EL DORADO HIGH SCHOOL

561 Canal Street, Placerville, California 95667
Phone (530) 622-3634/Fax (530) 622-1802

Mr. Chas Prior, Principal

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to introduce Sierra McCain, a senior at El Dorado High School. Sierra is currently an AVID student of
mine. AVID is a program for students who have decided that college is in their future and have made college the priority.
AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. This is Sierra McCain. She is a young woman who is all
determination and ambition softened with the hopeful optimism of a compassionate heart: a powerful combination in
such a lovely young woman poised to take on the world.

Sierra exemplifies determination by tackling her fears head on and taking the harder road academically, so that
she is in a position where she is desirable to colleges and for scholarships. Sierra has always known that she wanted to
go to college. She has also always known that it will be a struggle. Instead of looking at the mountain of work ahead and
deciding college was too much work, Sierra made strategic decisions that would enable her to be successful. First, she
tool classes that would help her overcome her shyness and quiet personality. Advanced Drama challenged her social
anxiety and fear of public speaking. She never gave up even when she was scared or nervous. Challenging her fears and
anxiety helped her grow into the eloquent young woman in my class that has no problem presenting. Another strategic
step Sierra made was joining AVID. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID has helped ground
Sierra on one path all four years of high school, the college path. She knew she would need help figuring out how to get
into, apply, and qualify for college. Thinking ahead, she took the class that would prepare her for her goals even though
AVID required her to give up many fun electives for a class of hard work for four years.

As to ambition, Sierra states that many of her ambitions were formed at the Federated Church through the
youth group there. She has attended since 7th grade, which would give her six years of continued attendance (just one
more example of her dedication). Through the Federated Church youth group, many opportunities that Sierra never
thought she would be able to do were available to her such as the annual Mexico Mission Trip (she has attended for the
last three years and currently plans to attend) and the Sierra Service Project (she attended last summer and will again
this summer). She is also involved in volunteer opportunities like Tamales sales, Upper Room, and feeding the
homeless. Being given these opportunities through the Federated Church allowed her to see herself as someone who
can make a difference. This has bled over into her school life where she uses her ambition to affect positive progress in
the Make a Change Club. This agency and personal power cultivated by the Federated Church youth group created the
path for her life’s ambition as evident by her desire to join the Peace Corp after college and continue affecting change.

Sierra’s determination and ambition could be viewed as negatives by some. However when combined with her
compassionate and optimistic heart, it is clear that Sierra will be a humanitarian. She is a born helper. This comes from
her family’s demons. Her family struggles with her mom’s alcoholism and her parents’ divorce. This turbulence meant
moving a lot when she was younger and dealing with more stress than most. Instead of turning negative or giving up on
herself and her family, she stayed positive. She always looked on the bright side and knew that it would get better, if she
tried her best. Sierra attributes this positivity to her success in school and her ability to move past the hurt of her home
life. She describes her positivity as her mental strength. It allows her to be happy and grow as an individual, while

EL DORADO UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
THIS DISTRICT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER AND COMPLIES WITH TITLE IX
EL DORADO HIGH SCHOOL
561 Canal Street, Placerville, California 95667
Phone (530) 622-3634/Fax (530) 622-1802

Mr. Chas Prior, Principal

maintaining kindness and sympathy for those who are struggling. She can empathize, which is such a rare trait
nowadays.

In conclusion, I cannot recommend Sierra McCain enough. This young woman will not disappoint. Her ambition
and drive will carry her to the top of whatever she chooses to do, and her heart will keep her grounded in humanity.
Taking a chance on Sierra McCain will not be a risky gamble. If you would like to contact me to speak more about how
amazing Sierra McCain is, feel free to email me at jnicodemus@eduhsd.k12.ca.us.

Jessica Nicodemus
Teacher, El Dorado High School

EL DORADO UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
THIS DISTRICT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER AND COMPLIES WITH TITLE IX