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8 AVUSD Students Awarded with Academic Honors from College Board National Recognition Program

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( — Eight Apple Valley Unified School District students have earned academic honors from the College Board National Recognition Programs. These programs celebrate students’ hard work in high school and showcase their strong academic performance. The academic honors for rural area, Black, Indigenous, and/or Latino students are an opportunity for students to share their strong academic achievements with colleges and scholarship programs that are seeking to recruit diverse talent. 

Apple Valley High School seniors Isabella Acevedo, Trinity Cisneros, Natalia De Leon, and Matthew Renteria all earned the National Hispanic Recognition Award. Granite Hills High School seniors Ayden Conrad, Connor Faber, and junior Hayden Rice earned the National Rural and Small Town Award and senior Mia Espinoza earned the National Hispanic Recognition Award.

The students all shared a similar sentiment when asked how they hoped this recognition will aid them in their futures. “I hope that this recognition will show colleges how hard I’ve worked throughout my high school career,” says Isabella Acevedo. Ayden Conrad hopes this recognition will aid him in getting into a good college engineering program and, ultimately, help him achieve his goal of “helping to accommodate people with disabilities”.

(From left to right: Ayden Conrad, Mia Espinoza, Connor Faber, Hayden Rice.)

Their principals also shared their hopes for their students. Brian Goodrow, Apple Valley High School Principal said, “It is my hope that this recognition places these students in select  company among the top students in the nation. They deservedly set themselves apart from other college applicants and hopefully gain access to additional scholarship opportunities.” Adam Powell, Granite Hills High School Principal, said, “My hope is that our students will gain the confidence to realize they can compete with the brightest and best in the nation, and be inspired to continue to challenge themselves and change the world.”

The criteria for eligible students include:

  • GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 assessment scores that are within the top 10% of assessment takers in each state for each program or earned a score of 3 or higher on 2 or more AP Exams in 9th and 10th grade.
  • Attend school in a rural area or small town, or identify as African American/Black, Hispanic American/Latino, or Indigenous/Native. 

Eligible students are invited to apply on BigFuture during their sophomore or junior year and are awarded at the start of the next school year in time to share their achievements in high school as they plan for the future. At the same time, colleges and organizations using College Board’s Student Search Service™ can connect directly with awardees during the recruitment process. 

“It’s becoming increasingly hard for students to be ‘seen’ during the college recruitment process. We’re exceptionally proud of the National Recognition Programs for celebrating students who are at times overlooked but have shown their outstanding academic abilities,” said Tarlin Ray, senior vice president of BigFuture® at College Board. “This is a benefit, not only for the students, but also for colleges and universities committed to recruiting diverse and talented students.”

(From left to right: Brian Goodrow, Apple Valley High School Principal; Adrian Mullikin, Apple Valley High School Counselor; Erika Perrine, Apple Valley High School Counselor; Natalia De Leon; Matthew Renteria; Isabella Acevedo; Trinity Cisneros; Amber Burdi, Apple Valley High School Counselor.)

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