Students honored for 'beating the odds'

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Six Valley schools are being recognized for outstanding academic achievement. The students are mostly minorities who come from low-income backgrounds.

Franklin Police and Fire High School is one of three high schools to be honored. Students tell 3TV they are proud of their achievements, having overcome immense obstacles and literally beating the odds.

Student Cydnie Desamais says she aspires to become the next female fire chief. Fellow student Jessica Bristow quipped, "And that will be right after I retire."

The power of positive thinking and a little healthy competition certainly does go a long way.

Both seniors know exactly where their career is headed and say it wasn't always that way.

"Being put into a system like this was definitely something that I needed because it's a lot of discipline, something like structure," Bristow said.

"When I came in, I was kind of shy. I didn't want to talk to anybody. I felt timid," Desamais said. "Now, as a senior, I'm able to talk to people. I'm able to make relationships with people, especially with the teachers."

It's the kind of confidence Franklin Police and Fire High School students learn. They're encouraged to take in as much magic and wonder and knowledge as possible.

Principal Lorenzo Cabrera says it's a proven success.

"Look at our AIMS scores last year. One-hundred percent of our sophomores passed AIMS reading. Ninety-nine percent of them passed writing," Cabrera said of his students. "So that says something about not us as a school, but them."

The students were recognized Thursday with quite an achievement. Franklin is one of six Valleywide schools with minority-intensive, low-income student populations who've overcome obstacles to win gold awards. It is now officially a "Beat The Odds" school.

Franklin students -- along with students from Cortez and Washington high schools, L. Thomas Heck Middle School, and Burk and Emerson elementary schools -- received recognition for academic achievement.

While they reveled in their success, the district superintendent reminded them to keep up the good work.

"Each one of you students here in front of me today make us proud, but you also have a great responsibility and that is to go on and continue to be successful because those in front of you did," said Kent Scribner with Phoenix Union High School District