Every year since 2002, the Carlston Family Foundation has recognized outstanding high school teachers working in California's disadvantaged urban and rural communities. All of the awardees have been nominated by former students who believe their former teachers have changed their lives, both academically and personally. 

Their website contains a large number of powerful video recordings of students honoring the teachers they nominated.  Several of these stories appear on the Teacher Stories website, including a video and podcast episode about Efraim Solis, a professional opera signer who credits his success to Jeannette McMahon, his high school drama teacher.   Another video and podcast episode features Nikki Ahrenstorff, a student who had been homeless for many years. Mr. Childs, her high school English teacher, changed her life.