Sacramento Charter School Grad off to Prestigious College, Ready to Make a Difference

June 21, 2016

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High school senior Delainy Salazar knows exactly what she wants to do - change the world or, at the very least, fix it.

Salazar is demonstrating that she can do just that. She will graduate with honors from George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science in Sacramento, a Waldorf-inspired charter school. Delainy will be the first in her large family to attend a four-year university when she heads to Oregon's Willamette University in the fall to study public policy.

"I have learned a lot about the path to make change," Salazar said. "Even though I'm just a kid, if you have a good idea, people will listen and you can make a difference."

In fact, Salazar made a huge change when she conducted an energy audit of her school's lunch program. She wrote a plan to make the school lunch program more energy efficient and environmentally friendly by suggesting that the school use locally grown vegetables and implement waste-sorting strategies.

Salazar's heart for her community was recognized recently by the City of Rancho Cordova when she was awarded the Community Pride Scholarship, a $500 scholarship to honor graduating high school seniors who demonstrate pride in their community, volunteerism, and ambition to succeed.

Giving back to her community is a big part of Salazar's life. She was honored by the Cordova Community Council in 2015 with an Outstanding Teen Service award for her volunteer work at the Heartstoppers Haunted House - an annual haunted house that raises money for community activities in Rancho Cordova.

In addition to participating on the Cordova Cordettes synchronized swim team, Salazar serves as a foster care provider for the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation, following her compassion for animals.

Salazar credits her Waldorf education for her educational success. Waldorf schools offer an academically rigorous approach that integrates the arts in all disciplines. She joins many charter school students who are the first in their family to attend college.

A recent study by CCSA revealed that charter schools are helping to increase access to college for thousands of historically disadvantaged youth in California, including minority, low income and first-generation college-going students. Students who attend charter schools are more likely to be prepared for college, more likely to apply to college, more likely to be accepted to college, and more likely to attend college.

For Salazar, her charter school education opened the door for her to access a college education at a prestigious four-year university. Her high school's strong emphasis on showing respect for others and the world around her fueled her interest in animals and the environment and has inspired her to study public policy and politics.

"I can, so I should, make a difference," she said.