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Student Succeeds - Senior Cody Rises Above The Crowd
A scholar and athlete at Riverbank High School, senior Brittany Cody was recently selected to represent Stanislaus County at the regional level for the Every Student Succeeding program, recognized for overcoming major obstacles to succeed in life and school. - photo by VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

Riverbank High School senior Brittany Cody was selected to represent Stanislaus County at the regional level after being nominated by Vice Principal Rebecca Evans to the “Every Student Succeeding” program sponsored by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).

Cody, along with 23 other local students from 14 different school districts, attended a breakfast at the Petersen Event Center in Modesto on Tuesday, March 4 and was selected from among the 23 honorees to represent Stanislaus County at the region level. This was the ninth consecutive year that the Stanislaus ACSA Charter, the Stanislaus County Office of Education, Mocse Credit Union, and E. & J. Gallo Winery honored the outstanding students.

ACSA believes every student deserves equal opportunities to succeed. On every school day throughout California, dedicated educators and courageous students overcome tremendous obstacles to reach their goals of academic excellence. As the website states: “Their success is our success; their powerful stories are our inspiration.”

The program honors students of all grade levels who have succeeded even though they have been met with adversity and challenges, beating the odds.

Each student had their picture posted and their stories were told one by one at the breakfast. After each student had their turn, the announcement was made that Cody was selected as this year’s honoree. She will receive a $500 scholarship from ACSA Region VII in addition to going on to the region level competition.

“I was totally surprised; I did not think I was going to win,” said Cody.

The somber story that Cody tells is also inspiring.

At the age of eight, Cody’s struggles began after her mom passed away unexpectedly. Her father eventually remarried but at the young age of 13 Cody lost her stepmother to a tragic accident. The hardship continued when her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year and half ago when Cody was 16. One month after the diagnosis, her father passed away.

The passing of her dad left Cody somewhat in limbo, weighing options about where to live. She had the opportunity to live with her grandmother but she did not want to change schools and leave Riverbank for Hayward, as she is now a senior at RHS and wanted to finish high school here.

Currently Cody resides with a family friend and has plans to attend college after high school. Last year she received a scholarship to go to California Baptist University in Riverside.

“I am just preparing myself to play (softball) at the next level,” expressed Cody. “I want to study kinesiology to be an athletic trainer.”

In November, Cody will represent Stanislaus County at the region level.

“It is definitely different just because I never really thought of it as something I should get an award for,” stated Cody of her personal hardships. “I am very proud of it; that I could be selected to get a scholarship for it because it has put me through a lot of hard work and struggles in life.”

The struggles may continue but Cody stated that she will never give up and will always keep going. And to others that may be experiencing some difficulties in life Cody offered this advice: “Keep pushing, you can overcome anything if you just believe in yourself.”