The voice of California’s charter school movement

10 Charter High School Grads Receive Bragato Scholarships

By Ana Tintocalis

CCSA has selected 10 exceptional charter high school students to receive the 2023 Susan Steelman Bragato Scholarship, a statewide award honoring seniors who have overcome adversity, given back to their communities, and are pursuing a post-secondary education in the fall. 

“The Bragato scholarship winners embody California’s charter school ethos of perseverance, resilience, and determination,” said CCSA President and CEO Myrna Castrejón. “Without question, these scholars will leave an indelible mark in our world and in the lives they touch, and we’re proud to support them in their journey.” 

The 2023 Bragato Scholarship winners are a true representation of the diverse communities that charter public schools serve in California. The students’ collective academic achievement also reinforces key findings of a recent Stanford University report that indicates California charter public schools are strong, effective, and producing superior academic gains.  

Susan Steelman Bragato was the co-founder of the first California charter public school and founder of the California Network of Educational Charters, the precursor to CCSA. Her legacy continues through her namesake scholarship program. 

Each 2023 Bragato Scholarship recipient received $2,000 to help with costs during the first year of college. Below is a list of the winners and brief summaries of their personal stories. On behalf of CCSA, we'd like to congratulate each Bragato scholar! 
Recipients by Region: 


Beaux Cable

Beaux Cable headshot

Granada Hills Charter HS (Granada Hills)

University Accepted: University of Southern California

Beaux hopes to reinvent and rebuild parts of L.A. with a degree in civil engineering. Beaux founded “Connecting Immigrants to Citizenship” at his local library after seeing the need for this free service while helping his father navigate the naturalization process.


Leslie Marcia

Leslie MarciaGranada Hills Charter HS (Granada Hills)

University Accepted: University of Southern California

The daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, Leslie is the first in her family to graduate high school and attend college. She plans to enter the healthcare profession upon graduating USC. Leslie volunteers at a local hospital helping Spanish-speaking patients.


Ricardo Martinez

Ricardo Martinez headshotAlliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy (Los Angeles)

University Accepted: Stanford University

Ricardo avoided a life of drugs and gangs by focusing intently on his education. In high school, he formed a student club to address mental health issues on campus. After graduating from Stanford, he wants to establish an education tech company that will help all types of learners.


Vincent Mohr    

Vincent Mohr headshotVaughn Next Century Learning Center (San Fernando)

University Accepted: Point Park University, Pittsburg

Vincent was the leader of his high school’s Gay Straight Alliance Club which seeks to make campuses safe places for all students. He was accepted to Point Park University’s dance program and hopes to become a professional ballet dancer.


Jacquelyn Samilton

JacquelynSamiltonGranada Hills Charter HS (Granada Hills)

University Accepted: University of California, Irvine

A member of her school’s robotics team, Jacquelyn is a student of color who wants to establish her own nonprofit to encourage more girls to embrace science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She gives back to her community by collecting and donating school supplies to families in need.



Kira Cook 

Kira Cook Senior PhotoHigh Tech High North County (San Marcos)

University Accepted: Nova Southeastern University, Florida

Raised by single mom, Kira has a deep sense of volunteerism and plans to become a special education teacher. She was the only girl on her school’s varsity baseball team but worked with her teammates to foster understanding and mutual respect.


Ari Kalpakgian

Ari Kalpakgian headshot Classical Academy HS (Escondido)

University Accepted: Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

The oldest of seven children, Ari aspires to be an attorney specializing in white-collar crime or criminal defense. He’s a talented violinist who plays in a local youth orchestra. He volunteers at local nursing homes where he plays his violin for residents.


Noah Martineau

Noah Martineau HeadshotEscondido Charter High (Escondido)

University Accepted: Palomar Community College

Noah developed his passion for kinesiology after discovering weightlifting. A certified Taekwondo instructor, he wants to improve the health and wellness of others by establishing his own fitness coaching business. 



Joshua Gluck

Joshua GluckWestern Sierra College Academy (Rocklin)

University Accepted: William Jessup University, Rocklin

Joshua is a scientific-minded percussionist who will pursue a degree in commercial music with the hopes of producing soundtracks for the movie industry. He volunteers at a small nonprofit that helps relocate Afghan refugees to the Sacramento region.


Evelyn Vidrio Avalos

Evelyn Vidrio Avalos headshotLuis Valdez Leadership Academy (San Jose)

University Accepted: Santa Clara University

Evelyn’s academic journey began as an English learner. She is the first in her family to graduate high school and attend college. She plans to pursue a career in environmental sciences. She volunteers as a poll worker helping Spanish-speaking voters.

Would you like to learn more about the CCSA Bragato Scholarship? Check our this webpage:

This blog story was written by Ana Tintocalis, CCSA's Senior Director of Media Relations and Editorial Content. She is a frequent contributor to the CharterNation Blog. Got a good charter school story? Contact her at