Two Juvenile Court and Community School students were recently honored at the North Region Winter Commencement Ceremony at the North County Regional Education Center in San Marcos. Lorena Medellin and Joshua Wiesner, the final class of 2006, earned their high school diplomas with bright futures ahead.
"Lorena has always remained a very motivated student as well as good mother," said Carol De Leon, North Region Independent Study teacher. "She is very attentive to her daughter and a good role model."
Keynote speaker Frank Puchi, a Chicano Studies professor at Palomar College, quoted the famous phrase by Cesar Chavez, "Si se puede," "Yes you can," in encouraging the graduates to pursue their dreams and further their education.
"Growing up I did not have the structure to succeed," Puchi said. "It took a lot of hard work to get me to this point, but I am here to show you that you can do anything you put your mind to."
JCCS Executive Director Maruta Gardner helped during the presentation of diplomas and certificates and told the students, "No one can take a high school diploma away from you."
The North Region campus, located at the North County Regional Education Center, is unique in that students work from home over the course of six months to two years with a designated teacher to providing instruction.
"I would like the graduates to remember that they made it here today not in isolation," said Leilah Armour, JCCS North Region Principal. "You made it here today with the assistance of your teachers and loved ones."
Wiesner plans to further his education and to own a restaurant in the future. 'I didn't think I would make it, but I did and I thank my teacher for that," he said.
"Joshua took three Palomar courses over two semesters while completing his independent study work," said Roberto Diaz, North County Technology & Science Academy teacher. "He went above and beyond what was required in the classroom."
Medellin plans to pursue a career in cosmetology at the Paul Mitchell School of Cosmetology. "Lorena has overcome a lot of obstacles to finish high school. She has remained dedicated and is set to accomplish her goals," said her mother, Claudia Lopez.
The North Region commencement will be followed by several more in the coming weeks. From the East Region Chasman Burton, Nancy Corvin, Fernando Gomez and Kathrine Paredes are scheduled to soon receive their diplomas. From the South Region Victor Tapia, Noemi Ramirez, Breanna Thomas, Vivian Simmons, Derick Ray Costa, Cynthia M. Cortez, Clare Christine Cobieya and Christina A. Silva are scheduled to receive diplomas. Hope Region is scheduled to graduate Brandy Marie Castellano and Makayla and Virgil Garcia.