Crystal Harding-Jenkins is a first generation immigrant from Liberia, West Africa who came to the United States at the age of seven. Her family relocated from Oakland to Sacramento during the summer of ‘96 before starting 7th grade at Foothill (Ranch) Middle School. Crystal then went on to Foothill High School where she participated with various clubs, Hilltop Stompers, basketball, track and field. Her favorite place to be was the Vice Principal's office with Mrs. Love.
After commencement, she graduated from Alabama State University, and returned to earn her master's of social work degree from Sacramento State (CSUS). Crystal leads with love, grit, integrity, and zeal. She served as Program Manager with the Black Child Legacy Campaign at Liberty Towers Church and connected youth and families of North Highlands, Foothill Farms and surrounding communities to beneficial programs, resources and services. Crystal has strong organizing roots, is innovative, actively listens, and cares deeply for her loved ones and community. She serves on the Sacramento County Mental Health Services Act Steering Committee and North Highlands/Foothill Farms Community Planning Advisory Council (CPAC).
In 2020 she was encouraged by peers and community leaders to run for office and was elected, with 6980 votes, as a Director on the board of the North Highlands Recreation and Park District where she amplifies the people, programs, parks and progress happening in our neighborhoods. With her leadership the park district has implemented a scholarship fund, 20% fees/cost subsidy, major renovation and improvements to several parks and facilities, development of a park master plan, and new park design and construction underway.
Crystal is married and a mother of four who enjoys traveling, laughter, music, delicious food, and new adventures. She is adamant about inspiring youth and parents to take action and serve as the powerful leaders we are, in and out of the home. As a recent graduate of Sacramento's first Parent Leadership Training Institute, she earned certification as a facilitator for the second cohort starting January 2024. Crystal Harding-Jenkins is just getting started and excited to pursue, with your partnership, her second term on the www.NHRPD.org board.
Brian Welborn served the students, families and community of Foothill High School for ten years, first as Vice Principal starting in 2007 and then as Principal starting in 2012. During his tenure as an educational leader at Foothill, Brian utilized his personal power and skills as a servant leader to build relationships with all stakeholder groups, which resulted in Foothill High School becoming a place where all students and staff were welcome and encouraged to perform at their very best each day. A proponent of high expectations and rigor for all, Brian focused on providing increased opportunities for students through the addition of multiple Advanced Placement courses, new Career & Technical Education pathways, and the expansion of Foothill’s AVID program. His focus on shared decision-making provided teachers with opportunities to have a voice in school-wide decision making, and he also allocated resources so teachers could focus on self-selected professional development. This dedication resulted in Foothill earning a six year WASC accreditation, an increase in student achievement, higher a-g completion rates, and Foothill earning “Honor Roll” status from the College Board. Brian was committed to establishing a strong positive culture at Foothill. Working with the school’s Booster Club, he established the “Foothill Family”, implemented incentive and recognition programs for students, staff and families, and led the way in celebrating Foothill High School’s 50th Anniversary celebration, “Fifty Years of Mustang Memories” which culminated with the establishment of the Foothill High School Hall of Fame. Beginning with the 2015 Inaugural Class, the Foothill High Hall of Fame recognizes alumni, faculty, staff and community members for their lasting contributions to the school, and he is proud to join the ranks of previous inductees.
Paris Dye is a passionate community leader and advocate for Foothill Farms and the Sacramento region. She and her husband bought their first home in Foothill Farms in 2004 where they could see both Frontier elementary school and Foothill High-School from their front porch. It was their goal to see their children go through the education system without having to move. Paris was involved as a board member with Foothill Farms Little League, Wolf Pack and Jr. Foothill Mustangs, Langley’s Karate, and Liberty Towers Upwards Basketball. Paris built lasting relationships with parents and their children that continue to this day. In 2010, Paris accepted a leadership role at Liberty Towers Church. Her first priority as Director of Outreach and Engagement for Liberty Towers was to address root causes that prevented segments of the Foothill Farms community youth from thriving. Paris was appointed by the Sacramento County Supervisors Office to serve as a Parent Representative on the Reduction of African American Child Death (RAACD) Steering Committee. There she would advocate with 25 other appointees to have Community Incubator Leads for the Black Child Legacy Campaign be funded to provide services in 7 neighborhoods affected by dipropionate deaths of black and brown children. To this day, Paris remains a parent representee on the Steering Committee and is committed to Foothill Farms and North Highlands receiving much needed resources. With Liberty Towers, Paris started Impact Sac as a small outreach to target youth at Foothill High School. After three quick years, Paris and several teens from Foothill High School made Impact Sac so big that it became its own non-profit. Paris is responsible for creating opportunities for people from Foothill Farms to take on leadership roles in the community. She co-writes grants to provide programs for people in North Highlands and Foothill Farms and is well known for her ability to keep youth leadership and voice at the forefront of funded programs. Paris was named Citizen of the Year in 2022 by the United States Department of Justice. Her most recent accomplishment is partnering with County Supervisor Rich Desmond to create a youth center in Foothill Farms with state-of-the-art technology and youth enrichment programs offered multiple times a week. Paris is a wife and mother of three sons and one God Daughter. In her spare time, she loves to hang out with friends “being adventurous”. She can best be described as fun loving, and an outspoken passionate leader who loves young people.
