LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Priscilla Grijalva

Position: School Counselor
School: Eleanor Roosevelt High School
School District: Corona-Norco Unified School District
City, State: Eastvale, CA

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Priscilla Grijalva was nominated by one of her students.

"Ms. Grijalva has not only changed my life, but the lives of countless others," said the student. "She constantly has new, engaging ideas to help the students in school. I can always count on her support and assistance, even during breaks, when she is not obligated to help us. She always goes above and beyond to provide us with the resources we need. Without her, I'm not sure I would be where I am today. I have so many more skills and resources now thanks to her!"

The nominator collected quotes from former students, community members, college partners, former parents, military recruiters, and teachers who have worked with Ms. Grijalva over the years on why she is so amazing:

“During the pandemic, students needed items printed for college, and a lot of us didn’t have printers. Ms. Grijalva went door to door delivering FAFSA signature pages to me and some of our classmates," - Marissa, class of 2020.

“Ms. Grijalva has helped me and many others with food and clothing during this pandemic. My family is struggling, yet she continues to help families in need. I hope she wins because her assistance has helped us through the toughest times," - Juan, class of 2021.

“Ms. Grijalva made sure I didn’t give up during the pandemic. I graduated in 2020, and she made it a point to contact the senior class of 2020 after we graduated to make sure we didn’t give up on college. She helped us apply and have a plan. She didn’t want us to give up. I am grateful that even though we are graduates, she still took time to contact us and make sure we continued with our education," - Miguel, class of 2020.

“Ms. Grijalva was one of the best counselors I’ve had the pleasure to receive guidance from. She has gone above and beyond for her students, both present and past. Even post-graduation, she has continued to provide support and encouragement to her past students. She is one of the most impactful candidates one can nominate. To her, counseling is not just a job. It’s a passion that she continues to go above and beyond for in order to provide opportunities and helpful information for her students. Check out her Podcast! @ReachHigherRiverside," -Emmanuel Jiron, class of 2015.

“Ms. Grijalva was my school counselor all throughout high school. She is literally the best, and she took the time to speak to me about my goals. She helped me get into my dream college. Without her, I would not be where I am now. I am extremely grateful for her and the path she helped me pursue,” -Karina Lara, class of 2015.

“Ms. Grijalva was my high school counselor. She always went above and beyond to ensure that I was both on track for success and having a good experience. She really cares about what she does and deserves every award she receives. Ms. Grijalva always does what is best for the students, and I will never forget that. Thank you for everything you have done," - Rayan Massoud, class of 2015.

“Priscilla Grijalva is an incredible individual. Her passion for helping students shines through in everything she does. I am so thankful for her dedication to shaping college-ready students. Thank you for making my high school experience meaningful and rewarding,”- Katie, class of 2016.

“Ms. Grijalva was one of my highlights during my high school experience. She was so caring, involved, and willing to help me when I needed her. I cannot thank her enough for helping me get to a four year university and teaching me that my potential was truly unlimited,” -Mariel Calva, class of 2016.

“Priscilla is an extraordinary individual. She has a way of teaching and showing everyone that anything is possible! She is highly encouraging, motivating, and one of the most genuine people you'll ever meet. I've seen the impact she has on each of her students, which makes her the perfect candidate for LifeChanger of the Year," - Lara, community partner and former Miss La Galaxy.

“Priscilla is one of the most dedicated individuals I've met when it comes to helping children. Her positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond for them really makes her stand out. When you couple that with her humbleness, it sends a clear message to the students that she's in it for them and not her own personal gain. I believe that's why so many students appreciate her and the work that she does,” -James G., community partner.

“Priscilla is an awesome counselor who is highly devoted to her career and the academic success of her students. She goes above and beyond her duties as a counselor to ensure the students are ready to reach their highest potential. I worked with Priscilla for about five years when she was a counselor for the Business Academy. Students would turn to her on a regular basis for her knowledge and devotion to their success,”- Paul Choudhury, colleague.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Priscilla for over a decade. She is an incredible counselor who goes above and beyond to help her students, as well as her colleagues. She takes the time to help students with their scheduling and college application needs. Priscilla also holds group counseling sessions for students in need of extra guidance, participates in mentor activities to encourage others to reach their potential, and will help alumni throughout their college/career endeavors. She will take the time to accompany me to visit students in the hospital. Even though we are on different school campuses, she still keeps me informed of things that will benefit students on my campus. She seriously is a LifeChanger, and I would highly recommend her for this honor,” -Jessica Godfrey, colleague.

“Priscilla is an amazing leader and ally to the youth of Riverside. She has always been a champion for students and their education. Priscilla does a great job of partnering with my organization Mi Familia Vota, engaging students in the electoral process, and helping to host events. We would not be able to engage the amount of students we do without her help. I certainly agree that she should be awarded LifeChanger of the Year,” -Samuel Molina, former state leader.

