Sac High Alumni Spotlight: Janera Whitney, Class of 2012
Throughout her time at Sac High, Janera Whitney (maiden name Montano) was very active and took advantage of all that Sac High had to offer. She was involved in Yearbook all four years, helped put on a shoe drive to support Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and joined the softball team. She also attended school board meetings to advocate for charter renewal, was involved in community improvement campaigns, and participated in internships.
As a first-generation college attendee and graduate, Janera was grateful that she received an abundance of support at Sac High and that her advisors suggested she apply to San Diego State University. Janera graduated from Sac High in 2012 and in college she leaned on many of the supportive resources she made at Sac High, saying “St. HOPE built a family for me.”
Janera graduated from SDSU with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in three departments: Sociology, Spanish, and Counseling & Social Change. She started working as an administrative assistant at a non-profit Youth Care Worker Program in her senior year and was promoted after graduation. This role led her to the community involvement work she has always been drawn to.
Janera has since moved to Texas and works in the non-profit sector helping support students. She became a student coordinator in a school similar to St. HOPE called Texans Can Academy. Their students who range from age 14-21 typically have challenging upbringings and want to get a high school diploma rather than a GED. She brought many work training and trade programs to assist students in their transition into the working world post-high school. Janera has helped around 150 students find their career paths and get jobs after graduation. Janera took key messages instilled in her from St. HOPE and made a career for herself setting students up for success after high school.
Janera’s advice to future and current St. HOPE scholars is to get involved and take advantage of all the resources and opportunities presented to them. She says, “don’t let where you come from determine where you can go.”