RHS Resilience Award winners

Yariana Velasquez, Staff Writer

The  Resiliency Awards were created to reward individuals who were looking for light at the end of the tunnel and, through determination and perseverance, finally found it. They have gone through the worst and back, yet they came out so strong.

Three of these individuals can be found at Renton High School: Ms. Shannon Milner, Esperanza Romo-Solis, and Jack Cristler.

They are a representation of how difficult situations can be the best things for personal growth, regardless of the pain.

For example, Ms. Shannon Milner is a warm-hearted, Special Education teacher and has been teaching since 1997. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with breast cancer during her work years. Even if it meant arriving at work feeling tired and nauseous, or dealing with all the chemotherapy right after, she promised herself to keep going for her students.

¨I didn´t want to them to get a new substitute teacher everyday and not learn anything,¨ shared Milner.

Milner also said that one of the hardest things was arriving at work with no hair, then dealing with the curious students who would ask every so often. However, this kind teacher successfully beat cancer with a chin held high. She is now healthy and still teaching at Renton High School.

Another award winner is a student by the name of Esperanza Romo-Solis. Esperanza could be considered one of the strongest people out there by her peers; she has gone through a lot and is still succeeding academically. Esperanza has had a rough childhood regarding her home-life. She often found herself needing to be strong in many situations. She is very loving of her family and friends; she is taking IB classes and is not afraid to stand up for herself and others around her. ¨Esperanza¨ means ¨hope¨ in Spanish, suiting her too well.

Lastly, Jack Cristler was the second student from Renton High School who received the award. Jack is a transgender student who is transitioning from female to male. He has been struggling for years, but still works hard and shows up to school. He keeps a positive attitude regardless of all circumstances.  Jack has to wake up every single day and walk out into a world that does not always accept him for who he is. Jack lacks support from many, but stands up for himself. This is a classic case of character vs society, but Jack is definitely going to succeed regardless.

The Resiliency Award nominations at RHS were made possible by Christina Neuschwander, a teacher at Renton Highschool. She felt the need to show these individuals that their tough situations could actually be seen as something good, something they can use to motivate others who are going through the same things.¨My advice to them is to keep going no matter what, even if others are discouraging them,¨ Ms. Neuschwander said.

The three winners were rewarded with a chance to go to a Seahawks game. They are also praised by their peers for their abilities to get through their difficult situations.