Colton High School Varsity Cheer Captains Savannah Medina and Jacob Cardona have spent years perfecting their skills…and next week they will head to Italy as they share their talents at the New Year’s Day Parade in Rome.
Savannah and Jacob will be among 300 American high school dancers, cheerleaders and drum majors performing in Rome as part of the All-American program. Only the top 12 percent of those who try out at summer camps across the country are chosen to participate.
Savannah and Jacob were selected for the honor after excelling in competition at a cheer camp in Palm Springs last summer. They have since worked hard to raise funds to pay for their 8-day trip, which includes sightseeing outings as well as practice and performances. The community has been extremely supportive in the fundraising efforts, they said.
Both of the seniors are excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially as the pair are close friends and excited to travel abroad together. This is the first time either has traveled to Europe.
Savannah, a history buff, is looking forward to seeing places she has only read about in books, such as the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and more.
Jacob said he’s “really interested in the routine” the team will perform in the parade.
“I like a challenge,” he said.
Both students said they were proud of their achievements. Savannah said an extra dose of confidence, energy and support for her teammates helped her to stand out this year. Jacob said he felt his leadership skills as a team captain shone through during tryouts.
As spectacular as this opportunity is, it is just part of an exciting year for the seniors. Savannah also keeps busy as Colton High’s Senior Class President and is active in AVID. She also works at the City of Colton’s Gonzales Community Center. Jacob is editor of the school’s yearbook and helps with school events.
Both are also looking forward to college next year. Savannah is eyeing a career in politics and hopes to become a congresswoman. Jacob is interested in studying kinesiology and would like to coach cheer and gymnastics.
The pair says they hope their peers and community are inspired by their journey and that they may be an example to others. “Go out there and go get your dreams,” Jacob said. “Don’t hesitate. Use your talents. It might turn into something great.”