“'LifeChanger of the Year' - how accurate of an award to be bestowed on my friend and colleague, Ms. Priscilla Grijalva. I have both worked with Priscilla, and I am a parent of a student. My son is not a student within the same district, but that didn’t stop her from coming to our rescue in the peak of the COVID pandemic. My son's school closed down during the initial quarantine, and we couldn’t reach anyone from his old school for help regarding transferring to a new school, obtaining grades and transcripts, or internet for students. Priscilla provided internet resources for us and FaceTimed with my son. She reviewed his transcripts, and now that he is a junior, she offered encouraging tips and options for college. She connected us with a colleague of hers who happened to be a counselor at my son's new school. This was very pivotal in planning the last year and a half of his high school career as he prepares for college. Most importantly, however, she gave him the vote of confidence that he was desperately needing during a very scary time. To a parent, that is priceless! Priscilla's calming nature and sincerity allows anyone she comes in contact with to feel that they are the most important person in that moment...Priscilla’s quest to lift every one of her students to greatness is full throttle, and she will not disappoint you! Priscilla, you have my vote and support always! Thank you for being a bright light in the lives of my son and I, along with those of our youth...they are our future, and your guidance gives me faith in them," - Victoria Gravett, secretary.

“Mrs. Grijalva has helped myself and thousands of other kids reach their highest potential. As a counselor, I respected her and trusted her to guide and counsel me accordingly. I turned out pretty great! She is deserving of being LifeChanger Of The Year. Thank you, Mrs. Grijalva, for your selfless acts, time, attention, and heart," - Bryan Joyner, LSHS alumni.

“Ms. Grijalva was my school counselor throughout high school. From the first day I met her, she was an indefatigable supporter of my goals and dreams. Throughout my four years, she helped me navigate my class schedule, extracurricular commitments, and most importantly, my college application process. Despite being the first in my family to apply to college in the U.S. and having non-English speaking parents, I felt secure in getting through all the different hurdles that the college application process required because Ms. Grijalva walked me through all the intricacies and details. Additionally, she helped me apply to numerous scholarships that she would spend hours consolidating. Ultimately, Ms. Grijalva believed in and supported me, even when I doubted myself. Finally, my story is not unique. Although she is but one woman, Ms. Grijalva has managed to help hundreds of other students just like me. It has been six years since graduating high school, but I still continue to be inspired by Ms. Grijalva's commitment to breaking down structural barriers and supporting students to reach their full potential," - Sophia Lee, class of 2015.

“Priscilla has been an amazing influence to everyone she has come into contact with. She not only assisted my classmates and I, but after I graduated, she helped my sister as her counselor. It was no suprise to hear my sister tell me stories of how great Priscilla was and how influential and helpful she was to my sister and her friends/classmates. I am truly grateful to Priscilla for all she has done, and I'm indebted to her for guiding and preparing me for college. I don't know anyone else who deserves this opportunity more than Priscilla,” - Ricardo Canova, LSHS Alumni.

“Ms. Grijalva is truly a LifeChanger! She cares deeply about her students, and as a former student myself, I can vouch for her commitment. As a first generation prospective college student, she provided me with the guidance and perspective necessary to assess all of my options, even those which I had never known existed before. I, like many of her former students, have been a beneficiary of her exemplary work. Her impact on the community as a result is unquestionable.” -Nayef Chakoukani, class of 2014.

“Priscilla Grijalva is a phenomenal school counselor who is extremely dedicated to the students on her caseload and their well-being (academic, social/emotional, etc.). I have known Priscilla for over 10 years, and in the two sites she has worked at within our district, her exemplary and passionate professionalism has been evident within both school locations. Ultimately, wherever she is working, she has the innate ability to single-handedly immerse herself into the throes of her work for the benefit of students. Every teenager in her caseload has been better for it! As you can read in other comments, alumni students, in particular, feel indebted to her. That is the mark of true compassion for students and the strength of the human connection that school counselors uniquely forge with their 'clients!' This ‘connection’ continues on with her students, even while they’re in college (and beyond!). Priscilla Grijalva is truly a one-of-a-kind school counselor - working so hard daily (and on weekends) on behalf of her students to further their education. Please consider her for this opportunity,” - Tina Naif, colleague.

“Ms. Grijalva goes above and beyond in seeking out and providing opportunities for all of our students. It’s an honor and inspiration to work with such a positive force for good in our community,” - Robin Luther, colleague.

“Ms. Grijalva is beyond deserving of this honor. I have personally witnessed her dedication to students, even those who are not in her district, my daughter included. She is a beacon of hope for struggling students and a wealth of knowledge for those who aspire to go to college, but are unsure of the proper path. She makes herself available to her students and encourages them with real life expectations. Ms. Grijalva's a gem, and the world needs more educators like her. She’s a true LifeChanger,” - Evelyn Erives, 99.1 KGGI Radio Host.

“Priscilla is a true leader and role model who pushes her students to be better, whether it's by attending university and/or serving their country honorably in the military. This includes providing resources and information to make them successful. I have personally seen her endeavors to make this happen. What also helps her stand out from others is her ability to continually follow up; this allows for higher FAFSA application rates, more scholarships for students, and more first-generation high school and university graduates. She provides the resources and information to make this happen through her tireless dedication and is able to connect with students through social media, college and job fairs, Reach Higher initiatives, TikTok/virtual presentations, and much more. This was especially important to keep students motivated during the pandemic. I personally saw her reach out to students in several ways during the pandemic, which provided morale and hope during hard times. This speaks volumes of her commitment to improving the next generation. I'm also thankful to have helped in some of her endeavors to get information out to students and create videos at the virtual college and job fair and college signing day. These included giving information about my experiences at the Air Force Academy and admission requirements, such as Admissions Liaison Officer information for preparation to apply/attend, information on possible careers coming out of any of the academies or ROTC, and opportunities for university funding when joining the military. I am thankful to have helped her inspire her students to reach higher in a way that fits their wishes and wants best. She truly is a superb counselor who pours her heart out to the students, and NVHS is lucky to have her. Priscilla is truly deserving of this LifeChanger of the Year award, and I can’t think of anyone more qualified than her to receive the award,” - U.S. Air Force Major Crystal Grijalva.

