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 Opportunity Knocks, SDCOE Student Eagerly Answers

​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 School.

Daimeon headshot.jpgIn 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 school.

“I help teachers focus on students rather than the tedious organizing,” Daimeon said.

He finds the work fulfilling, and said his job has allowed him to get to know the teachers and staff members better.

Vice Principal Tracey Makings said she is always looking to give work opportunities to students who show initiative.

“SDCOE looks good on a résumé,” she added.

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 Spring Valley.

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 Spector.

“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 Google.

“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 reason.”