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 JCCS Seniors Earn Diplomas and a Brighter Future

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 journey.    

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.