“She is super amazing and has made a positive, everlasting impact on many students' lives, including mine. She truly cares about her students, and we all appreciate her very much,” -Oscar Hernandez, La Sierra HS Alumni.

“She’s an amazing person and she helped me so much in high school,” -Ivan S., Norte Vista HS class of 2019.

“I graduated because of her. She believed in me when I got off track and helped me get on track to graduate. She meets her students where they are and makes sure we all graduate. I was the first in my family to graduate high school and the first to go to college. I am now studying at RCC. She deserves this LifeChanger award for changing the lives of my family and I. My brother was on a college trip with her, and they got a surprise visit from Michelle Obama on Zoom, where she surprised people with tickets to 'I Am Becoming.' My brother got to go to the 'I Am Becoming Tour' with students from our school. You never know what will come your way when you have Ms. Grijalva. He said it was such an awesome day to hear a former First Lady," -Alberto, La Sierra HS class of 2009.

“My brother attended NVHS in 2015 before Ms. Grijalva got there. No one knew much about FAFSA and college. I graduated in 2020, and our class reached almost 90% FAFSA submissions during a pandemic. She led a school-wide FAFSA campaign on our campus. She would find us on campus if we didn’t complete our FAFSA, and she'd find an adult we trusted to also reach us (in my case, it was my favorite teacher). Ms. Grijalva had the career center pull me out of class for not staying on top of deadlines. She even delivered a stamped envelope to my friend, who needed to mail a signature page during shutdown. She changed my life by not giving up on me and encouraging me to reach higher. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have the grants and scholarships to attend CSUSB. She is the LifeChanger in our community because she helped us students get out of poverty,” -Jose, Norte Vista HS class of 2020.

“Ms. Grijalva created 'Track Tuesday’s' and would run the track with students after school to build relationships and encourage us to exercise. It was through those weekly track days that she encouraged me to go to college. I am now the first to go to college in my family. It is because of her I am attending UCR. She's an inspiration to many,” - Jose, Norte Vista HS class of 2018.

“I was a student of Norte Vista High School, and I want to congratulate Mrs. Grijalva for this because she really deserves it. She helped me a lot when I needed it. I still remember the first day when I met her. I didn’t know how to speak to her because I couldn’t speak English very well, but now I can, and I want to say: thank you Mrs. Grijalva," - Mark Corona, Norte Vista HS class of 2019 alum and U.S. Marine.

“Ms. Grijalva is, without a doubt, the best school counselor I’ve had. I graduated from high school five years ago, and to this day, I know I can easily reach out to her anytime I need help. She made my high school experience amazing and helped me get prepared for college. Without her, I wouldn’t have gotten the help and advice I needed to help me get into the college I wanted. She’s an amazing human, and I can’t imaging anymore more deserving,” - Sierra M., La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“She is one of those special people who truly cares about her students and pours her heart into them," - Jocelyn Gutierrez, La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“Mrs. Grijalva has been a huge help to me as my high school counselor. She has encouraged me and many others to reach our highest potential. Mrs. Grijalva is an amazing person who deserves the LifeChanger of the Year award. Thank you for all that you do, Mrs. Grijalva,” - Loi H., La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“Priscilla has been a great partner in supporting Mi Familia Vota's mission in getting students civically engaged. We’ve been able to achieve goals of registering youth at the high school and college/university levels due to her tremendous support and dedication. We truly look forward to continuing our partnership with Priscilla in the future," - Janet Bernarbe, community partner.

“I met Priscilla through my job as an admissions officer and assistant director of diversity recruitment at Harvard University. In the time I've known Priscilla, I've been blown away by the combination of her commitment, depth of knowledge, and ability to connect with a diverse range of students. She is certainly one of the most impressive school counselors I have met during my time in education. Whether it's via social media, texts, or Zoom, Priscilla is always available to her students, and it's clear that they think the world of her. Let's be clear - Priscilla's job is not easy. Yet, she is very much in her element when doing this important work, and I can't express enough how lucky NVHS is to count her among its community members and LifeChangers,” – Abdiel Garcia, community partner.

“She is the best! Thank you for everything you do,”- Kendell Ruesing, La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“Priscilla left Texas to pursue a college education in Riverside, California. She was class president during her senior year at Cal Baptist University. Priscilla continued her education with a Master's degree. Priscilla kept busy. She learned to surf, kickbox, and do yoga. She even has time to teach at a university. Priscilla does all this and guides high school students to Reach Higher. Priscilla is a great example of what a college education can do. I highly recommend Priscilla Grijalva for this award,” - Robert Grijalva

“Ms. Grijalva is one of the most caring school counselors I know. She is compassionate and has the ability to meet students where they are while also showing interest in their skillsand talents. Ms. Grijalva empowers students to be brave and take the necessary steps and risks to aim high. She is a wonderful person and mentor," - Ventrice Shanklin, Sallie Mae.

