Schools will be starting soon, and our students are getting ready for another year of their education. I provide as many as five scholarships each year to graduating students from Elk Grove Unified School District high schools. The scholarships are $1,000 each, and I have been doing this since 2002. There is a total of 75 scholarships as of this year. Money from book sales of History Happened Here books goes directly to the scholarships, and I thank all the purchasers of the books who make this possible.

Four scholarships were given out in May, and these were the recipients: Jacob Juico, Laguna Creek High School; Feruza Legass, Laguna Creek High School; Sean Nowlan, Cosumnes Oaks High School; and Elvin Nguyen, Pleasant Grove High School.

I ask the scholarship recipients to tell us their stories so that readers will know more about our outstanding students. Today’s story is about Jacob Juico who will soon be attending the University of California, Santa Cruz.  

Jacob tells us that he truly appreciates receiving the scholarship and he would like to kindly thank everyone who made it possible. Prior to high school, he attended Bradshaw Christian School during preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. For second grade, he attended C.W. Dillard Elementary School. From third through sixth grades, he attended Arlene Hein Elementary School. Prior to becoming a student at Laguna Creek High School for all four years, he attended Elizabeth Pinkerton Middle School during both seventh and eighth grades.

Jacob tells us this about his family: “My family and I are originally from San Jose. I was born in Santa Clara and I lived in the Bay area for three years before my parents decided to move to Elk Grove after the birth of my younger brother. I have lived in Elk Grove ever since - for about 15 years.

“After my younger brother was born, my parents decided to move to Elk Grove to both start a new life and look for a house that was economical, especially considering how expensive it had become to live in the Bay area. In addition to that, they knew that Elk Grove was a wonderful city for raising a family, considering its abundance of parks and schools in the neighborhoods.

“My mother’s name is Suzette Castro Juico. She was born in Manila, Philippines and she moved to the United States at the age of 7 to start a new life. My father’s name is Nicolaus Juico, but he goes by Nick. He was born in Daly City, which is in San Mateo County. My younger brother’s name is Joshua Juico and he is a sophomore at Cosumnes Oaks High School.

“My International Baccalaureate Spanish teacher during my junior year impressed me the most because she taught me an incredible amount about what it takes to be successful in the world of work. She also helped me to master my skill of being able to speak Spanish fluently. What impressed me most about Ms. Alvarez was her commitment to helping each one of her students grow both as a Spanish-speaking student and as an independent, confident individual. While guiding me through my junior year, she helped mentor me in refining my language production through her wide range of knowledge in both the Spanish language and culture.

“In addition to her, my Advanced Placement Government and Politics teacher in my senior year was truly phenomenal because of her breadth of knowledge regarding how the American political system works and the influences that politically socialize an individual. Not only was Ms. Hutchings a great teacher, but she was also an amazing and caring lady who helped me through the college application process with her endless support and guidance. Ms. Hutchings also helped me to discover a love for learning more about politics, which is why I will be minoring in political science in college.

“These two teachers have had the biggest impact on my high school experience and have been my most influential educators throughout my entire life.

“I plan to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz in the fall of this year for my bachelor’s degree in psychology. I also plan to swim competitively for their Division III swim team, for swimming is a big passion of mine. After I graduate from UCSC, I plan to attend Stanford University to achieve both my master’s degree and doctorate in the field of clinical psychology. I someday hope to make the United States Olympic team for swimming, as well as compete in the Phillips 66 National Championships and TYR Pro Swim Series (both very prestigious swim competitions). I hope to represent the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games some day and bring honor to the hard-working individuals who work tirelessly to better the lives of their families there.”

We thank Jacob for sharing his story, and we wish him the best as he sets out on his new adventures.

NOTE: Our wonderful Strauss Festival is over for 2019, and it was outstanding! Many thanks to the dancers, volunteers and workers, especially Margie Jones, Michelle Orrock, Ken Miller, Jim and Annaclare Entrican, Marielle Tsukamoto, and Louis Silveira for their help with book sales.


History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools

We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 71 scholarships with each one $1,000  – make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624.  Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books. Call me at (916) 685-0606 or email me at And, you can always purchase books at meetings of the EGUSD Board of Education and the City of Elk Grove. Look for me in the entry area of both places.