'Day of Compassion' honors principal, students, school police

Posted: Thursday, June 16th 2016

Performing at the Day of Compassion

Cherokee Point Elementary Principal Godwin Higa, students Maya Bentley and Zoey Serebriany, along with Chief Rueben Littlejohn and Officer John Serrano of the San Diego Unified School District Police Department, were honored at the fourth annual Day of Compassion.

The event, which featured a performance from the Hoover High School Jazz Band and Chamber Orchestra, brought community members together to promote, teach and demonstrate compassion.

“We have an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact on our community by celebrating compassion,” said Rev. Jessica Strysko, an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church of San Diego. “By coming together in all our diversity and holding up this common value which we share, we can inspire people of all ages to make compassion a way of life.”

Godwin Higa, Principal of Cherokee Point Elementary School, was saluted for his work with Trauma-Informed Education and cultivating a compassionate school climate.

Maya Bentley, a fourth-grade City Heights resident, was recognized for her idea to form Maya’s Pillow Project, where she encouraged others to join her in providing pillows for people who are homeless.

Chief Rueben Littlejohn and Officer John Serrano of the San Diego Unified School District Police Department were honored as Heroes of Compassion, for their ongoing efforts and work for restorative justice.

Zoey Serebriany, was recognized for her leadership in diversity, and for her work forming an anti-bullying club for her fellow students.

Also receiving honors was Sheri Briggs, for founding the Bridge of Hope, a non-profit organization in City Heights which is dedicated to strengthening families through transitions ranging from personal-life events to refugee resettlement.

Leaders from public schools, community partners, and diverse faith communities joined together to promote, teach, and demonstrate compassion as a part of the fourth annual Day of Compassion held at Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park on June 11.

Event organizers and supporters included Cherokee Point Elementary, San Diego Human Relations Commission, San Diego Regional Interfaith Collaborative, Peace Resource Center, San Diego Church of the Brethren, First United Methodist Church of San Diego,
 San Diego Police Department Mid-City Division.

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