May 13, 2009 > Freshman Leads Pledge of Allegiance
Freshman Leads Pledge of Allegiance
By Simon Wong
Tennyson High School freshman Harmandip Jhaaj led the Pledge of Allegiance at the City of Hayward Council meeting on May 5.
Councilman Francisco Zermeno invited the 14-year old to City Hall to acknowledge the young man's achievements. Zermeno is Professor of Spanish at Chabot College and founder of non-profit La Alianza de Hayward. Besides academic and political careers, he cares enough to find time to support and encourage the city's youth. Education is of paramount importance.
"Harmindip is a very bright young man and belongs to the Puente Project through Tennyson High School, said Zermeno. "We need to focus more on our youth."
Puente, founded in 1981 at Chabot College, Hayward, originally targeted Mexican-American and Latino students to increase the incidence of admissions to four-year colleges and universities among this demographic. The program's success with community-college students led to its introduction to 33 high schools in California. Puente is open to all students who wish to enter tertiary education.
"Membership of the program is based on a goal to attend college. Race doesn't matter. The desire for education is shared by everyone and can be achieved by anyone. I joined the club because I knew that I could achieve something with my teacher's support. He pushed me a lot. This year I have a 4.0," said Jhaaj.
Harmandip Jhaaj's ambition is to read medicine at Stanford and specialize as a heart surgeon.