“Priscilla was, and still is, an inspiration to me. When I immigrated to California, I attended NVHS, where I met Priscilla. I always remember her support and uplifting words. Priscilla helped me overcome many of the obstacles that come with being an immigrant and first generation student. She did it by helping me open doors of knowledge that have been fundamental to my academic and personal success. During that year in high school, I always knew who to go to when I needed advice. She always made me feel welcome, even when others didn't. I am so happy to see how much she has accomplished after I left NVHS. She is a leader who cares for her students' success and includes others in her uplifting efforts. To be honest, I wouldn't have made it this far if it wasn't for her. I mean it. She opened her hard-working heart to her students, especially to those who needed her the most. I would honestly say that her work is aligned with the principle of equity, but also of justice. She is fixing a system that is full of loopholes through her work. I hope you consider her for this award. Even now, as a UC Berkeley student, I never forget who influenced my academic progress the most. Her name is Priscilla Grijalva," - Aaron Baeza, Norte Vista HS class of 2018.

“Priscilla has volunteered with my organization, tnAchieves, helping first-generation college students navigate the college application process. She is investing in students in Tennessee and also taking her experience with our program back to her school to create a similar program! She is a rock star," - Graham Thomas, TN Achieves Deputy Director

“Ms. Grijalva inspired me in so many ways while she was my school counselor. She was always there for every student, even those who weren’t on her caseload. Every student who comes into contact with her knows how kind and caring she is. Because of Ms. Grijalva, I am pursuing a degree in school counseling, and I hope to be half the school counselor she is. She deserves this," - Kaylee Martinez, La Sierra High School class of 2015.

“Ms. Grijalva is the best counselor I know. She helps students so much and has changed so many lives, including mine. Keep doing what you do. We all appreciate you," - Liliana Becerra, Norte Vista High School class of 2018.

“I’ve worked with Ms. Grijalva since early 2018. As a Navy Recruiter, part of my job is outreach with my local community to speak with students, teachers, and school staff. Not only has Priscilla opened doors for this, but it is absolutely evident that this is not just a job for her. It is her passion. She loves her career, and she loves how strongly she impacts the lives of her students. I’ve worked with many counselors in the Riverside area, but she surpasses every expectation I could have from a counselor. She goes above and beyond at every turn as she proudly shows that her efforts are actually working within her school when she speaks to the school board. Students approach her with ease and feel comfortable discussing their futures and concerns with her without a shadow of a doubt. Priscilla is just the kind of counselor that the newest generation of students needs to push our community forward," - William Escobar, U.S. Navy.

“Ms. Grijalva is a major reason why I am pursuing a career within the field of education. In high school, I wasn’t even a student on her caseload, yet she was always there for me. Even now, years later, she continues to guide and encourage me. The care she extends to her students is inevitable and, more than this, it is inspirational. The world needs more educators like Ms. Grijalva, and it is the privilege of a lifetime to know her," - Megan Trombly, La Sierra HS class of 2016.

“Ms. Grijalva is an amazing school counselor who cares tremendously for her students. She always goes above and beyond to inspire them and see them continue on to college or the military. She hosts many events such as the Reach Higher college and career fairs. Ms. Grijalva is always being creative and finding ways to connect with her students through social media and videos promoting continued learning. She is a real winner for the community," - Jason, Moreno Valley College.

“Ms. Grijalva is an amazing leader. Her commitment to helping students reach higher towards the future goes beyond her school counseling job title. When there’s not a student seeking her help, she’s often helping out with numerous school activities and is able to connect with the entire school, not only the students in her caseload. This is how Ms. Grijalva was able to influence a former student like me to find opportunities to apply for scholarships and go to college. If it wasn’t for her continuous dedication to the school’s entirety, I wouldn’t have even met her, nor would I have reached higher. Thank you, Ms. Grijalva, for the help, dedication, and encouragement you gave me and still provide for your community," - Rachel, La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“Ms. Grijalva saved my life. School counselors are needed in schools. The impact of mental health is worse during this pandemic. She connected me to a therapist and made sure I had clothing at JCPenney, as well as a plan to pursue more education after high school. School counselors care, but she genuinely cares. The highlight so far of the school year was the 'Beating The Odds Summit' she set up. Mr. Waldo spoke at our school on Zoom. He works for the Obamas. He inspired a lot of us and reminded us that it is okay to reach out for help. Thank you, Ms. Grijalva," - John, Norte Vista HS class of 2021.

“Ms. Grijalva is the epitome of what a school counselor should be. She encourages everyone around her to reach higher. She makes school fun and always does it with a smile," - Sandra, Norte Vista HS class of 2017.

“Ms. Grijalva always goes above and beyond for each and every one of her students. She is a true example of being selfless, and she's always willing and available to help students in their academic and personal goals. She listens, advises, and guides students towards making the best the decisions for themselves. I'm inspired by knowing her and witnessing her work and accomplishments with her students. Her dedication and commitment to her students has been unmatched by any school counselor I have known in my 16 years of teaching," - Myrna, colleague.

