In middle school, Deena was shy and quiet – a far cry from who she is today. But after spending three summers at Aim High, Deena came out of her shell. Her Aim High teachers empowered her. “They saw potential in me that I did not see in myself,” she says. With her teachers’ help, Deena discovered her love for performing and became more confident as a leader and activist for causes she cares about. Shortly before graduating high school, Deena was recognized by the San Francisco Unified School District for her leadership as a peer mentor and conflict mediator. In 2017, she was honored at Aim High’s Annual Gala as the Rising Youth Leader.
Had it not been for Aim High, I never would have had the courage to step out of my comfort zone and stand up for what’s right. I never would have even known that was within my reach. Now, standing up for what’s right—and inspiring others to do the same—is an essential part of who I am. Deena