Humble stories of character were celebrated and 27 college scholarships were awarded in June by the Valley’s High School Student of the Month Program. It was founded by businesswoman, Sally Myers and Sizzler Restaurant franchisee of 27 years. Her passion to bring together God, Country, Family, Community and Free Enterprise has enjoyed strong community support since 1992. The Student of the Month Program brings the community together to honor young people for character, love of learning, making a difference and perseverance. Over $49,500 in scholarships were raised for the 27 Student of the Year winners.
Over the past 18 years, the program has blossomed and now serves the 28 high schools (comprehensive, alternative and private) within Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, and Perris/Menifee. The program is endorsed and named respectively after the local Chambers of Commerce and works closely with each of the respective school districts. A total of 270 students are selected each school year between the four communities and over 4,000 students have been honored since its inception. Sally is grateful for the loyal sponsors and the dedicated volunteers who assist with the program.
Every month during the school year, participating high schools select a college bound or trade school bound senior to attend a special lunch or breakfast with their family. They are honored and showered with gifts from over 250 generous sponsors. The focus is on the students and their stories. The stories are honest, heartfelt, they range from adversity to victory, and many times the students and the sponsors shed a few tears. At the end of the year, the students compete for the title of Student of the Year and 27 students between the four programs are awarded up to $2,750 in college scholarships donated by the local business and the non-profit community. The program encourages the students to return to the Valley after they have completed college, seek employment, start their own business and then get involved.
The first student to return from college and volunteer for the Student of the Month Program is Jennifer Pham, who was the 2002 Murrieta Valley High School Student of the Year. Jennifer started her own business, Learning with Jen and now Co-Chairs the Murrieta Student of the Month Program with Margaret Jones of A-1 Tuscany Travel. She is the perfect example of what the program stands for and promotes.
Sally concludes each ceremony with a quote from her favorite author, John C. Maxwell’s book, “Talent is Never Enough”. Maxwell encourages his readers to develop their God given talents; and adds that God given talent gets you noticed but its character and integrity that earn people respect and opportunity. If you wish for additional information about the SOM Program please contact Sally at (951) 506-8024.
Participating Chambers of Commerce & School Districts
~ Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce & TVUSD
~ Murrieta Valley Chamber of Commerce & MVUSD
~ Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce & LEVUSD
~ Wildomar Chamber of Commerce & LEVUSD
~ Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce & PUHSD
~ Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce & PUHSD
Participating High Schools
Temecula – Chaparral, Great Oak, Linfield Christian, Temecula Valley, *Rancho Vista, *Susan H. Nelson, *Temecula Preparatory
Murrieta – Murrieta Valley, Vista Murrieta, Calvary Chapel Christian, *Creekside, *Tenaja Canyon, *Oak Grove Center
Lake Elsinore – Lake Elsinore, Lakeside, Temescal Canyon,*Gordon Kiefer IS,*Ortega, *Keith McCarthy,*Tri Valley Community Day School
Perris/Menifee – Paloma Valley, Perris, Heritage, *Choice 2000, *The Academy, *Perris Lake,
*California Military Institute
* Alternative, continuation, independent study, or charter school