Monarch School junior Sebastian is excelling in the classroom as well as on the field.
About a year ago, Sebastian would often disappear into a corner of the classroom or wander the hallways, avoiding school work. Then he joined the cross-country team at the school and turned things around.
Because of this determination and effort Sebastian was recognized last month by the County Board of Education as this quarter's Winners' Circle award recipient. The award honors Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) students who have made outstanding progress and achievement.
"Sebastian is a serious, determined student who is driven by a strong curiosity to understand higher-level concepts while remaining focused on his future goals," said Michael Fenick, one of Sebastian's teachers. "His confidence and success in and outside of the classroom coupled with a commitment towards his fellow peers and team mates makes Sebastian a valuable and appreciated part of the Monarch community."
Sebastian is focused on keeping his grades up while exploring possible careers through Monarch School's internship program.
"I would tell the other JCCS students that even though you may be going through stuff you should still push forward," he said.
The San Diego County Office of Education's JCCS program educates nearly 5,000 students each year who are either wards of the court or have been referred by social services, probation, or one of the county's 42 school districts. Services are provided at more than 20 sites across the county to students who are incarcerated, pregnant or parenting, in foster care, expelled, chronically truant, in drug treatment centers and group homes for neglected or abused children, and experiencing homelessness.
Photo: Sebastian with Board Member Mark Powell.