By Mark Haynes | OBSERVER Correspondent

A packed house filled Sacramento Charter High School’s gymnasium May 11 and it wasn’t for a signature sporting event. This occasion instead celebrated college-bound seniors announcing the universities they would attend this fall. The school calls it Signing Day.

The event showcased students who quietly worked hard academically throughout their high school years to reach this pivotal checkpoint. Sac High’s senior class of 2023 had 99% of students accepted into four-year colleges. The year prior, Sac High had the second-highest admittance rate to UC campuses among public high schools in the Sacramento region.

Each student had the opportunity to walk across a stage, stand in front of a big screen with their name displayed, and share with their community which college they would attend. This year Sac High students have been accepted into all nine UC campuses and 20 out of 23 CSU campuses.

After the event, students and their families proudly walked around with giant smiles. So did principal Christina Williams-James.

“We have high expectations,” Williams-James told The OBSERVER. “We’re constantly talking about college and what it offers you and what you can do. So I think us talking about it so much makes it so much more attainable, in addition to the field trips that we provide, the presentations that we provide and the role models that we bring on campus to talk about college. I think all of that together is what makes this possible.”

Sac High encourages students to dream big and go after those dreams. Ja’Lyn Wright will attend UCLA in the fall as a psychology major and plans to attend medical school to one day become a psychiatrist. He’s a second-generation college student.

“I definitely didn’t think I would be here,” Wright said. “I had to make a lot of improvements to get here, but my family is very dedicated to me having a higher education, so it meant a lot for me to get into [UCLA].”

Lia Mack also has been admitted to UCLA. She’ll major in sociology with plans to double major in political science and become a trial attorney. She credited her family for pushing her to get into a school with UCLA’s prestige.

“My family has been overwhelmingly supportive — like, breathing down my neck,” Mack said with a smile. “I’m very thankful for it. I was nervous about choosing schools, and UCLA has been very supportive in helping me transition into college. So I’m nervous but really excited.”

Most of Sac High’s graduates will attend school in California, but a few will travel across the country for college. Senior Jasmyne Daniels is headed to Greenville, North Carolina, to attend East Carolina University. She had planned to be the first member of her family to graduate from college, but her mother beat her to the punch last year. Daniels believes Sac High gave her the tools to transition to a new state, and that’s part of the reason she chose East Carolina.

“Sac High has a lot of programs available for us,” Daniels said. “The College Track program gave us connections and sponsorships. It’s helped me figure out what I want to do when I go to college, and it helped me decide which college I wanted to pursue.”

College Track aids students during their high school years, then follows up during their college careers. Once kids leave Sac High, they aren’t departing on their own.

“We’ve got a small alumni network and we try to reach out as often as possible,” Williams-James told The OBSERVER. “I have some of the kids’ personal emails and cell phone numbers. If they need encouragement or anything, I’m here for them. We are constantly building on efforts to ensure we stay in touch after they leave Sacramento Charter High School.”

Getting accepted into college is a dream for many, but it will be a reality for these Sac High students in a few short months. It’s going to be a new challenge for them, a challenge that their families, community, and school is giving them the tools needed to conquer.


  • Aniayah Amey, Coppin State University
  • Angelo Ayala, Sacramento State
  • Khalil Barron, Sacramento City College
  • Je’Zaria Belton, Sacramento State
  • Keimari Benjamin, Lewis and Clark University
  • Dantwione Bishop, Fresno State
  • Raliq Blockton, Sacramento State
  • Arianna Booker, Sacramento State
  • Naaman Branyan, Sacramento City College
  • Irulan Brown, Sacramento State
  • Shyniece Cordoba, Chico State
  • Liliyana Cortez, Sacramento State
  • Jasmyne Daniels, East Carolina University
  • Destinee Davenport, MIXED Beauty School
  • Mone Duronslet, UC Santa Barbara
  • Tyanna Elliot, Sacramento Job Corps-CMA Program
  • Osmar Fernandez, UC Merced
  • X(zaramiya) Forte, San Francisco City College
  • Yuri Gallegos Magallanez, Sacramento State
  • Tahron Garrison, Chico State
  • Eriq Greely, Sacramento State
  • Allahna Green, Sacramento State
  • Kayla Marie Sacasas Green, UC Davis
  • Victor Guzman, Chico State
  • Helen Gwananji, Cosumnes River College
  • Araya Hamilton, UC Riverside
  • Bobby Hamilton, Sacramento State
  • Donavin Haynes, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Elijha Hardiman, San Jose State
  • Skyler Harris, UC Davis
  • Saniya Harrison, CSU Fullerton
  • Julianna Hererra, Sacramento State
  • Fatima Hernandez-Calderon, Sonoma State
  • Zitlali Isais Guzman, Sacramento State
  • Alani Johnson, Chico State
  • Jah’sun Johnson, Jackson State University
  • Nakaylah Jones, San Francisco State
  • Dominick Juarez, Chico State
  • Jalaya Lee, CSU East Bay
  • Jeaziah Lewis, Cosumnes River College
  • Mecca Lewis, CSU Fullerton
  • Jaylan Mack, UC San Diego
  • Lia Mack, UCLA
  • Vanessa Martinez, Paul Mitchell Beauty School
  • Marisol Mendoza, Cosumnes River College
  • Landon Minnifield, Sacramento State
  • Neveah Mitchell, Sonoma State
  • Tatiana Moore, Sacramento State
  • Sophia Munigia, Sacramento City College
  • Janee Owens, Sacramento State
  • Amaya Pernell, UCLA
  • Rasheem Perry, American River College
  • Khaleel Rahman, Sacramento State
  • Joshua Ramirez, Cosumnes River College
  • Carnell Rosson-Dinkins, Sacramento State
  • Danyelle Sikalis, Sacramento City College
  • Marvelle Smith, Sacramento State
  • Devin Stephens, Lewis and Clark University
  • Steven Stephens, Lewis and Clark University
  • Breanna Sturgill, Hawaii Pacific University
  • Ignacio Taylor, American River College
  • Tereza Thomas, Albany State University
  • Alanya Viney, Sacramento State
  • Nyela Ware, Cosumnes River College
  • Annette Washington, Sacramento City College
  • Marlon Williams, Trade School for Electricians
  • Paris-Josiah Williams, Army/ Chico State
  • Michael Wilson, Sacramento State
  • Ja’lyn Wright, UCLA
  • Shamari Young, Sacramento State

Support for this Sacramento OBSERVER article was provided to Word In Black (WIB) by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. WIB is a collaborative of 10 Black-owned media that includes print and digital partners.