COSP Graduation Commences

County Operated Schools and Programs celebrates graduation at commencement ceremonies

Graduates from the SJCOE's Building Futures Academy (SJBFA) were joined by the first graduates from the SJCOE's Come Back Kids program to celebrate receiving their high school diplomas at a joint commencement ceremony at San Joaquin Delta College the morning of May 22.

It was only the first of two ceremonies hosted by the SJCOE's County Operated Schools and Programs at the community college's Atherton Auditorium that day. In the evening, students from the one.Program came with their family members and supporters to celebrate an achievement -- earning a high school diploma -- that at some times seemed out of reach for many of the students who were now wearing caps and gowns.

The crowd of graduates and their families heard from guest speakers as well as from the students, themselves, who had their own inspiring stories.

During the morning ceremony, Lorena Martin Abdo looked back on the Mental Toughness training the SJBFA students had undertaken to help them overcome adversity. She reminded her classmates how that could still help them with whatever challenges they faced in the future. "If I could do it then, then I can do it now."

SJBFA student Maria Alicia Garcia cited a quotation that represented how enduring struggles has made them all stronger and more prepared for their futures. "Strength does not come from winning.

Fellow student Leann Steagall thanked some of the people who have helped the graduates prepare for what comes next. "Our teachers taught us not to be afraid of challenges and obstacles."

In the evening, the guest speaker was the Brigadier General James L. Gabrielli of the California National Guard's Youth and Community Programs Task Force. He spoke of grit, guts, imagination, and confidence.

When he concluded, one.Program students shared their own stories, which showed how grit, guts, imagination, and confidence helped them reach their high school graduation.

Sandra Samuth, a graduate from one.Discover choked up when she thanked her mother for continuing to have faith in her while others doubted that she would find success. The graduate hoped her story could help others.

"When you want to give up, remember what keeps you going."

Posted: 5/23/2018