Sunshine H., Class of 2020

According to the Webster dictionary, when describing a person, sunshine means someone who radiates warmth, cheer, or happiness. Sunshine H. puts her name to the test. As she walks through the doors of CATS, she greets everyone with a smile and a wave that could brighten up anyone’s day.

Sunshine first came to CATS when she was a freshman, per her counselor’s request. No one would ever guess that she was a shy, meek person only a few years ago. Sunshine’s parents decided to home-school Sunshine starting in the seventh grade, and she became isolated from her peers. As a result, she found it tough to interact with those she did not know. Following the change to home-schooling, Sunshine lost a few relatives that were extremely close to her, which tested her inner strength to see the brighter days ahead. According to Sunshine, her counselor suggested attending CATS to help improve her grades while new meeting peers, even though this was an intimidating leap.

Since coming to CATS, she has created several pieces of art that represent her relationships with lost loved ones, participated in almost every event CATS has outside of school hours, and has attended two national park trips. Sunshine describes having grown immensely from time at CATS, from improving grades to interactions with peers and instructors. In fact, one of her peers, Brian, encouraged her to do extra work to boost her grades, and then encouraged with him to participate more at CATS. 

Now entering her senior year, Sunshine is on track to graduate, has several close friends, and intends on joining the CATS Bridging the Gap program. She is a CATS intern and national park ambassador. She is no longer shy or meek, she is a leader for her peers! According to her ceramic’s instructor, Ms. Jamie, Sunshine radiates light. She came to CATS as an introvert and her sincere interest in knowing people and creating bonds grew her into the extrovert she is today. She has a gift in making people feel warm and welcome. Our rolling admission policy and diverse population gave her an opportunity to start fresh with many new students. Perfect attendance and willingness to travel to CATS nurtured this talent.

If Sunshine were to advise other students, she would tell them, “CATS is a great program and an awesome opportunity to meet some amazing people, even if you end up not loving the classes, CATS offers great benefits that could help you get ahead in school and in life.”

Finally, according to Webster dictionary and everyone at CATS, Sunshine radiates warmth, cheer, and happiness.