St. HOPE Scholars Are Oak Park Smart!


Know some amazing students? So do we! This past month, three students, one each from PS7, Oak Park Prep and Sac High, were recognized at the second annual Celebrate Oak Park festival as Oak Park Smart’s top students. Celebrate Oak Park is an annual celebration of learning and student achievement for the schools serving Oak Park and is put on by Jay Schenirer’s WayUp initiative.

Since he took office, District Five City Council Member Jay Schenirer has focused on supporting Oak Park through his WayUp initiative. One aspect of WayUp is WaySmart, which is focused on supporting the students, families and schools serving Oak Park in achieving excellence. For the past several years the school leaders from the local Oak Park schools have met regularly to collaborate and share best practices. This includes all the schools run by St. HOPE (PS7, Oak Park Prep and Sac High), as well as the public and private schools in and around the neighborhood. 

In addition to collaboration, each school annually selects one student as their Oak Park Smart scholar. Selected students are recognized at the celebration and will have their photos displayed prominently on light poles along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. which runs through Central Oak Park. Below is a summary of each St. HOPE scholar’s accomplishments.

Amanda Palomino is PS7 Elementary’s Oak Park Smart award winner. Amanda is an exemplary scholar and is the epitome of St. HOPE’s five pillars. Every day is an opportunity for her to work hard and be a leader both inside and outside of the classroom. This year, Amanda started the PS7 Elementary Clean Up Crew! She recruited five scholars to work with her and clean up the campus each and every day. She shows so much school spirit and pride and she has invested others in her mission and vision! Amanda has also earned Honor Roll each quarter. This is such an accomplishment, as not only does Amanda excel in the classroom, but she also has impeccable behavior and attendance! We cannot express how proud we are of Amanda and how much we appreciate her Power To Lead, her dedication to spending More Time on her education and at PS7, and the High Expectations for herself and others. Congratulations, Amanda!  #PS7Pride (Credit Molly Sangalang)

Lia Mack is PS7 Middle’s Oak Park Smart award winner! Lia exemplifies what it means to be a PS7 Scholar.  She is a leader both inside and outside of the classroom. Lia always has a smile on her face and is one of our most positive students. Lia was one of the first students of the month at PS7 due to her hard work and positivity. She has earned our top award at PS7 Middle, Principal’s Award, every quarter. In addition, Lia has played on the girl’s soccer team both of her two years at PS7 Middle. Lia consistently goes above and beyond in her school work and in athletics and holds herself to the highest expectations. We are so proud of Lia and her hard work this year! (Credit Priya Singh)

Nevia Williams, Oak Park Prep’s Oak Park Smart scholar, joined our school partway through her 7th grade year, and immediately stood out not for her academics, but for her character. Nevia has maintained a 4.0 throughout her time at Oak Park Prep, and always goes above and beyond if she sees someone who needs help, either a teacher or a peer. In 7th grade, she earned the “MVP” Award, which is bestowed to one scholar each quarter, and she has consistently maintained the status of “Platinum Scholar” for having both strong grades and citizenship. Although we’re sad to see her leave this year, we know that Nevia is going to continue to do amazing things at Sac High, the college of her choice, and beyond. (Credit Nicole Bibel)

Orlando Ruvacabla, Sac High’s Oak Park Smart scholar, returned to Sacramento High School his sophomore year after determining there were more opportunities and support available in the St. HOPE network, which he had experienced at PS7. Every morning, Orlando starts his carpool around 6 a.m. from Galt to make it to school on time for Senate and stays late, often for various events. Outside of Senate, Mr. Ruvacabla is part of College Track, is a student athlete for both wrestling and volleyball and accepted the challenge taking all of the Advance Placement courses offered for Juniors this year. Orlando’s goal is to attend Stanford University in order to earn a degree in medicine and is prepared to work hard to achieve his dreams. (Credit Amy Bostick)

Help us celebrate our Oak Park Smart scholars when you drive down MLK by giving them an air five!