CBS SF Bay Area highlighted Summit Prep senior Julissa Cruz Gutierrez in this week’s Students Rising Above series. “When you look at Julissa, you see a tremendously successful, beautiful articulate woman. I don’t think you have any impression of how hard she fights everyday to be as successful as she is,” her mentor Maren Adler explained in the article.
Julissa became deaf when she was five years old; however, her biggest challenge was bullying when she moved from a school for the deaf to a traditional school. She was bullied not only for being deaf but for also the weight gain from her medications. How did she overcome it? Family has been an instrumental cheerleader. Attending a smaller school at Summit Prep and having supporters like her mentor. And, a talk on ““Healthy is the New Skinny” that helped her realize that “it wasn’t worth it” to hate her body. She learned that “despite all the challenges that have come your way, there is always a way to rise above them.” Read more about Julissa’s inspiring story.