New Tech students beat expectations, help others for Senior Projects

e-Connections Post Sacramento New Technology
Ben JohnsonAlcala at Primaria Gabriela Mistral

Sacramento New Technology High School senior Ben Johnson competed in his first triathlon as part of his Senior Project.

Johnson, who has cerebral palsy, participated in Indoor Triathlon USA’s event in San Francisco, where athletes swam for 10 minutes, biked for 30 minutes and ran for 15 minutes.

“I wanted to do a triathlon, because I wanted to learn how to swim and ride a bike, and learn how to run better,” Johnson says. “I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do anything I set my mind to. My whole life, all of the doctors and psychologists told me that I would never make it, that I wouldn’t live and I wouldn’t walk.This event was a little way of proving them wrong and showing that Benjamin Johnson is not a statistic, just an every day strong adult.”

At the event, Ben was supported by his family, New Tech staff and several of his fellow competitors.

“For the first time in years, I feel like I can do anything I want to do,” Johnson says. “Cerebral palsy does not define who I am. I am strong.”

Another New Tech senior, Nohely Alcala, spent the year collecting 81 backpacks and the school supplies to fill them for third and fourth graders at Primaria Gabriela Mistral in Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico. She personally delivered the supplies as part of her Senior Project.

“I really enjoy working with children and giving back to others,” she says. “When I grow up, I want to be a teacher and I felt like this was a great opportunity for me to get closer to my career goal…I also really believe that change begins with just one person and I want to be that person.”

Alcala says her father attended a “small, overcrowded school” similar to Primaria Gabriela Mistral.

“I want the donated school supplies and backpacks to be a motivation to the students that receive them.”