Five local students honored at Encinitas Chamber of Commerce Rising Star of the Month program

Student honorees
Student honorees (l-r): Pargol Mohi, CCA, Rox Jimenez Hernandez, LCC, Irene Aguilar, SDA, Noah Clair, Sunset High School, and Selina Mejia Cristobal, TPHS.
(Copyright of Encinitas Chamber of Commerce)

The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce hosted its Rising Star of the Month program Tuesday, March 14, at event sponsor Piña Encinitas in the Moonlight Plaza Shopping Center. The honorary breakfast recognized five high school students who have demonstrated character, integrity, love of learning and involvement in school and community, and/or have overcome challenging life circumstances without compromising their education, according to a news release.

Each month during the school year, additional San Dieguito Union High School students will be celebrated at a recognition breakfast. All Rising Star students will all have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship which will be awarded in May 2023.

The Encinitas Rising Stars honored were Pargol Mohi from Canyon Crest Academy, Rox Jimenez Hernandez from La Costa Canyon High School, Irene Aguilar from San Dieguito High School Academy, Noah Clair from Sunset High School, and Selina Majia Cristobal from Torrey Pines High School. Their families and local city officials were in attendance, as well as Encinitas Chamber of Commerce CEO Sherry Yardley, Encinitas Chamber of Commerce board members, and City and San Dieguito Union High School principals and district officials.

Meet the students:

CCA - Pargol Mohi

“Pargol is one of our leaders in our PALs program for the last three years,” said Brett Killeen, principal of Canyon Crest Academy. “She was inspired by PALs in her 9th grade year and has helped to connect and support her fellow students through the pandemic, distance learning and in-school. She came to the United States as a 10-year-old from Iran, knowing very little English. She is now bilingual, confident and passionate about supporting young people with wellness. She is a terrific ambassador for Canyon Crest Academy.”

LCC - Rox Jimenez Hernandez

“Rox has demonstrated tremendous growth this year, involving themself in various school programs such as: serving as a co-anchor on MavTV, helping with tech and earning performance roles within our theater program; and challenging themself by accessing courses that are challenging to them academically and socially,” said Justin Conn, principal of La Costa Canyon High School. “Rox models LCC’s motto: they are a ‘Lifelong learner, Collaborative, and Creative!’”

SDA - Irene Aguilar

“Irene is a leader on campus participating in activities which focus on empathy, compassion and community service including PALS, Having a Voice, and Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica,” said Cara Dolnick, principal of San Dieguito High School Academy. “She is a model AVID student who has challenged herself with ASL, honors and AP classes, always striving to face challenges head on to prepare her for her future. She has done all this while supporting her family with special circumstances. She is a mature, dedicated student and an outstanding human being!”

Sunset - Noah Clair

“Noah epitomizes what it takes to be a model student and citizen at Sunset,” said Rick Ayala, principal of Sunset High School. “He is a dedicated student who excels academically with an outstanding work ethic and positive attitude. He is an integral part of our school culture and he devotes extra time and effort to contribute to the school and to connect with others. Noah is in many ways the face of Sunset and he is respected by his peers and the staff for everything he does to help make our school such a special place.”

TPHS - Selina Mejia Cristobal

“Selina Mejia Cristobal is a student leader who has been a positive voice for diversity, equity and inclusion on the TPHS campus,” said Rob Cappo, principal of Torrey Pines High School. “She was vice president of the Having A Voice club, a youth development program that helps students gain leadership skills that they can use on their school sites, as well as in their communities and families. Selina has led deep discussions on campus on racial discrimination and facilitated lighter (yet still important) brainstorming sessions on how to get more students involved in campus-wide activities. Selina has been a front-runner in creating change and has significantly impacted our campus community, not only for the time that she has been here, but for years to come.”

Rising Star of the Month sponsors included Event Sponsor Piña Encinitas, Breakfast Sponsor MiraCosta College, and Scholarship Sponsors the Encinitas Rotary Club, e3 Consulting, Premier Martial Arts, The Cottage restaurant and San Dieguito Interfaith Ministries Association. Gift donors included Mr. Moto Pizza, Cox, Blenders Eyewear, Concept Surf Shop, MiraCosta College, Chick-fil-A, Broad Street Dough Co., the Community Resource Center (CRC), Raising Cane’s and 101 Republic.

Go to for more information. — Encinitas Chamber of Commerce news release