#BulldogSTRONG STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Evelyn Mendizabal


Student: Evelyn Mendizabal 

Year in School: Senior

Plans After High School: Evelyn plans to major in marine biology and minor in business management. She has applied to CSU Monterey Bay, Stanislaus, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Humboldt, the University of San Diego, the University of Santa Barbara, the University of Los Angeles, and the University of Santa Cruz.


What Makes Evelyn #BulldogSTRONG: The great American labor leader, civil rights activist, and co-founder of the National Farmer Workers Association, Dolores Huerta saw value in migrant workers as they toiled and worked hard for their families and communities. For Huerta, every person, including migrant workers, possessed the ability to change the world. “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.” At Golden Valley High School, Senior Evelyn Mendizabal, like Huerta, views people and migrant workers as valuable human beings that can positively change and influence the world. Since her freshman year at GVHS, Evelyn has been part of the Migrant Program, a program that provides educational services to children of migrant agricultural workers as well those working in logging, fishing, and other migratory industries. Through this powerful program, Evelyn has been afforded the luxury of learning about college and career opportunities through various experiences. Recently, she attended a Senior Retreat in San Luis Obispo, CA where she was assisted in completing her FAFSA and University of California personal insight questions in order to be ready for college. As a result of her participation in the Migrant Program at GVHS and in attending numerous Saturday classes and workshops, Evelyn was selected to go to Washington D.C. to learn about the three branches of government while also visiting famous landmarks such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Capitol Building, White House, and the rest of iconic places in our nation’s capital. Evelyn is grateful for her experience in the Migrant Program and thinks that more students should know about the program. “People should know about how important this program is,” humbly states Evelyn, “As the child of an agricultural worker, there are staff members at GVHS that are available to help you to be successful in high school and beyond.” 


1As a result of her hard work and participation in the GVHS Migrant Program, Evelyn Mendizabal was selected to go to Washington D.C. to learn about our nation's government.


As a result of her participation in the Migrant Program, Evelyn has pushed herself to succeed academically while also immersing herself in various programs throughout her time at GVHS. Evelyn has earned a cumulative 3.70 GPA while being enrolled in GATE, College Prep, and Advanced Placement courses. Moreover, she has also been part of the GVHS Future Farmers of America (FFA) program for three years where she has served as the programs treasurer and historian, developing and fostering her leadership skills along the way. For the past two years she has been an active member of the Needle Arts Club because she wanted to learn a new skill and because she knew that whatever project that was created would be given to people in need of something warm to wear or comfort them. This year she joined Mock Trial where she assumed the role of the team’s clerk where she was responsible for the timekeeping of her teammates so that the trials at competitions were conducted in a smooth and efficient manner. With her busy schedule and commitment to being a lifelong learner, Evelyn remains humble and always willing to SERVE others. In the Fall, Evelyn volunteered her time to help Migrant and English Language Learner (ELL) parents at the GVHS Parent Academy so that they could also learn about college and career possibilities beyond high school. Ultimately, Evelyn wants to make GVHS and the surrounding community a better place. “Parents should know about the Parent Academy because this information can inspire their children to create a better future for themselves,” passionately states Evelyn, “I initially volunteered to help out at the Parent Academy because I needed to complete community service hours. However, once I completed my hours I decided to stay and help parents because helping each other can make the community a better place.” For the GROWTH she has demonstrated as part of the GVHS Migrant Program on her journey to college and career readiness and through SERVICE by helping her community become a better place through involvement in the GVHS Parent Academy, Evelyn Mendizabal is #BulldogSTRONG.


1For three years, Evelyn Mendizabal has been an active member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) at GVHS where she has had multiple leadership roles.


What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Evelyn: "#BulldogSTRONG is a community that helps students achieve social and academic success. Mike Russo is an example of a bulldog in my community. Going above and beyond entails giving extra effort, especially in a way that exceeds expectations. Mike Russo is the small business entrepreneurship teacher at the Regional Occupational Center campus who teaches students the importance of business presentation, professional communication skills, employment readiness skills, bootstrapping financing, and engaging in daily business operations. He is a teacher who helped me decide that I wanted to minor in business. I also have met students who are Bulldog Strong. These two wonderful friends were in the class of 2022: Esmeralda Arinaga and Abigail Sanchez. Esmeralda Arinaga was involved in THRIVE; she led and organized this student support group, which stands for timely, honesty, respect, improvement, value, and engagement. I met Abigail Sanchez through the Future Farmers of America class. She was so involved in this program that it gave me motivation to stay in the class. There are people who go above and beyond for you, and you must remember those people.”