During the winter season in 1999, Sam remembers playing his last basketball game at Foothill Farms Junior High School. Shortly after, he had to decide on what high school I wanted to attend. The decision wasn’t as easy as it looked. At the young age of 14, he had a lot of thoughts circling his mind. Most of his friends already set their sights on going to Foothill High School. But both his parents graduated from Grant High School along with many other family members. And throughout his life, Sam’s dad would take him and my brothers to those basketball and football games. Sam loved it (and still does). And then there was a new school that was built just two years prior where his older brother where attending – Natomas High School. Sam had no idea what to do, so I asked the man who he looked up to the most, his dad, “Dad, where do you think I should go?” He replied with confidence, “Son, it’s not where you go that ultimately matters. It’s all about what you do when you get there.”
The advice Sam’s dad gave me was stuck in the back of his mind throughout his high school years. Sam went to Foothill because he wanted to be with his friends. But he also went there to WIN and to be the best basketball player he can be. While at Foothill Sam played football and baseball, but basketball was his first love. And usually after football or baseball practice, he would go play basketball. “I’m thankful that my parents built a basketball court in our backyard when I was 8 years old” Sam recalls. That court became his safe haven, his happy place, his distraction from life, where goals where set, it’s where he dreamed, it’s where he learned about competition, it’s where he learned about winning and losing, it’s where Sam became Sam…it was his everything.
“Here’s what I know. Whenever someone accomplishes something extraordinary in their life, I know they did it because they had an amazing team around them. My team is the best. My parents were the driving force for my development in all areas of my life. My brothers and cousins gave me the confidence to be me. My aunt and uncles were always there to support. My coaches opened my mind so I can learn how to truly be a leader and do what’s best for the team. My teammates became my brothers because of the experiences we shared. My teachers held me accountable for my actions. And if you were there on March 22nd, 2003, in Arco Arena to witness our team win the State Championship, then you would have seen those all those people who played an important role as to why I’m receiving this recognition”.
I did my best because I wanted to be the best. I never once thought about being inducted into the hall of fame. This is just a byproduct of me wanting to beat everyone that I came across. It wasn’t personal, I just had goals. I wanted to do more with my life. I wanted to be respected and I wanted our team to be feared. God or the universe works in mysterious ways and it will always give you what your heart truly desires. I’m beyond thankful for this achievement. But I’m even more thankful for the people and relationships that was created because of my decision on becoming a Foothill Mustang.”
William Brown served as principal at Foothill High from July 2008 until June 2011. During his time at Foothill, he enjoyed great relationships with students, staff and community. His students were the best part of his job. He has fond memories of games, activities and just hanging out with kids. His most memorable times are his championship teams, a bright and supportive staff and all the lessons learned. His career as a leader and an author has been shaped by his experience at 5000 McCloud! He is honored to be selected to the 2023 Hall of Fame Class at Foothill high. Today, he serves as Superintendent of the Oroville Union High School District and the students and staff there are benefitting from lessons learned at Foothill… His final words to the committee and community… Go Mighty Mustangs!
Ariana Birondo has been a longtime resident of the Foothill Farms community. Attending Frontier Elementary, Frontier’s Charter School, and Foothill High School.
During her time at Foothill, Ariana’s journey into the world of journalism and her passion for capturing moments through photography unfolded. She enrolled in the journalism class and participated in the yearbook. Her passion for journalism was well received and she became the youngest editor on the yearbook staff her freshman year.
Her passion for journalism continued to flourish as she embarked on new endeavors. She revived the school’s print newspaper, joined the Sacramento Bee’s Student Education Reporter Program, and earned a National High School Journalism Award. Her academic journey reached new heights when she took on the role of Editor-in-Chief for both the school’s online and print newspaper, as well as the yearbook during her junior and senior years.
For Ariana, this was not limited to just the realm of the written word, she also fell in love sports photography. Combining her two passions, she become the manager of the Cross Country and Track teams, and in her senior year, videographer for the Football team. Noticing the absence of opportunities for Women’s Wrestling beyond high school, Ariana opted to focus on her academic pursuits, dedicating herself to managing the Wrestling team during her entire high school tenure.
Upon graduating in 2012, Ariana studied at Sierra College for a year before transferring to Augustana University (College), in Sioux Falls South Dakota. At Augustana, she continued to nurture her love of writing and photography, majoring in Journalism. She served as a yearbook editor during her freshman and sophomore years, and assumed the role of Sports and Web Editor for the college’s newspaper during her senior year.
Her passion for photography and sports journalism flourished at Augustana as well. After answering an advertisement in her school’s weekly email, Ariana became the manager of the Augustana Football team for all four years. Traveling with the team to record game footage, photographing from the team’s sideline, and crafting recruiting videos for the coaching staff. Collaborating with the football coaches and the Head of the Journalism Department, she created a credible internship so more students could have the same opportunity.
Ariana’s impact extended beyond the football field when the Augustana Wrestling team also recognized her talents. She joined them as a mat-side photographer and achieved the distinction of being named a NCAA DII National Wrestling Photographer for three consecutive years. Learning of this, the Augustana Athletics Marketing Department relied heavily on Ariana’s photographs. Using her photos for social media, brochures, and other marketing collateral. Upon graduating college in 2017, Ariana returned to Sacramento. Her journey had come full circle, and she was asked to become Foothill’s first Head Women’s Wrestling Coach. Having missed the chance to be a part of the wrestling team during her own high school years, Ariana recognized the profound impact a coach could have on a student’s life, realizing that
opportunities for girls in wrestling had evolved beyond high school, she eagerly accepted the position. During the 2022-2023 wrestling season, Ariana helped to coach Foothill’s first four-year female wrestler, under a CIF Sport, to the California State Wrestling Tournament.
For her continued contribution to the Foothill community and beyond,