New PASS AmeriCorps volunteers are ready to change the lives
of local students after two weeks of training this month.
There are 31 mentors with the program in San Diego County
this year, up four from last year with the addition of two volunteers at San
Diego High School and Valley Center High School.
“It’s a really great group,” said Anthony Ceja, who coordinates
the program locally.
The Promoting Achievement and Student Success—or PASS—program,
administered locally by the San Diego County Office of Education,
serves students in grades 3 through 12 at 21 schools across the county,
including campuses in San Diego, Oceanside, Vista, and Valley Center.
Each PASS AmeriCorps mentor provides support for 30 at-risk
students though academic engagement, community service projects, and parent
outreach. Through the mentors’ volunteer service, they’re able to facilitate
positive change in school and community.
Sam Hackett is one of the new volunteers. He said he wanted
to mentor students to give them some of the support he had as he went through
“I can’t wait to apply what we’ve learned,” he said. “We can
really make a difference in these kids’ lives.”
Megan Oyer, who will be volunteering at Martin Luther King
Jr. Middle School in Oceanside, said that she feels well prepared for the work
after attending two weeks of training.
“We learned a lot from each other,” she said.
The PASS AmeriCorps program is part of the nationwide AmeriCorps
program, which engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each
year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based
groups across the country. Since the program’s founding in 1994, more than
900,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in
service across the country.