“During the school shut down, she managed to convince me to go to college. I was working at a grocery store and told her I couldn’t do that the rest of my life. She helped me apply for FAFSA and community college. She called and emailed all her students over the pandemic to check on them. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be pursuing a college degree. She also helped my friends with food and resources. She led a virtual college signing day that was thoughtful and full of celebrities, college reps, and staff members. Ms. Grijalva even got prizes donated for our senior class,” - Angel, Norte Vista HS class of 2020.

“Ms. Grijalva is truly one of the most genuine and heartfelt people I have ever met. Her drive to ensure that students have the resources they need (and much more) is only a portion of what makes her so amazing. It's through her that I was able to get through high school. She made me feel supported through everything I did while in high school. She truly is just an advocate for each and every student she comes across. Ms. Grijalva never fails to amaze me in the lengths she will go through for the students at our school. I couldn't have been more grateful to have her as my school counselor and to have been supported by her in all my past, present, and future endeavors. With all of this, I say the biggest of thank yous to her for truly making my high school experience great and aiding me (alongside other students) in the college application process. We couldn't have done it without her and all of her help," - Deja, Norte Vista HS class of 2020.

“She defines what a person should be! She's always helpful and willing to put the needs of others before hers. I am grateful to have known her," - Laurence, Norte Vista HS class of 2016.

“An amazing school counselor who goes above and beyond to support her students and colleagues," - Scott, colleague.

“Wow, where do I even begin? Priscilla Grijalva truly impacted my life in so many ways. Whether she was helping me with college applications or building floats, she always exuded kindness and had a genuine interest in me. I will always be grateful for her and the positive influence she had in my life. Priscilla Grijalva is more than deserving of this LifeChanger award. I’ve never met such a hard-working, caring, genuine, and selfless person. Without a doubt, I know that Ms. Grijalva will continue to make a difference in the lives of every student she meets," - Josh Weaver, La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“Ms. Grijalva was one of my counselors in high school. For years, she was also a mentor to look up to as I began my career in education myself. She has served needy and underprivileged students for so many years, going above and beyond to provide them with support. This support has guided them to reach levels many might not have reached without her. With her, no student slips through the cracks. She takes it upon herself to chase them down and point them down the right roads. It is an honor to know her and a pleasure to have seen the influence she has had in so many young individuals," - Ramzy Ali, La Sierra HS, class of 2014.

“Ms. Grijalva is an amazing counselor and mentor to all of her students. She's very deserving of this," - Ryan Monger, La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“I have worked many years as a college rep. I have never had a counselor go so above and beyond for the students. She's truly a model for how to advocate for our Inland Empire students," - Liz Gonzalez, Riverside City College.

“She's an inspiration and a great help," - Mercedes, La Sierra HS alum.

“Ms. Grijalva works so hard. She has changed and saved so many lives. She encourages students to reach for the stars. Who would have thought that the best high school in the world would be recognized by former First Lady, Michelle Obama, two years in a row. We're grateful for all the work Ms. Grijalva put in to inspire us to reach higher. The countless hours she put in behind the scenes with Mr. Reyes, the senior English teachers, the community, and the entire school showed us that if we work hard, we can achieve our dreams. Her dream for us was to have a Riverside College Signing Day with Michelle Obama and Reach Higher. Though it didn’t happen in Riverside, we experienced it at UCLA, and two of our students were on stage speaking in front of thousands of students with Michelle Obama because of Ms. Grijalva's hard work. I know she doesn't get credit for that and doesn't need it, but we saw her. We saw how she believed in us. We saw how she never gave up on her dreams and our dreams. Our school went from a school that didn’t have a high college acceptance rate to breaking financial aid and college commitment records. Ms. Grijalva not only inspires us to reach higher, but to be better. It is because of her that we are better. She gives so many people hope. Ms. Grijalva, thank you so much for changing so many lives. In my book, you have always been the best school counselor in the world and the LifeChanger of the Year. No award needs to say that. From the bottom of my heart and countless others, thank you," - Ricardo, Norte Vista HS class of 2019.

“The best counselor ever! Coming from a first-generation, low-income household, I had little knowledge about colleges, educational resources, etc. Not only did Ms. Grijalva help me, but she went above and beyond. She consistently notified us about resources and scholarships, helped us with FAFSA/college applications, planned multiple visits by university ambassadors, and made it her goal to get us all registered to vote. Ms. Grijalva played a major role in turning our entire school around. However, what makes her stand out is that her door is always open, whether it’s for help on school-related activities or needing someone to talk to about personal problems. She is always there to help," - Manuel C., Norte Vista HS class of 2019.

“Where I am at today would not have been possible without the help of Priscilla Grijalva. Since high school, she has always been supportive of my endeavors. It is rare in today's time to find a school counselor as passionate and intentional as Priscilla Grijalva. She doesn't only pour into her current students, but those who no longer attend her school. It has now been six years since I graduated from La Sierra High School. To this day, she continues to support my aspirations and help with any recommendations I may need. I believe Ms. Grijalva deserves this recognition and more because she cares so deeply for her students and is making an impact in our community," - Natalie C., La Sierra HS class of 2014.

