About 94 percent of the graduates from De La Salle North Catholic High School will go on to college. (De La Salle North Catholic High School)
About 94 percent of the graduates from De La Salle North Catholic High School will go on to college. (De La Salle North Catholic High School)
De La Salle North Catholic High School in April held its 11th annual Changing Destinies Luncheon, where the North Portland school celebrates student courage and raises funds to help more bright students get a Catholic education at a low cost.

De La Salle students spend one day a week working at agencies and firms to earn money for education and to gain experience.

At the luncheon, each senior hosts a table, telling guests just what it’s like to be a student at the North Portland school.

To highlight the school’s principles of respect for all persons, faith in the presence of God, concern for the poor and social justice, inclusive community, and high quality education, students presented song, dance and speeches.  

Courtney Ford, senior, discussed battling unconscious bias as a young black woman. She has received a full scholarship to the University of Oregon and hopes to study law before becoming a criminal defense attorney.  

“Sometimes in our life we won’t get the things that we want, we will get the things that we need,” she told listeners.

“Some say you can’t see him but I see him in pieces,” Tyler White, a sophomore, told the crowd when speaking of encountering God. He note sightings in classes, with teachers and when he meets parents who sacrifice for their children.

“We are only perfectly imperfect creatures of his creation,” White said.  

The class of 2016 is sending 94 percent of its members to college.   

Valedictorian is Hannah Dean, who will attend Portland State University. The four Salutatorians are Elijah Hager, who will attend University of Notre Dame; Jessica Isibor, who will attend Emory University; Michael Ninen, who will attend Seattle University; and Andy Trinh, who will attend Oregon State University.  

De La Salle North Catholic tracks graduates for six years after commencement.  Currently, the school’s graduates earn their bachelor’s degrees at almost five times the rate of typical graduates of a similar socio-economic status.

De La Salle North calls itself the fourth most diverse high school in the country. Students come from low- and middle-income families and average of 1.5 years behind the norm in mathematics, reading and language arts.

Officials say the school has a “stout moral and religious framework.”

To hear Tyler White’s poem on faith in the presence of God, go to:

Here are the graduates: Brandon Cuauhtemoc Alvarado, Meartu R. Aschalew, Fernando Becerra Campos, Olivia Jean Carter-Howard, Sandra Castillo-Valenzuela, Ja´Vary Malick Christmas, Jackie Jean Collicott, Sabrina Cruz-Santiago, Kavina Lewanna Davis, Hannah Hope Dean, Unity Edin Drain, My´Kell Larenz Fesser, Courtney Noelle Ford, Isaiah Malik Frison, Shaleah Michelle Gaston, Donicio Miguel Horace Antione Glenn, Elijah James Hager, Quianna Desireé Hanson, Katherine Elisabeth Harrison, Kathleen Erin Henry, Isabel Rosa Hernandez, Jose Misael Hernandez de la Cruz, Anastasia Patriece Hopkins, Luis David Huerta, Jessica Etin-Osa Isibor, Azaesha Monique Ivory, Vanessa Faye Jones, Nilesh Shelvin Kumar, Dietrich Paul Lachmann, Alysia Mysee Lee, Alexis Nicole Lund, Ivonne Moncerrat Mata Vargas, Abbie Mariel-Patricia McCarthy, Danio Meither, Armando de Jesus Moreno Campos, Alejandra Jasmine Navarro Winston, Michael Charles Ninen, Grace Evelynn Pennick, John E. Dylan Penson, Alesa Laneye Pritchett, María Gregoria Quintanilla-Campos, Stephanie Quintero-Rojas, Gabriella Quinto Alfaro, Graciela Quinto Alfaro, Jordan Paul Quiroga, Brayan Ranjel Carmona, James Rafael Reese, Arianna Naomi Reid, Dillilai Ngermoket Rekemsik, Nathan Cole Rippe, Julio Jaime Saldaña Soria, Ruben Sanchez, Austin Blake Smith, Jordan Erica Smith-Imes, Malik Shandon Staples, Eric Tamarr Quentin Stigler-Flores, Myra Fay Stroh, McKenzie Marjée Strong, Lartrell Adon Summerfield, Luis E. Teran Bustamante, Andy Anh Trinh, Tong Vang, Lovesha Rose-Lynne Woods, Himanot Nigest Worku