2022 HERO OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENTS
HERO Peer Club of the Year
Sunnymead Kindness Club
The Kindness Club at Sunnymead Middle School is a student club that promotes a culture of Kindness, acceptance, and Inclusion. They meet weekly and provide a safe and welcoming environment for every student. In their actions, these club members are creating a ripple effect of kindness on-campus and in their community. Their seemingly isolated acts of kindness on the school campus have far-reaching impacts beyond the gates of Sunnymead Middle School. By offering a warm welcome at the beginning of the day and continuing to send messages of self-love and acceptance, they ensure that kindness is at the forefront of every student’s mind. In addition to all the school-wide campaigns they facilitate, the kindness club also makes an effort to provide resources to families in need. Thank you to all the members of the kindness club and thank you to the club advisors Ms. Cortes and Ms. Ruiz for providing a space on campus that fosters support, empathy, and kindness.
HERO Administrator of the Year
Matthew is the Student Assistance Program Counselor at North High School where he has made a great impact on the students and families he has worked with. However, his impact has reached students and families beyond those that reside in the North HS community. At North HS he has consistently ensured students have supports and resources within our community. He took it upon himself to find out how to get the NAMI Peer Support on his campus, assisted in getting it approved, and started meetings with up to 50 students attending. This has helped students bring awareness to mental health issues and structure conversations around mental health on campus. Matthew also volunteers his time with organizations to try to prevent suicide and bullying, helps our youth co-chairs the suicide prevention coalition in riverside county, and focuses on engaging schools. His focus with his co-chair position allows him to focus on Ed code 215 and helping school districts in Riverside (with a focus on Riverside Unified) county to work together to decrease suicide attempts and deaths. His recent efforts with Riverside University Health System have allowed RUSD, in addition to other school districts, to receive suicide prevention kits out to the school sites to support students. We thank you for your advocacy for students’ mental health!
HERO Community Leader of the Year
Rebecca from the Riverside University Health Systems has donated time to speak at our Take 30, attended our events and Conferences, and introduced us to several other key staff members and partners to assist in getting us funding for various programs. She has been instrumental in assisting us in reaching a new group of students with our Ripple Effect presentation which is now available to elementary school students.
HERO Business of the Year
Inland Empire Health Plan
Over the years this organization has continued to support many of our programs. We have received funding for our regular events and programs, plus additional support for our reIMAGINE curriculum. They continue to reach out to us with open communication to assist us in meeting the needs of our community. They make our “small but mighty non-profit” feel heard and supported.
We also awarded a special recognition certificate to Luanna Jauregui, a person that works at IEHP and continues efforts to stay connected in our community by assisting not only our organization but several others.
QUARTERLY HERO AWARD RECIPIENTS
2022 – 2023 SCHOOL YEAR
Chantal Velasquez – Counselor, John F. Kennedy Elementary School
Elena Chavez – Teacher, Martin Luther King High School
Amelia Earhart Middle School (Team No Place for Hate) – Cecila Saucedo, Angela Allen, Ronnie Otis, Karinna Quezada
Angel Vargas – Student, Peralta Elementary School
Santiago Roybal – Student, John F. Kennedy Elementary School
Elexis Sloan – Student, Amelia Earhart Middle School
Susan Perez – Counselor, Stokoe Elementary School
Ramona High School – Riverside Unified School District
Jasmine Fincher – Student Services Coordinator, Moreno Valley Unified School District
Arianna Chaney – Student, Norco Intermediate School
2021 – 2022 SCHOOL YEAR
Canyon Lake Middle School PLUS Group – Makayla A Acock, Jillian Acuna, Meriam Antypas, Alina J Avila, Brynn R Blaine, Rachel L Barnes, Hailey R Berry, Nicole Bobadilla Regalado, Olivia R Brunson, Lucas M Burton, Tori M Busell, Olivia D Cerone, Emma R Dornay, Alexa N Doughty, Gage K Dudziak ,Hannah L Goering, Valeria Gonzalez, Shelby R Griffin, Elizabeth V Gutierrez, Tanner J Hanahan, Kylie M Hartford, Adeline R Hill, Svetlana C Hohol, Shae L Inchcliff, Cassidy M Lusky, Uday R Mahmood, Colton A Martin, Aleena S Navarrete, Jake T Padden, Parker J Thompson, Emalie Turner, Gavin L Ware
Shannon Bagley – Teacher, Canyon Lake Middle School
Amanda Niaves – Counselor, Cottonwood School
2019 – 2020 SCHOOL YEAR
MeCHA De Poly Club – Jacinda Godinez, Alex Arvisu, Nayomi Resendiz, Johanna Resendiz, Molly Guzman, Mya Angulo, Melanie Magana, Brittany Garcia, Yuridia Nava (MeCHA Advisor)
Johnie Drawn & Raphael Briscoe – Members of Communities 4 Children Mentoring Program
Mr. Ricardo Lozano & Mrs. Vlandita Lozano – Hemet and San Jacinto Valley Community Members
Aramis Verano aka “The Kid CEO” – Southern, CA Elementary School Student
Canyon Springs High School Anti-Bullying Club (ABC) – Over 145 active members!