“Ms. Grijalva is an amazing role model to all of her students. She has such a positive outlook on life and is constantly encouraging and supportive of us. She is always looking out for the best of her students. Really, all her hard work behind the scenes cannot go unnoticed. Thanks for everything you do, and for all the young lives you continue to impact," - Sara Emami, La Sierra HS class of 2013.

“Keep up the good work," - Omid, La Sierra HS class of 2013.

“Ms. Grijalva is an exceptional guidance counselor. As an Army recruiter, Ms. Grijalva always allowed me the opportunity to present the options available to students. She enables students to make their own decisions and encourages them to learn about all their options after high school," - Esmieu, U.S. Army.

“Ms. Grijalva is the most supporting counselor I have ever had. She is always going above and beyond for her students to make sure they succeed. She helped shine the light that put me on the path toward college and eventually receiving my degree in construction engineering. Even in my first year of college, I would reach out to her regarding questions I had about student loans, and I wasn’t even her student anymore," - John Jiron, La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“Ms. Grijalva was my school counselor throughout high school. I was a first-generation college student, and she helped guide me towards that path. As a college student, I could always count on her for a letter of recommendation or a reference. I’ve been out of high school for 6 1/2 years, and I know that I can still reach out for advice to this day. Ms. Grijalva has always gone above and beyond for every student. I know she genuinely cares for everyone. Thank you, Ms. Grijalva, for always supporting me," - Lexi Kercado, La Sierra HS class of 2014.

“Ms. Grijalva is an inspiration to all!! She has made a huge, lasting impact in the lives of students, including mine. Without her, I would not have made so many memories that I will cherish forever. I met Michelle Obama because of Ms. Grijalva's work. She always pushed me to follow my dreams and passion. Now, I’m studying nursing and pursuing a career as an orthopedic surgeon. Even though I was a student from a low-income community and a school that had a bad history, Ms. Grijalva helped me thrive. She does not give up on students, no matter how hard they want to give up. She dedicates so much time, love, passion, and ambition that I didn’t know a person could have. Ms. Grijalva made a lasting impact on my education. She helps students who society has given up on. She makes sure the voices of the future generation are heard loud and clear. The power she has on a student to motivate them is outstanding! I have never met a person so compassionate and enduring. She was not only my counselor, but a role model and my number one fan. I have thanked her so much every time I've seen her, but there are no words to describe the impact she made. She made me feel seen and made the school with a troubled past be seen as over-achieving. She gives second chances and even first chances to students who others see as average or below average. Ms. Grijalva is there day and night, sending emails and making appointments on ways to support our education and future. She is a woman of iron and steel. I owe her my many thanks and education," - Yesenia Galindo, Norte Vista HS, class of 2020.

“Ms. Grijalva's an amazing guidance counselor! She helped me choose and apply to universities during my senior year of high school. I wouldn’t be where I am without the help of Ms. Grijalva," - Taraneh Tabatabai, La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“Ms. Grijalva has provided significant support to me and is always there for support when needed. She will always provide you with a variety of options to make an informed decision, whether it's related to school or life. The guidance and support she provided enormously helped, not only with my success, but others' successes,” - Diego, Norte Vista HS class of 2018.

“Priscilla Grijalva has been one of the most encouraging people I've ever met. She cares, and most importantly, she pushes her students beyond their own limits to go to college," - Harkirat Kaur, Norte Vista HS class of 2018.

“Ms. Grijalva has changed the lives of so many students. She is always there when she is needed and never lets her students down. Even when they are no longer her students, she is always willing to help and push them for success,” -Raquel Guerrero, Norte Vista HS class of 2019.

“Ms. Grijalva is a great role model to her students. She is helpful, selfless, and motivating. Her sweet spirit always puts everyone in a good mood," - Desiree Pierce, La Sierra HS class of 2015.

“Ms. Grijalva was such an amazing mentor for me in high school. Back in 2016, she helped me immensely to come up with a college plan and helped me apply last minute to the university that changed my life! She’s awesome," - Leslie Newill, La Sierra HS class of 2016.

“Ms. Grijalva is absolutely amazing! She is always hard at work wanting to make sure her students are set up for success. She goes above and beyond to provide them with the resources they need to succeed. When we had in-person classes, she always had her door open and a warm smile on her face. There was never a moment when I felt unwelcome or as if I were intruding. On the contrary, I felt that she was more than a counselor. She was one of my greatest supporters. Ms. Grijalva makes Norte Vista an even better place. Personally, I don’t know if I could be where I am today without all the help and kindness she showed me," - Yesenia, Norte Vista HS class of 2019.

"Ms. Grijalva is the best school counselor I have ever met. I'm so grateful for all the resources and assistance she provides all students and parents. I wish we could clone her. She's even there for her students when she is off. My daughter needed a letter of recommendation, and even though Ms. Grijalva was on vacation, she still took the time to provide the letter to my daughter. Every student I talk to about Ms. Grijalva tells me she's so caring. I hope she's the winner because she deserves it," - Brenda Canova, a parent of former student.

