Veronica Whitley is a natural leader at East County Community School who frequently motivates her classmates.
"She really advocates for her peers," Principal Valentin Escanuela said. "She's not afraid to speak up."
Veronica was recognized this 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.
Veronica plans to finish school and go to college to study child development. She is considering becoming a counselor or educator.
East County Community School is a self-contained classroom for students in grades 7 to 12 who are referred by SARB, Probation, Department of Social Services, or resident school districts.
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: Veronica Whitley with board Member Alicia Muñoz.