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Santillan, Santa Cruz are students of the month for February

Adriana Santillan and Eduardo Santa Cruz, both seniors at Hood River Valley High School, have been selected as February’s Students of the Month by the Hood River Elks Lodge 1507. Each student was presented with a check for $100 at a recent Lodge meeting.

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Adriana is a very active and driven young lady who finds time to be involved in many diversified community activities. She helped advocate, fund-raise and lead physical activities to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic through Happy Wheels Foundation; she help raise more than $5,000 through Students Taking Action Now for Darfur to bring awareness about the genocide in Darfur; she attended coalition meetings, retreats, and talked to the Hood River commissioners about gaps in our ATOD services and developed and delivered presentations on the prevention of tobacco and alcohol at the local schools; and she is a member of the Anti-Drug Coalition doing public announcements to help reduce underage drinking in the community.

Since 2008, Adriana has been a mentor for elementary and middle school minority students helping them with homework, encouraging them to get good grades and to get involved in the community. Through the SMART program (Start Making A Reader Today), she also takes time to reads with kids who are below the state reading level.

She volunteered at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital answering phones in the family birth center, assisting with direction, paperwork, cleaning and transferring liquids to the lab. As part of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), Adriana participated in fundraisers to give money to the hospital for families who could not afford services.

During a summer program, she participated in a program designed for students who were interested in the nursing field by shadowing nurses at the University of Washington Medical Center.

Adriana maintains a 3.86 GPA and is a member of Leaders For Tomorrow, STAND Club, National Honor Society, Health Media Club and Youth Advisory Council. She is the daughter of Filipe and Bolanea Santillan and would like to attend University of Portland, possibly majoring in nursing.

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Eduardo Santa Cruz maintains a 3.89 GPA while taking Honors Physical Science, Writing 121/122, AP Statistics, Honors Ecology, welding and fabrication, and speaks three languages: French, Spanish and English.

As the president of his 4-H Club he organizes and sets up the meetings and is extremely active competing and showing animals. Through his 4-H club he has helped with the annual fundraiser “NAPA Days” taking animals to the petting zoo and cleaning up after the event.

He volunteered his time to help move cattle and wean calves, weed gardens, clean out pig pens, help with haying and feeding goats and cows for elderly neighbors. He participated in Community Work Day planting trees and picking up branches, and then helped with printing and grading papers for a grade school teacher.

When Eduardo’s 4-H leader was attacked by one of his cows and was sent to the hospital, he planned and directed a cleanup day at his leader’s farm. He felt that his leader had done so much for the 4-H Club that they should give back to him. So they cleaned up broken tree limbs, cleaned out the pig pens, floors and the barn. He also fed all his leader’s animals for two weeks while he recovered.

Eduardo is a member of the FFA and has participated in the career development events. He also participated in activities such as Pass the Pig, Farmers Breakfast and chapter banquets. He helps serve breakfast on Sunday mornings and sets up and directs the youth group classes at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

He has also worked since 2008 at various jobs which include picking blueberries for Montavon’s Berries, picking and sorting apples, cleaning the shop and wrapping meat for Mt. Valley Meat Service, hay baling, maintaining goat herds by vaccinating and trimming the goats feet. He also raises and breeds his own goats, sheep and cattle.

This is one very thoughtful, kind, ambitious young man.

Eduardo is the son of Eufrasia Enriquez. He would like to attend Oregon State University majoring in animal science.

— Submitted by Linda Sanders, Elks scholarship chairman

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