Bakersfield High student rises above tough childhood


High school can be hard.  From the classes, the tests, trying to fit in, not fitting in, dating– students encounter a number of stressful situations, and some for the very first time.

Now imagine doing it all on your own, without any parents to support you.

17’s Tabatha Mills introduces us to Rene Carrillo, a soon-to-be Bakersfield High School grad, who did it all on his own.

From the outside looking in, you would never know 18-year-old Rene Carrillo doesn’t have parents to go home to after school.

He’s never met his father and his mother never raised him.

“You gotta learn from them and you gotta build yourself to be a better person and overcome them,” Carrillo said.

He was kicked out of his foster home when he turned 18 and has been living on his own for the past year.

It’s enough to make anyone quit or give up, but not Carrillo. He has a mindset and goal to achieve whatever he sets his mind to.

He’s driven and determined, but a big part of his success is owed to his counselor.

“I know that he has seen some really hard things and been through some tough times, but he’s not the kid that uses that as an excuse,” said Carrillo’s counselor, Katie Price.

Carrillo says his counselor pushes him and always ‘looks out’ for him. She’s like a mother figure to Carrillo, always checking up on him.

Carrillo says he has found a family at BHS.

“I feel like BHS has a really good support system, whether it’s a coach playing sports or teachers or also in the office, counselor staff,” he said. “Just having someone there to care for you is a big thing.  They’re there for you and you don’t want to let them down.”

“I know how amazing it is for a kid to be living on their own and actually follow through with everything they’re suppose to do and graduate on time and continue playing sports, and getting good grades and so I’m really proud of him.” Price said.

Carrillo will attend San Diego State University in the fall where he plans to study forensic science with aspirations to become a police officer and eventually a private investigator.

He says he’s excited to live near his sister who graduated from SDSU this year.

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