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.”
Students Rising Above is a KPIX 5 series by Wendy Tokuda profiling at-risk Bay Area high school students who overcome the odds.
The 2011 class of Bay Area Students Rising Above have often overcome family lives full of violence, neglect, drug abuse and poverty on their way to academic success. In the case of John Kennedy, he faced all of those obstacles while still caring for his younger siblings.