kpix-7-2013-masthead kcbs 7-2013-masthead

Students Rising Above

Donza Pitre, Students Rising Above

Oakland Teen Overcomes Post-Traumatic Stress, Heads To College

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 30% of inner-city children suffer PTSD. Donza Pitre may be one of the few who was actually treated for it, after she was diagnosed at about 13 years of age.


Damont Hardnett

Santa Clara Teen Goes From Troubled Household Member To Student Leader

Damont Hardnett wears a pressed white shirt, a bow tie and a heartbreaking smile when he reaches his hand out to meet you. He is a mother’s dream – especially an African American single mom who has struggled to raise him right.


Tommy Saephan (CBS)

Student Rising Above: Laos Refugee, Domestic Violence Survivor Becomes Honors Student

Dinnertime at the Saephan home is bustling, with 9 people to feed, including parents, teenagers, a wiggly toddler and newborn baby. Tommy Saephan has been living here with his aunt and uncle since middle school. It is exactly what he needed. “They’ve given me hope,” says Tommy. “I think that’s the biggest thing they could give to me. Hope.”


Nancy Phung (Family photo/CBS)

UC Grad Overcomes Major Family Struggles

When Nancy Phung was a senior at San Rafael High School, she told us she wanted to change her family’s history. In June 2013, she did just that, as she graduated from UC Merced with a degree in Business Management. “I’m super proud of myself, “ she says. “I can’t believe I did this.. I am creating new paths and new footsteps for whoever is going to come after me.”


Student Rising Above Shanita Talton (CBS)

East Bay Student Raises Family, Earns Degree From Cal

Shanita Talton did a graceful twirl as she walked across the stage at Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley to receive her college diploma, a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare. But that accomplishment may be secondary to what Shanita accomplished at home, raising her four younger brothers and sisters in student housing, while working on her degree.


Kimberly Armstrong poses for a photo with her law school diploma at the University of San Francisco.

Student Triumphs Over Abuse, Foster Care; Graduates From Law School

Kimberly Armstrong looked nervous as she approached the stage at the University of San Francisco, about to get her diploma as a Law School graduate. She had good reason to be overwhelmed with the depth of her accomplishment. More than half of the foster kids in California don’t even finish high school.


Student Rising Above Yaqiao Li (CBS)

Finding Career, Personal Success After Graduating From Cal

Yaqiao Li proudly wears the white coat of a research associate as she gazes into a microscope at the Gladstone Institute, affiliated with UCSF. She’s studying how the molecules in the brain work, specifically, what causes degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.


Tanea Lunsford seen graduating from Columbia University (CBS)

Student Rising Above Works To Help Others After Conquering Columbia

Tanea Lunsford became the first in her family to graduate from college this year- not just any college, but Columbia University. It was a leap for a kid with no money who had to grow up without her parents.


Tyre Ellison, Students Rising Above

From SF’s Mean Streets To Academic Heights

To find San Francisco native Tyre Ellison now, you would have to go to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he is a fellow with the prestigious Coro Fellows Program. It is a nine-month, graduate-level program in leadership training, and a long way from the Sunnydale Projects where he grew up.


Premsa Wangmo is a graduate of Albany High School and is attending Emory University in Georgia. (CBS)

Academic Success Follows Escape From Tibet

Pasang Wangmo is just one new freshman face in the crowd at Oxford College at Emory University in Georgia.