Class of 2021
Dali Guerrero is a rising sophomore at Cristo Rey High School and has lived in San Jose for most of her life. Coming from a big family, with four siblings and a dog, Dali said she is grateful for her family and is appreciative for all the opportunities they have given her. Dali loves to write and started writing fiction stories in elementary school. In high school, she joined her school’s newspaper. She has a passion to learn about human rights and educate others on those topics. Dali is specifically interested in the rights of Dreamers, because she is surrounded by undocumented people everyday. She has learned to see their struggles and is inspired to share their stories. Dali is thinking about translating her love for advocacy into a law or political science degree in hopes of helping others.
— Naomi Baron
Daniela Bravo, a rising senior at Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School, is looking forward to her second year as the president of the journalism club. She is an advocate for criminal justice system reform, and stays active in conversations about social justice through her school’s debate team. She enjoys decorating her room with posters of prominent historical figures — her favorite being Susan B. Anthony, because of the causes she championed, including women’s rights and the anti-slavery movement. Bravo hopes to use journalism to keep her community educated about social issues and amplify underrepresented student voices. After high school, she hopes to study political science in college, and take a deeper look into criminal justice.
— Jasmine Nguyen
Dayanara Diaz moved to San Jose from Salinas two years ago at the start of her freshman year at Downtown College Prep El Primero. Through the pandemic, Dayanara made several new discoveries about herself. For example, she loves doing her makeup and has gained more confidence in her appearance. Dayanara also gained social skills and made new connections with people. She enjoys writing, storytelling and reading, and she has taken on the role of big sister for her two younger cousins. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dogs Dora, Jimmy and Toby, and she has begun practicing self care, such as painting her nails or doing her makeup. She hopes to gain real-word journalism experience in her two weeks in the Mosaic program.
— Jareth Cedillo
Jareth Cedillo, a rising senior at Overfelt High School, is a horror movie fanatic with artistically driven passions such as drawing and filmmaking. Jareth is a laid-back person who enjoys skating, drawing, and listening to 1990s and early 2000s grunge and new-metal music in their free time. Jareth also aspires to one day be involved in film production. Their dream job is to work at an indie film production company as a director and to have their films showcased at events such as the Sundance Film Festival. Jareth hopes to focus specifically on documentary filmmaking, and they hope to capture unique stories around the world one day.
— Maya Barrientos
Jasmine Nguyen is a rising senior at Branham High School with an enthusiastic go-getter personality.
Her love for writing and reading led her to a great passion for reporting after she was unknowingly placed in journalism class by her mom and principal. Jasmine finds joy in bringing to light the voices of her community and writing about the things that excite her.
When Jasmine is not seeking the newest stories for her school’s newspaper, she is out tackling strenuous AP classes just for the joy of it. Jasmine is particularly interested in psychology. Apart from classes, Jasmine dedicates her time staying in shape and competing in track and field. Next school year Jasmine looks forward to becoming editor-in-chief of her school's newspaper.
— Daniela Bravo Berumen
KennedyRose Stiver, a rising sophomore at Santa Clara High School, joined the staff of her school’s newspaper her freshman year to increase her knowledge and capture other people’s stories. This experience has piqued her interest in journalism and in being a writer.
For her school newspaper, KennedyRose has written for the campus, art, media, entertainment, and opinion sections. KennedyRose loves to read romance, mystery, and horror books. She also signed up for her school’s marching band as a color guard member and will be starting in August. KennedyRose has been taking voice lessons with her private teacher for over six years, singing the songs from Hamilton, and many more musicals. Through Mosaic, she hopes to extend her knowledge of being a writer in journalism.
— Kevin Do
Kevin Do, who just graduated from Overfelt High School, has a passion for all things visual. He will be heading to San Jose State this fall to major in design studies, and hopes to dive into interior design, photography, graphic design and architecture as part of his studies. Throughout his four years at Overfelt, Kevin photographed compelling moments at many sports events, as well as at dance performances and other campus events. Outside of school, Kevin enjoys gaming and physical activities such as hiking and biking, but his attention is often drawn back to art, where he spends time drawing and practicing photography.
As Kevin prepares for his future, he is determined to lower his environmental footprint. He would prefer owning a bike to a car, and also prefers the idea of an apartment over a house.
— KennedyRose Stiver
An incoming senior at Lincoln High School, 17-year-old Laiyla Santillan is a diligent young woman committed to her education and more. She has been a part of Lincoln Convertibles, her school’s dance team, for two years. She also has spent two years working on Lincoln Lion Tales, her high school newspaper, which sparked her interest in the Mosaic High School Journalism Workshop. She wants to grow that interest and become better at it. Laiyla’s’s other interests include reading, specifically fiction, and art history. She also enjoys hanging out with friends and watching TV shows and movies.