“I’ve been a teacher for 14 years and I have yet to come across such a passionate, motivated, and caring person like Ms. Grijalva. She cares for all students, and all her students love her equally! Ms. Grijalva is the absolute best counselor there is! She works endlessly and is always looking for innovative ways to stay connected with parents, students, and community members alike. She is fun, personable, and very knowledgeable. Ms. Grijalva works tirelessly to promote Reach Higher initiatives and financial aid awareness. She takes pride in educating all students about opportunities and programs to help them reach their full potential. She helps students meet their needs to succeed academically and beyond high school. When she moved schools, I was heartbroken to have lost the best counselor I have ever had the privilege to work with. She absolutely is deserving of such recognition, as her passion for serving not only our students, but our community, goes beyond anyone’s expectations," - Lorena Morales, colleague.

“I have worked with Mrs. Grijalva as the Marine Corps liaison for two years. Out of all of the counselors I work with, her energy and genuine love for the students is absolutely unmatched. She is so involved and positive, and she truly wants to make a difference in the students' lives. She opens the door of opportunity for everything for her students, including scholarships, FAFSA, Reach Higher, College and Career Fairs, virtual presentations, an informational TikTok, and so much more. Norte Vista High would truly not be the same without Mrs. Grijalva’s presence. I cannot think of anyone more deserving for an honor such as this," - Cierra Walker, U.S. Marines.

“Ms. Grijalava is one of the most active and caring counselors I have ever come across. She cares about the kids and produces results. That's why, as a college rep for the University of California, Norte Vista is one of my favorite places to visit," - Rudy Curiel, University of California, Riverside Upward Bound.

"Ms. Grijalva led her former school district to five national recognitions by a former first lady, Michelle Obama, and her former students got to meet her. She has never met Michelle Obama, but her students always share how meeting a former first lady because of Mrs. Grijalva has changed their lives," - parent of former student

Comments (26)

Michelle Posted over a year ago

You make our day when you greet us, show us you care, go above and beyond to help students.

Anonymous Posted over a year ago

Leader who inspires others, has passion, authentic and positive energy. She is a life changer at ERHS. She genuinely cares for her teammates, students and the community.

Olawunmi ojetola Posted over a year ago

Ms. Grijalva is the most professional counselor I have ever worked with as a Navy Talent scout. She cares deeply about her students and her work ethic is unmatched. Her Trust , passion, dedication and knowledge is what makes her connect best with her students. The push she provides for them to believe in themselves has left an everlasting influence on her student future successes. I am honored to have met and work with her.

Katie Posted over a year ago

Most kind and loving soul you will ever meet. Great listener, caring, genuine, and inspiring. Motivates people to be better. CNUSD has the best of the best.

Tammi Posted over a year ago

Equity warrior who truly cares for staff and kids. She goes above and beyond to help her colleagues and students. Everyone that comes in contact with her becomes better. She always shares resources and ideas to help students. She never gets credit for all the hard work she does behind the scenes. Nor does she ever seek it. You can tell her heart is in the right place. She is a life changer this year and has been over the years. She has saved numerous lives as well as changed lives. I urge you to pick this amazing person for this recognition.

Julio Posted over a year ago

Pick the best school counselor in the country! She never gets recognized for all her hard work. Most humble and helpful school counselor I know.

Anna Posted over a year ago

Congratulations!!! CNUSD is lucky to have the best. Keep up the great work.

Melissa Posted over a year ago

Definitely a relentless life changer! Seen this one change my life and countless others. Best school counselor in Riverside County and the country. She exceeds the life changer requirements for this award.

Anonymous Posted over a year ago

One of the best professors I know!!!! Taught us to be great school counselors. Congrats Professor Grijalva!

Alberto Posted over a year ago

She has been a school counselor in Riverside County the past 16 years and has dedicated her career to advocacy for the profession and students. Eleanor Roosevelt has the best school counselor in the country. Anyone who comes in contact with Priscilla leaves feeling heard, energized, and motivated to do better. She is always seeking ways to support the community and her students. Congratulations on this nomination. I hope you win.

Julia T. Posted over a year ago

Energetic, motivational, kind, hard working, dedicated, community supporter, remarkable, inspiring, caring, humble, and team oriented with staff are some of the words that describe Grijalva. She puts the needs of her team over her own, but most importantly she puts her students first. She supports all students and will go above and beyond to help them. She attends conferences to stay up to date on professional development even paying out of her own pocket. I have never met a more caring counselor. CNUSD got the best.

Miguel Chavero Posted over a year ago

"Ms. Grijalva has helped the University of La Verne by advocating for the University of La Verne School Counselors club. I am currently the president of the club and have learned a lot of important skills that I implement with my peers. She puts her students first and will never turn a student away."- Miguel Chavero, University of La Verne M.S student.

Francesca Posted over a year ago

She should be District School Counselor of year!!!! Pick Grijalva!

Esvin Garcia Posted over a year ago

I had the privilege to meet Ms. Grijalva during my first year of the graduate program. Ms. Grijalva is a school counselor who is passionate about her students. She is a go-getter and is willing to go the extra mile to help her students succeed in their educational journeys. Her passion is contagious and her genuineness makes you feel welcomed, appreciated, and excited about your goals. Ms. Grijalva has an impressive track record of accomplishments at the school sites she has worked at and her students are living proof of that. I would highly encourage you to select Ms. Grijalva as the Life Changer of the Year.

