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Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

As high school graduation season ends, I’d like to applaud the incredible achievements of students graduating from alternative credit recovery schools and adult education programs, such as Cliff Park High School graduated 70+ students, OIC graduated 40 students, and SCS adult/GED program graduated 15 students. All too often these schools and their students fail to receive the recognition that they deserve partly due to the long-standing perception that these schools are for the troubled kids only. Well, it is way past due for that perspective to be changed.  

I had the privilege of attending the graduation ceremonies of all three schools. Each event was filled with such remarkable support that it was both overwhelming and inspiring! I spoke to parents and graduates, and administrators who shared some of the most amazing stories that got them to now walking across stage receiving their diploma.  

Recent Cliff Park High School graduate, Mireya Hammett , said, “Cliff Park helped me grow as a person in many ways. Not just intellectually but emotionally and maturity wise. When I first came to Cliff Park, I was embarrassed. I was always under the impression it was a school for bad kids. I was no bad kid by any means. I’ve since learned it is a school for everyone. A school for people to not feel judged and be able to learn and grow. Cliff Park is a very special place. Not only for their many career programs but because of the genuine care that the staff has for every single student. When you’re there you really feel like someone cares about you and everything feels individualized to you. You’re not just another number. Being at Cliff has affected my life in such an amazing way. I used to feel so lost and like I had no purpose in life. I had dreams, of course, but they always changed. I never really knew what I seriously planned for my future. Since coming to Cliff Park and doing their Healthcare program, I now feel like I genuinely have a purpose, and I know what I want to do with my life. I can picture my future now."   

These graduates have shown remarkable determination and perseverance, overcoming unique challenges to reach this significant milestone. Their journey reflects a commitment to personal growth, resilience, and an unwavering dedication to their education. By completing their studies, they have not only earned their diplomas but also set powerful examples of what can be achieved through hard work and tenacity. Congratulations to these inspiring graduates and to all of graduates in the Class of 2024 — your achievements are a testament to your strength and a promising future ahead!