am part of the marching band in the fall and the concert band in the spring. I play the clarinet and I'm first chair. In band, I like that we get to go and play for the community. I've played in the Pismo Parade and at Holmes Playground.

What has been the greatest challenge for you in high school?

Grades. If you want to go to college, you need to get a "C" or better. I used to struggle, but because I study more and ask teachers for help when I don't understand, my grades are now A's and B's.

What three tips do you have for incoming freshmen?

First, high school is not as scary as what you see on TV. Second, don't worry about being someone you're not, be yourself! Third, find who you are and find a group of friends that shares the same interest. You will drift apart from some friends. Be open to making new friends.

If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?

I want the ability to talk to animals. I'm always wondering what they are thinking.

What is your dream job?

I want to be a vet or a zoologist. I want to work with animals and to be able to save them.