Isabella Cuenco graduated from Concord High School in 2014, where she was heavily involved in the CHS instrumental music program as the IMLC President. After earning both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco, she is now working as a Registered Nurse in a local Bay Area hospital.
“The CHS music program gave me so much in terms of leadership opportunities and involvement in my community. A huge part of being in the music program was learning how to work with others toward a common goal – whether it was learning a new piece or organizing the logistics of band camp. Thanks to the CHS music program, I positively developed this skill, and my experience in the program continues to influence the way I work with the healthcare team as a nurse.”
Azeema Yahya graduated from UC Davis with a degree in English and a minor in Education. She then received her Masters of Arts in Education and Single Subject Teaching Credential at Alliant International University. She now works at Concord High School as an English Teacher.
“As an incoming freshman, I had no idea what I was getting myself into joining the CHS Instrumental Music Program. During my time in the program, I made lifelong friends, learned the true meaning of teamwork, and grew as a musician, but more importantly, I grew as a human being. Beyond playing flute and piano or spinning a musket, the program taught me the importance of growth. Every individual enters the program and brings something unique and special with them, and leaves the program having grown expeditiously in so many aspects of their lives. As an exciting senior, I remember thinking that the CHS Instrumental Music Program instilled in me life lessons and skills needed to be successful beyond high school, and to this day, that couldn’t be more true.”
Briana Mullen graduated from Concord High School in 2011, where she was heavily involved with the CHS music program. She participated in Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Winter Percussion, and served as IMLC President.
She has a Master’s Degree in policy, organization, and leadership studies at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and is pursuing a Master’s public policy at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences as a Knight Hennessy Scholar. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2015, with minors in Education and City and Regional Planning. Previously, she served as the policy advisor to the state superintendent of public instruction, leading statewide policy initiatives at the California Department of Education.
“As someone who thinks about how to make schools across California safe and welcoming places for young people to grow and learn, I always think back to my time in the CHS music program. The program director, community, and peers created safety and support for me – even when my home environment couldn’t. Today I can trace my musical literacy, leadership skills, civic advocacy, and emotional intelligence all back to being a CHS instrumental music student. I cannot recommend students joining enough – regardless of their grades, career aspirations, or existing talent. Concord High’s instrumental music program is where I learned what it meant to be a servant leader.”