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San Lucas 5th grader receives donations to attend national youth leadership program

SAN LUCAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE ON APRIL 13, 2023, AT 6:10 PM- KION has learned that due to community donations, a San Lucas 5th grader will receive enough to attend a summer STEM program.

Aaliyah Briseno will get the chance to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum during the summer. Briseno was nominated by her teacher and received a letter from the San Lucas Union School District urging the community to help her attend.

She is one of five children from a single family income and is the first of her family with ambitions to attend college.

To learn more about the program, click here.


A summer STEM program wants a San Lucas 5th grader to attend in hopes of her gaining skills like leadership through personal experience.

Aaliyah Briseno attends San Lucas Elementary School and was nominated by her teacher to the program.

The Program is called the National Youth Leadership Forum. According to their website, this forum "is a unique learning experience for bright, forward-thinking elementary school students who will evolve into next-generation innovators, engineers, doctors, software developers, and scientists."

"My teacher Mrs. Olivera nominated me because I'm a very smart student," said Briseno. "I love math. I'm very good at it. I love reading, it's so peaceful."

The San Lucas Union School District says Aaliyah comes from a one-income family with five children. She started school as an English learner and participates in migrant education.

According to the website, this program ranges from $2,445- $3,145 to attend the five-day program. Aliyah and her mother, Nereida Gonzalez, spoke about what this means for their family. Aaliyah is working hard to cover the cost. 

"She's trying to do her best to raise the money," Gonazlez said. "She's done bakesales. She goes around San Lucas picking up cans because she wants this. She's capable, and I know she's going to get it."

Coming from a rural area, many students there haven't gotten the chance to visit places outside Monterey County. 

The San Lucas Union School District is asking for donations to help Aaliyah attend this summer. You can find a link to donate, here.  

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Ricardo Tovar

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