Hall of Gratitude
Christian, Rene, and Lorenzo
Submitted by Roxanne Smith
Christian, Rene, and Lorenzo showed me the power of perseverance
My three children, Christian, Lorenzo and Rene, have shown my husband and I the power of perseverance … each in their own unique way. Christian, the eldest, persevered through the loss of his brother and many other stressful situations early in life and is now about to graduate from San Francisco State University with a degree in Film. He began his academic career at Decker Elementary and subsequently went on to Cortez, then Diamond Ranch, where he became President of the Debate Club. Christian then attended Mt San Antonio College for 2 years, making the dean’s list both years, before transferring to SFSU. His academic perseverance resulted in him being the first one in our family to graduate from college!
Our second son, Lorenzo, born sixteen weeks early at only two pounds, taught us the power of perseverance by making it through the first six months of his life at the Cedars Sinai NICU and going onto live four and a half more years at home with his family. Though he had incurred brain damage, cortical blindness, lost most of his intestines, had cerebral palsy, and had several more hospital stays, he was able to smile, convey humor, and fill our hearts with joy while he was at home. He showed us the strength of his perseverance to live each and every day he was with us.
Our youngest and most determined, Rene shows us the power of perseverance daily. Even though he’s struggled with dyslexia, he never lets it get in the way of his academic & athletic career. Rene was able to make honor roll at Lorbeer and has received awards and made 3.0 GPA at Diamond Ranch HS all while being a student athlete. He’s a fierce competitor, receiving several athletic awards & accolades. He’s played soccer, football, basketball and baseball. Rene played both league soccer and travel baseball for two years concurrently and is in sixth year of travel ball. He also makes time to take care of animals and help people in need.
When life gets tough, my children give me the strength to persevere.