Highland Park Neighbors Magazine Articles


Carlos Sanchez! Recipient of the HPCF 2023 Personal Achievement Award

Each year, the Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) awards a Personal Achievement Award to a graduating Highland Park High School (HPHS) senior who demonstrates perseverance and commitment to overcoming challenges to meet their personal goals. The recipient must also “exemplify the spirit of the Community Foundation in terms of being a part of their school community or other communities they are involved in,” said Nancy Mills, HPCF Board Member and Personal Achievement Award Committee Chair. In recognizing outstanding students who overcome obstacles, the HPCF honors those who demonstrate resiliency and dedication to their education. This year’s recipient, Carlos Sanchez, personifies these characteristics.

Carlos Sanchez

The global pandemic and consistent interruptions to regularly scheduled classes made school – and life – difficult for students. Yet, Carlos faced those and other challenges with strength and determination. “Carlos faced many difficulties related to Covid-19, Zoom learning, and personal matters. He showed remarkable resilience and persistence in working through these obstacles and setting goals for his future,” said HPCF Board and Award Committee Member Jean Meadows. She added, “Carlos is very artistic and has a good sense of humor. We know Carlos will build on his many skills, engaging personality, and perseverance to achieve his career and personal goals.”

HPCF Board Member Jean Meadows, HPHS teacher Sam Toro, Carlos Sanchez, HPCF Board Member Nancy Mills

Carlos’s ability to maintain a part-time job outside of school while pushing himself to always be his best self demonstrates his dedication to excellence, which will no doubt continue throughout his life. As one of his teachers, Sam Toro, noted “Carlos continued to improve his school attendance, challenged himself academically, held a part-time job outside of school, and took advantage of Homework Club. He independently applied to three different colleges in case he decided not to commit to joining the Marines after graduation.” The thought and effort Carlos put into preparing for his future are admirable.

The HPCF has awarded outstanding graduating students with the Personal Achievement Award since 2018. After reviewing nominations submitted by Highland Park High School staff, a small committee from the HPCF interviews the finalists and selects the winner. During the selection process, members of the Community Foundation have had the privilege to get to know a number of truly amazing students

Carlos Sanchez was awarded the Personal Achievement Award in May at Highland Park High School’s Student Honors Night. The HPHS Board and Staff congratulate him on all his hard work and wish him all the best in all his future endeavors.