— Lupita Fernandez Garcia
Leslie Lopez is an incoming junior at Downtown College Prep Alum Rock. A self-proclaimed true-crime fanatic, she often binges on crime-related television shows. After completing college, Leslie wants to work as a detective. She hopes that by solving cases she will leave victims with a sense of closure. Leslie, who loves to delve into the “how and why” of situations, also participates in a school-led STEM club and Get Set, a women’s engineering program. She has dabbled in creative pastimes such as doodling, and her love for creative writing has driven her to explore different styles of literature. Through Mosaic she hopes to learn more about journalism and the journalistic style of writing.
— Soojin Spencer
Lupita Fernandez Garcia
Lupita Fernandez Garcia is a rising senior at Latino College Preparatory Academy with a passion for writing. Lupita joined Mosaic in hopes of expanding her writing skills and is excited to experience working in a professional environment alongside peers with similar interests. In her free time Lupita enjoys playing softball, hanging out at the mall, and spending time with friends. She likes new genres, watches movies, and aspires to work in the film industry. Her favorite movie is “Parasite” because “it gives an in-depth analysis of the rising tension within class structures in society.” She hopes to get into a school such as NYU or USC that has a strong film program.
— Laiyla Santillan
Mary-Elaine O’Connor, an incoming junior at DCP Alum Rock High School, was born and raised in San Jose where she lives with her parents, fraternal twin sister, and two younger sisters. She enjoys writing fiction and poems and hopes that joining Mosaic will strengthen her academic writing, as well as her social skills. Mary-Elaine spends her free time painting, drawing, reading mystery novels, or watching comedy and thriller Netflix shows. At school, she participates in the creative writing club and the mock trial club. She has played the role of a witness in mock trials and considers this one of her biggest accomplishments because it brought her out of her comfort zone and taught her the importance of accepting her worries and fears but not letting them get in the way of her passions. After graduating high school, she hopes to attend a university like UC Berkeley or UC Santa Cruz and study marine biology, to learn more about the behavior of sea animals.
— Theresa Nguyen
Maya Barrientos is a rising senior at Notre Dame High School. Maya has a passion for writing and hopes to pursue a career in journalism. One of Maya's main hobbies is to read books such as her favorite one, “Pride and Prejudice,” and to watch mystery shows like “Criminal Minds.” She’s a Scorpio and always gets excited during holidays, especially Halloween and Christmas. Maya lives with her parents and younger brother, and she has a border collie mix dog named Nova. Like many people, Maya struggled during quarantine. She had a difficult time at first with online school but soon got the hang of it. She learned a lot about herself during quarantine and developed an interest in ’90s music. Besides her dream of being a journalist, she would love to visit New York and other places.
— Dayanara Diaz
Naomi Baron, a rising senior at Homestead High School, has been interested in broadcasting and journalism since she was very young. She was the lead anchor of her middle school’s daily announcements, and she has been on her high school's newspaper team since her sophomore year. Her junior year, she was a senior news editor for the paper, and she will be the editor-in-chief this upcoming school year. She has also found a passion for the water; she is a member of her school's water polo and swim team. She hopes to gain a deeper understanding of how to write better, and to learn more about the city of San Jose during the Mosaic program.
— Dali Guerrero
Soojin Spencer is an incoming sophomore at Santa Clara High School. Part of the school's mock trial team, she is not afraid of public speaking and is willing to be open minded. Soojin is her own hypewoman, driving herself to accomplish things and not being shy to express her outlook. Aiming to attend Stanford or UC Berkeley, she hopes to one day become a lawyer. Being 6 feet tall, Soojin has always felt self-conscious about her height but has learned to embrace it as a member of the volleyball team, where she plays middle hitter. She used to feel like an outsider because of her name and Korean culture but she now has accepted those parts of her and has recently learned to write and read Korean.
— Leslie Lopez Haro
Theresa Nguyen is an upcoming senior at Oak Grove High School. She is involved in many clubs at her school, serving as a coordinator in the Acts of Random Kindness Club, or A.R.K., and the Environmental Action Club. She is a hard worker and aspires to study medicine at UC San Diego. She hopes to become an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist or psychiatrist. She enjoys experimenting, problem solving, and creating, and recently won first place at her local science fair. Theresa enjoys watching Korean dramas, painting, photography, basketball, and playing badminton with her parents and younger brother.
— Mary-Elaine O’Connor