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 Student Spotlight: Kainoa

The May student representative to the San Diego County Board of Education, Kainoa, keeps very busy at school.

He's a student representative on the school site council, member of the Graduation Committee, and member of the Key Club. In addition, he's also this year's co-valedictorian.

"What I appreciate about Kainoa is his willingness to do what is needed to help improve the school community," his principals said.

Kainoa is a senior at one of the San Diego County Office of Education's Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS). He was honored as the student board representative at the County Board of Education meeting May 10.

He plans to attend UCLA this fall, where he will study psychology.

Kainoa said the support and encouragement from his teachers helped him succeed and become a leader at the school who sets an example for his classmates.

His advice to other JCCS students?

"Power through your work despite the challenges you may face in the classroom," he said. "Present yourself as a role model to your classmates, despite your personal struggles. Moving forward will be what helps you achieve your end-game goals."

Each month, the County Board of Education recognizes a student from SDCOE's JCCS program at its regular meeting. In addition to giving the board a chance to honor a student, participation in the meeting also gives students like Kainoa a valuable experience in leadership, said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools.

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.