Nearly 30 Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) seniors
entered Clarke Field House at Cal State San Marcos to the sounds of “Pomp and
Circumstance” and a standing-room-only graduation ceremony May 30.
“Many of these students have never been on a college campus
before,” said Ben Nakamura, JCCS North Network principal. “Earning their
diploma and having the ceremony at Cal State San Marcos helps the kids see that
they can do anything they set their minds to.”
The 28 graduating seniors were greeted with cheers and tears
from family, friends, teachers, and school administrators. Each of the
graduates was introduced by their teacher and given the opportunity to speak
about their future plans and thank all who supported them in their
Student keynote speaker Francisco Ignacio told his fellow
graduates, "We have been through a lot. Don't let anyone tell you that you
can't make it. We can!"
The graduates represented seven community schools from
across North County. JCCS leadership, faculty and staff all gathered to
celebrate the students’ success.
“Tonight’s graduation tells a story about our students. A story
of resilience and character,” Nakamura said. “Our students have faced
tremendous obstacles but have overcome them and finished high school. I am proud of all of them and anticipate more
success like this in their futures.”
The San Diego County Office of Education Juvenile Court and
Community Schools serve about 12,000 students each year in classrooms
throughout the county. The educational program serves school-age youth who are
either wards of the court or have been referred by social services, probation
or one of the 42 school districts in San Diego County. Services are provided to
incarcerated youth, pregnant minors, foster youth, expelled and chronically
truant youth, students in drug treatment centers and group homes for neglected
or abused children and homeless youth.