TULARE COUNTY, Calif. - Every week in partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education we tell stories about South Valley students with great character.
At Sycamore Valley Academy one 5th grader sticks out not just because of her bubbly and effervescent personality but her strong trustworthiness in the classroom
It's all pj's, pies and pancakes in Erika Chan's 5th and 6th grade classroom.
As students celebrate the holidays and reflect on what they're grateful for, 10-year-old Shania Rojas realized she has a lot.
"For my family, pets, animals, parents, and this school, my friends and my teacher," she said.
What she's most thankful for - being recognized by Tulare County's Office of Education for her trustworthiness in and out of the classroom.
Elementary school students aren't always known for this pillar of character. However, Chan said she breaks the mold.
"Our motto is, "I will do what is right because it is right." Shania definitely follows that honor code to the core of herself. "I think trustworthiness is something a lot of adults can't say they know a lot of people who they can trust," she said.
This recognition is something that makes her family proud.
"She is honest. She cares for other people's needs and cares for them. She is dedicated to her ideas. She is honest and she really cares about others," said Shania's Dad Rolando Rojas.
"She's like really nice and really thoughtful of other people. She is very trustworthy, wonderful, amazing and exceptional," said Classmate Ellie Elms.
"Her character is special in a way that is hard to explain. She makes everyone feel like they're family," said Classmate Rita Rasner.
Her humility is one the many reasons she stands out. Character comes naturally for her.
"I never felt that feeling that I won something before. I guess I was a lucky one to get it," said Rojas.