What Teachers and Staff Think of Evelyn: 

"Evelyn is a brilliant student who is successful in everything she puts her mind to. She enjoys helping others and is always willing to volunteer her time. Evelyn has a big heart. I am very privileged to have met her. I enjoy seeing her volunteer and providing SERVICE to our community.” Gaby Ruvalcaba, Library Technician, Golden Valley High School


“Evelyn was the first senior I met this year, she was asking questions about deadlines and college applications the first day of school. She is always willing to learn and help other students. She took the time to volunteer helping at the parent academy and did a wonderful job. Evelyn has a beautiful personality and is always smiling. It has been a joy helping her with her applications. I know she will be successful in whatever she sets her heart to.” Karla Gomez, College and Career Guidance Technician, Golden Valley High School 


“Evelyn is a great student and fantastic person. I met her last year when she was a student in another teacher’s class. She was endlessly curious about the college experience. So glad I have her now in AP Bio.” Katrina Barnum, Science Teacher, Golden Valley High School


"There are many things I can say about Evelyn; she is a kind, sweet, hardworking, humble and generous  young lady. She  is always willing to help everyone, someone who is engaged in her classes, in her community; always enthusiastic about learning, not about getting a particular grade and always seeks for improvement. She is truly #BulldogSTRONG."  Eutimia Madrid, Bilingual Technician, Golden Valley High School


“Evelyn is an amazing young woman. I feel honored to have had her as a student. She is lovely, intelligent and has a good sense of humor…meaning she laughs at my dad jokes! She is definitely #BulldogSTRONG!” Darcy Blagg, English Teacher and Assistant Dean, Golden Valley High School


“Eveyln is amazing! Kind, friendly, compassionate, and hardworking are a few of the words that come to mind when I think of Evelyn.” Lisa Irish, English Teacher, Golden Valley High School


“If you were lucky enough to have Evelyn as a student, then you know how amazing she is.  I have had the pleasure of knowing Evelyn for four years!  She is willing to try any adventure and puts her all into trying.  She is the first to volunteer and always has GV FFA projects completed early.  She is a very kind and giving student who will be successful at any college she goes to.” Cassandra Soberano, Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor, Golden Valley High School


“What a smart, talented, and energetic young lady!!  We are proud to say Evelyn Mendizabal is #BULLDOGSTRONG and has completed and repeated the map to success with the GPS.  We are happy to have this happy young lady come visit with us, always with a smile on her face and eager to volunteer or take a trip with a club or the migrant program here at GV.  Keep up the good work Evelyn, you are truly going places!!”   Wendy Akins, Title 1 Secretary, Golden Valley High School


“Evelyn is a very smart and sweet young lady.  She had participated in different activities and trips in the Migrant Education Program such as Close-up, trip to Washington D.C., Fresno State STEM, UC Santa Barbara, and others.  She always offers to volunteer taking care of kids and cleaning during our parent meetings. She was accepted to CSU Monterey Bay and other universities. I am so proud of Evelyn Mendizabal.” Silvia Ortega-Duenas, Migrant School Community Specialist, Golden Valley High School 


“Evelyn is one of the best students in my Stats class. She not only works hard and has one of highest grades but she is more than willing to help out any student that needs assistance. Not only that, she is involved in extracurricular activities and cares about the school and community around her. I am blessed to be her teacher this year and she is definitely BulldogStrong!” David Gago, Math Teacher, Golden Valley High School


“Evelyn is an amazing addition to the Mock Trial team this year. Evelyn is one of the sweetest students I know and always loves to work alongside others.  She has an amazing attitude about everything she does and helps create a great positive environment in our team. She plays a very important role in our team, and she has shown a tremendous amount of growth throughout the season.” Ana Guevara, Social Studies Teacher, Golden Valley High School