Alumni Spotlight - Emma Baker, Class of 2019
Emma is currently studying linguistics at the University of Arizona. She impressed all of her teachers at Hillside with her love and talent for learning languages, which include English, Spanish, French, Armenian and American Sign Language (ASL).
“Hillside provided me with a stable base from which to grow emotionally and academically,” Emma shared with us recently. “My favorite part of Hillside was how small it was. Everyone knew everyone else and that made for a remarkably special high school experience.”
It’s also remarkable to see how the small and supportive environment at Hillside prepared Emma for success at a university where the undergraduate student population is over 35,000 students.
Alumni Spotlight - Charlie Lysikhina, Class of 2021
Charlie Lysikhina, Hillside alum who graduated in 2021, is now a sophomore at University of California Santa Cruz double majoring in environmental studies and art with a goal of creating community engagement in every project.
Charlie currently works in habitat restoration and is learning everything about plants and birds in the hopes to lead his own habitat restoration project in the future. He is also working as a manager in one of the campus gardens hosting weekly workdays and bringing volunteers together to create a beautiful oasis to grow food and a place to hang out in between classes. In pursuit of his creative side, he is looking forward to traveling to Japan this summer to get hands on experience with the art of Japanese printmaking.
Charlie shared with us recently, “Teachers at Hillside always looked out for my best interest and went above and beyond to provide me with the level of support I needed. Seeing all the students grow and learn alongside each other truly helped me see what was possible for myself.”
Alumni Spotlight - Peter Ferguson, Class of 2016
Peter Ferguson graduated high school in 2016 and is currently working as an Associate Embedded Solutions Engineer at Microchip Technology in Colorado Springs. He received his bachelors and masters degree from Santa Clara University in Computer Science and Engineering. His career goals are to advance in the embedded sciences and space applications.
Peter shared about his Hillside years, “Hillside has had a large impact on my life. The nurturing environment helped me to grow both emotionally and intellectually and develop a better understanding of myself. The small classroom sizes and support from teachers helped give me the tools to navigate challenging times in my life and a place to regroup. I am very grateful to all the wonderful teachers and staff at Hillside for the love and support that they showed me through my junior high and high school experience.”
Alumni Spotlight - Jason Goldhammer, Class of 2019
Jason Goldhammer, alum of 2019, recently completed a three year occupational program for acting at Los Angeles City College Theater Academy, earning multiple certificates in theater. He participated in several productions as Actor, Director and Stage Manager, and took part in a national theater festival in Las Vegas. His next goals include transferring to a four year school to pursue a degree that would enable him to teach acting and theater.
Jason stated, “I came to Hillside at a time in my life when I was deeply struggling to find a place for myself within my education where I could thrive and feel supported. I felt demotivated every step of the way. On top of that I had to contend with recovering from chronic illness. Once I got to Hillside, I realized I found that place. Over time Hillside became somewhere I could not only learn, but thrive and be a part of a community. Hillside gave me the tools and the individual care I needed to not only pull through these obstacles, but to find out what my dreams were.”