For Immediate Release: September 11, 2014
Contact: Selina Ayala-Patlan, Valerie Martinez (909) 445-1001

MONTEBELLO – Two Montebello Unified School District students have another special achievement to add to their glowing resumes. After attending the annual National Teen Leadership Program (NTLP) camp this summer, where more than 350 students attended, Michelle Mkhlian of Montebello High School and Shantell Gomez of Bell Gardens High School were honored with the Overall Achievement Award and the Perseverance and Determination Award, respectively.

“We are tremendously proud of our students who have taken time out of their summer to participate in the NTLP camp, workshops and activities in order to enhance their scholastic and personal goals,” said MUSD Board of Education President David Vela. “We congratulate Michelle and Shantell for truly shining and receiving these awards for their tenacity and dedication to their education and future.”

Mkhlian, an avid violinist and singer, is thoroughly involved in many campus leadership activities — in addition to her dedication to her superior musical talents. She is the Vice-President Elect of the Key Club and an active member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. She also founded an inspirational anti-bullying Kindness Campaign, which contributed to her fellow ASB members to award her the title of “Biggest Hero” last year. Mkhlian’s also very active in the Montebello Youth Leadership Club and community, all the while maintaining Honor Roll status since intermediate school and playing on her school’s League Champion water polo team.

Gomez says that her challenge as a single mom has led to her becoming more responsible, independent and hardworking. In efforts to reach her goal to become a registered nurse, she has joined Health Occupations Students of America, has joined the Regional Occupational Program Nursing program and volunteered at a local hospital over the summer. Additionally, she has qualified for the Principal’s Honor Roll after achieving a GPA of 4.17, putting her in the top 10 percent of her class. She was also highlighted as “Teen Mom of the Year” by a local non-profit organization called Generation Her.

The NTLP is a non-profit organization that offers leadership camps and workshops for high school students, and were held in Irvine, Sacramento and Texas this year. The three-day, intensive leadership camps are held on college campuses to expose attendees to institutions of higher education and includes motivational speakers, leadership exercises, small group sessions, interactive workshops, interviews with business professions and a recognition ceremony.

“To have two of our students, among hundreds, be recognized and honored for their talents and determination, is rewarding for not only our students and their families, but for our District as a whole,” said Superintendent of Schools Cleve Pell. “These two young women truly exemplify what it means to achieve.”