WEST BOUNTIFUL — Two students who overcame health issues to graduate from Mountain High School were honored by the Bountiful Breakfast Exchange Club as student of the month representatives for April and May.
Devan Castillo began attending Mountain High last year with only 1.25 credits needed for graduation.
The young man, who suffers with asthma, found it a struggle to stay healthy and attend school regularly, so he missed a lot of school.
“I knew I wanted to drop out in 10th grade,” Castillo told club members.
By his senior year, he’d earned less than half the credits he needed to graduate, according to Kristi Yamada, the school’s career and technical education coordinator.
However, a desire to become a chef, made Castillo take a second look and he made the commitment to return to school and attend, no matter what. Yamada said he sometimes attended class when he didn’t feel well because he wants to succeed and he studied at home if he couldn’t make it to classes.
He enrolled in a culinary arts class at the Davis Applied Technology College while he was still attending Mountain High and wants to become a sous chef. He earned a scholarship to the DATC from the State Office of Education.
When asked why he wanted to become a chef, Castillo said, “I enjoy food altogether and have been watching television cooking shows since I was 12.”
He said he particularly likes cooking breakfast.
He recently graduated from Mountain High.
Miranda Stevens also recently graduated from Mountain High.
Like Castillo, she began attending the school with too few credits and didn’t think graduation was even possible.
Stevens struggles with depression and self-esteem issues, Yamada said.
However, she became involved with the Future Business Leaders of America club at Mountain High where she began taking on leadership roles, helping young children become leaders in their own right.
During the summer of her junior year, Stevens, “realized I needed to do it (go back to school)” to reach her goal of becoming a special needs teacher, and made the commitment to get through school.
“She has blossomed this year to be one of Mountain High School’s outstanding students,” Yamada said. She has worked at Lagoon for several seasons and was promoted to manager this year. When Lagoon closed, she worked at Pizza Hut.
Yamada told club members that Mountain High is a school of choice for students. They attend because they have made a commitment to their eduction.
Each Friday the teachers come together to discuss students’ progress, she said. Students are chosen as students of the month as a result of a collaborative effort.