Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) in the Metro Region held the Winter Commencement Ceremony at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), where proud families, cheerful teachers and grateful students were all in attendance.
Metro Region Principal Tracy Thompson, JCCS Executive Director Maruta Gardner, JCCS Senior Director Mary Glover, and JCCS North Region Principal Sean Morrill were part of the ceremony, sharing words of encouragement and praise. San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Rudy M. Castruita congratulated the young women on their achievements.
"Seeing these bright students graduate is like climbing a mountain," said Bob Gross, JCCS Literacy by Imaging Through Technology teacher. "The summit is seeing them graduate and receive their diplomas. In a sense I feel like more than a teacher, but a counselor and role model."
The winter commencement for the Class of 2005 included three young women each expressing the hardships they faced during the course of earning their diplomas. The students showed gratitude to parents, teachers and friends who supported their achievements. Each young lady overcame the challenge and obstacles of being a teenage mother and completing their education.
All bilingual students, Karina Bernal, Yadira Leyva and Raquel Ramirez have worked hard to overcome the challenges and obstacles of being teenage mothers in school and working to provide for their own children and families.
"Raquel has worked so hard to be where she is today. Raising a child on your own is not easy to do. She is a strong young woman with many goals and aspirations and I have full confidence that she will achieve these goals. In June she will graduate from Merit Vocational College," said Gloria Taaca, Raquel's JCCS teacher at Casa de San Juan school.
Saul Leyva, father of Yadira Leyva said, "Neither of my parents were able to make it to my high school graduation, so I made it a point to see my daughter graduate. I wouldn't miss it for the world."
The graduates participated in home school studies over the course of six months to a year with a designated teacher who delivered a standards-driven curriculum. Differentiated instruction was emphasized to meet the individual needs of each student.