Stephany Najarro Posted over a year ago

Ms. Grijalva is an excellent professor and counselor. I had the pleasure of meeting her during my first year in the Educational Counseling program at the University of La Verne. Thanks to her I became familiar with the ASCA National Model. Her passion for working with students reflects in her teaching. I was also amazed to hear about all the accomplishments at her school site including the launch of the Reach Higher initiative and participating in the Race to Submit campaign in getting all of her high school seniors to apply for federal student aid. Professor Grijalva is an incredible advocate and supporter of student success.

Cecy B. Posted over a year ago

Fierce advocate!!! One of the Best motivational speakers out there.

Monica Posted over a year ago

I love her passion to help students. She would hold college and financial aid workshops in the library. She would partner with teachers and the community. My favorite memory was every time a student would submit a college or fafsa application, she would cheer and ring this loud cow bell. She would get you excited about your future and celebrate your wins. When the pandemic hit, that didn’t stop Grijalva. She held college and financial aid workshops on zoom with break out rooms with college admissions experts. She would still cheer on zoom after every application was submitted. She led college signing days and celebrating all our classmates going on for more education or training. She made it a big deal for us. Even getting donations donated and the red carpet treatment.

Ana B. Posted over a year ago

She should be National School Counselor of the year! Best school counselor in the country. She has helped so many kids with their mental health, college, FAFSA, food and clothing. During the pandemic, she called all 450 kids on her caseload to check on them. She has these you are amazing cards that she gives out to kids and staff. She builds relationships with the community and is a super star in Riverside County. I can’t think of a better human being to represent the profession.

Adriana Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Grijalva has spoken at committee hearings in front of the California assembly advocating for students in California, college affordability, and school counselor advocacy. If she had a middle name, it would be equity.

Miguel Garcia Posted over a year ago

I use to work with Priscilla Grijalva. I had the honor of witnessing her turn lives around. I will never forget the time I had a foster student who came to school all stressed out because she didn't have her Social Security Number to do her FAFSA. This school counselor contacted the county and was able to help the student out with getting her SSN so she could apply for FAFSA and college. The student felt so relieved to know that someone took the time to help her with something that was so stressful as a high school student. This is one examples of many and I know she continues to go above and beyond the call of duty. I hope she wins this.

Phillip Posted over a year ago

BEST School Counselor in the country!!! She was the most influential and postive impact on our campus. Have you ever heard her story? Keynote Speaker right there!!! She changed my life and countless others! She has a way of convincing kids to turn their lives around. Once she does that, you don't want to disappoint her and you want to do better! She takes a genuine interest in helping students. She made sure I got connected to a club on campus and community service which helped me see the bigger picture! Life is about service to others. She convinced my friend who was an English Learner and who was struggling in school to do better. That helped him get out of his struggles with depression and purpose in life. He now attends RCC with me and is going to be an auto mechanic.

Steve Posted over a year ago

I have had the honor to serve on the Moreno Vally College Career Technical Education Committe with her. She has proven exemplary leadership at the school, district, state and national level! I always looked forward to meeting with her because she always brought the student perspective. That is key in making change. Here are some of the committees she serves on/ served on: American School Counselor Association Postsecondary Affinity Group Leader, National Association of College Admission Counseling Ad Hoc Engaging Public School Counselors, Common App, California Association of School Counselors reopening of schools document, Northern Illinois University School Counselor Advisory Committee, Moreno Vally College CTE Committee, and so much more! Her passion to advocate for students and her relentless attitude show how much she is committed to serving the profession.

Patty R. Posted over a year ago

I have worked with several educators over the years and no one compares to this school counselors advocacy for the profession and commitment for students. The kids at Roosevelt are lucky to have Ms. Grijalva. She is an amazing school counselor, tireless advocate for students, genuinley cares for staff and the community. Her passion lies in helping ALL students be successful in academics, college/career and most importantly students mental health. On a daily basis, her decision(s) remain grounded upon 1 thing: What is best for students? Her passion is contagious and she makes everyone around her want to do better. She is an unsung hero in California. She is known as the Queen of Reach Higher because she truly cares about giving students hope for their future. I urge you to pick her as your Life Changer of the Year!

M.D. Posted over a year ago

Thank you for saving me when I was at my lowest.

Anonymous Posted over a year ago

Grijalva was featured in Forbes 2x for her great work as a school counselor. She is currently a school counselor at a Roosevelt High School and Citrus Hills Intermediate school in CNUSD where she leads groups to help students with anxiety and stress. She teaches lessons in the classes at both schools, she leads Reach Higher Thursday’s at the intermediate school, she has gotten donations from the community such as scholarships, college gear and gift certificates. She promotes the ASCA National Model in everything she does. She serves on national committees to advocate for students and presents around the country. She is truly a blessing in CNUSD.

Priscilla Grijalva Posted over a year ago

Grateful! Thank you to my former students and the community in Riverside County. Thank you to all the college access partners and the U.S. military. I am also grateful for my current students, the counseling team/ administrators/ and staff at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Citrus Hills Intermediate School, and Corona-Norco Unified School District. I cannot do this work alone without the support of an amazing team. The educators I work with day in and day out are life changers in my heart. Your relentless efforts during this pandemic do not go unnoticed. Thank you to the Reach Higher team for their support over the years and to my amazing family and friends. I love you all! “Limits like fears are often just an illusion.” -Michael Jordan