Perris High School (PLUS Leadership Program) – Laisha Arredondo, Sayra Beltran, Rubi Espinoza, Jason Evans III, Kalvin Fernandez, Daniel Fewkes, Gilberto Gil, Cesar Herrera, Kevin Jaimes, Samuel Munoz, Pablo Perez, Vanessa Perez, Julian Preciado, Edgard Prieto Gutierrez, Nevaeh Rangel, Marco Rodriguez, Ebony Rueda, Lena Tran
Ashley Hayball – Teacher, Desert Ridge Academy Middle School
Ramona High School (S.U.P.E.R. Peers) – Yoshelyn Vera, Breanna Carlos, Guadalupe Esparza, Jonathan Salinas, Victoria Howell, Ruben Lemos, Brandon Martinez
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Student Ambassadors and Moderators – Samantha Kimble, Joshua Frazier, Daphne Egizi, Ana Sofia Ramirez, Isabella Barragan, Giselle Galvin, Cali Gonzalez , Emily Cube, Julian Armijo Moderators: Ms. Pat Minson Ms. Jane Manasuk
Britney Criswell – Instructional Assistant, Alessandro School
2018 – 2019 SCHOOL YEAR
La Sierra High School (PALS) – Alejandro Acosta, Alan Alvarez Gonzalez, Alizee Ambriz, Ashley Anderson, Daniel Ayala Muniz, Josh Baias, Joselyne Casillas, Melanie Ceja, Jocelyn Cuen, Irene Garcia Gonzalez, David Gomez, Brissia Gomez Carrillo, Katherine Gonzalez, Naomi Guerrero, Jarod Hingada, Jordan Kinsman, Naomi Lara Espinoza, Samantha Maciel Diaz, Angelica Martinez Castellanos, Fabian Mejia, Chris Morton, Priscilla Mugica, Christian Ortiz, Adrian Paris, Sebastian Romero Regalado, Adriane Ruvalcaba, Lillyana Shelton
Voices for Children CASA’s Against Bullying – Tamara Slagill, John Page, Frances Lynn Harris, Carolyn Ponder, Andrea Greer, Carmen Ortiz, Stacey Morse, Samantha Tajalli Tehrani, Jasmine Valdez, Summer Escorcia, Julie Dawson
Ramona High School (S.U.P.E.R. Peers) – Alexis Arrivillaga, Belen Saldana Lopez, Claire Lopez, Destini Egan, Hannah Dunkel, Hannah Robinson, Mariel Almaraz-Olvera, Wendy Carrillo Lopez, Wendy Solis
Clare Pierce – Student, Jurupa Middle School
Dan Taylor – Founder, BullyStop 360 Program
Maria Lomeli – Student, Ramona High School
Berenice Toledano – School Counselor, Boulder Ridge Elementary School
Edward Gutierrez – Student, Boulder Ridge Elementary School
Jordan Thompkins – Student, Stone Avenue Elementary School
Mandy Wiltrout – Assistant Principal, Desert Ridge Academy Middle School
Megan Murano – Student, Indio High School
Melinda Tapia – Teacher, Jurupa Middle School
Payton Ramirez – Student, Lincoln Elementary School
Ryan Johnston, Student – Amelia Earhart Elementary School
Silvana Diaz – Teacher, Troth Street Elementary School
Special recognition was given to the following recipients:
Hailey Bisbee – Student, Jurupa Middle School
Mandy Bush – Teacher, Norte Vista High School
Mario Claussen – Rancho Cucamonga Resident
Opal Singleton – Riverside Resident
Shannon O’Brien – Co-founder & CEO, Children’s Resources, Incorporated
Tamara Baer – Teacher on Special Assignment, Corona-Norco Unified School District/Educational Services
Check out our Facebook for pictures of some of our HERO Award winners!
2017 – 2018 SCHOOL YEAR
Jurupa Middle School – Ariana Ortiz, Angelica Gonzalez, Alexandra Garcia, Sophia Salazar, Alexa Morales, Monique Ortega, Noemi Acosta, Marie Esteem, Elizabeth Becerril
Sundance Elementary – Arianna Horta, Alexander Smith, Genesis Valdez, Brooklyn Carbajal, Kate Mariscal, Madison Coleman, Milannah Quach, Morgan Savoy, Faith Reeves, Juliana Ash, Gabriella Salgado, Henry Valdivia, Alyssa Prado, Jose Saucedo, Paige Walker, Abigail Ball, Makayla Hampton Hernandez, Lucas Lugo, Ruby Pacheco, Sophia Hernandez
Three Rings Elementary – Alanah Muesser, Hunter Stowall, Aimee Castaneda
Previous HERO of the Year Award Recipients
2019 HERO Community Partner of the Year – California Baptist University, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Special recognition was also given to Dr. Kristin Mauldin, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Director, Sport and Performance Psychology Program.
2019 Inspirational HERO of the Year – Jessica Fuller, Teacher & Public Speaker, Orange Grove High School.
2019 HERO Counselor of the Year – Mrs. Kathleen Sarmiento, Student Assistance Program Counselor, Ramona High School.
2019 HERO Student of the Year – Megan Murano, Indio High School Student.
2018 HERO Initiative of the Year – The Corona-Norco Unified School District, Special recognition was given to Dr. Milisav (Mike) Ilic, Administrative Director,Instructional Support
2018 HERO Staff of the Year – Dena Drouault, Counselor Clayton A. Record Junior Elementary School
2018 HERO Student of the Year – Ayanna Johnson, former Student, Polytechnic High School
2018 HERO Inspirational Person of the Year – Cassandra Lackie, Riverside resident
2018 HERO Community Leader of the Year – Michael Barboza, Owner of Right at Home In-Home Care and Assistance
2017 HERO Administrator of the Year – Jessica Simpson-Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Vice Principal
2017 HERO Community Leader of Year – Dr. Susan Levine, Director of Pupil and Administrative Service, Riverside County Office of Education
2017 HERO Staff Member of the Year – Michelle Gomez, Counselor Canyon Springs High School
2017 HERO Student of the Year – Keilee Ann Grace Kelly, Student Mesa View Elementary
2017 HERO Ambassador of the Year – Shannon Fox, Ms. USA Universal
If you would like to nominate an individual for making making a positive impact within their workplace, school, or community please fill out the nomination form at the link below.