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 31 Recent Grads Ready to Change Lives

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 high school.

“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.