Daimeon Rodriguez knows a good
opportunity when he sees one, and
he doesn’t turn it down.
As a student at La Mesa Blended
Community School, Daimeon has
been presented with many opportunities
for learning and growth, and
he devours them all. So much so
that Daimeon is now not only an
SDCOE student; he’s also an SDCOE employee.
The 17-year-old joined the team
in January as a student worker at La Mesa Blended Community
In just a few months, Daimeon
has already made a difference.
He has tackled large organizing
projects, including cleaning out a
storage unit so that teachers could
make it a functional space. He also
helped create a library, labeling
and organizing books, and cleaned
out and prepped a classroom to be
used as an exercise room for the
“I help teachers focus on students
rather than the tedious organizing,”
He finds the work fulfilling, and
said his job has allowed him to
get to know the teachers and staff
Vice Principal Tracey Makings
said she is always looking to give
work opportunities to students who
“SDCOE looks good on a résumé,”
Daimeon transferred to La Mesa
Blended from the Grossmont Union
School District in January 2015.
He moved from Texas to San
Diego as a 7th-grader because of
a family member’s military transfer.
Daimeon did well at Wilson Middle
School, but high school was different.
He struggled for 2.5 years
at Mount Miguel High School in
When he found out about La Mesa
Blended, he found meaning in
school and work.
“Every opportunity we have offered,
he has taken,” Makings said.
La Mesa Blended is one of SDCOE’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools, with classroom, blended, and independent-study programs for 8th-graders to 12th-graders who were referred by social services, school district officials, or probation.
Daimeon joined the student committee
tasked with working on the JCCS
renaming, and caught the eye of
JCCS Executive Director Stacy
“Daimeon has been a part of
our student stakeholder group
responsible for renaming JCCS,” Spector wrote in a recent JCCS
newsletter. “In particular, he
spearheaded a group of students
to revise the branding options
presented and has been dogged
in ensuring that we complete
the process based upon the
students’ work. He will be one of
the students announcing our new
name because he was one of the
students who created it.”
Daimeon keeps busy with work
and school, both at La Mesa
Blended and City College, where
he is part of the Business Information
Worker program. He’s
also been a Reality Changers
program participant for four years.
Daimeon is on track to graduate in
August, and he plans to continue
his studies at City College. His
goal is to transfer to the University
of Texas at Austin—his dream
school—and go on to work for
“Everything that I’ve done—the
outcomes and consequences—
I’m glad it happened, because
I wouldn’t be here with the
opportunities I’ve had,” Daimeon
said. “Everything happens for a