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“School-to-World” Awards Ceremony Recognizes Students

SCOE Honors High Schoolers Preparing for the Workforce

Atour Eyvasian at podium

Keynote speaker Atour Eyvasian addresses the crowd at the 10th annual "School-to-World" Awards.

Students and staff of Leo A. Palmiter High School, Elinor L. Hickey Jr./Sr. High School and the LINKS program celebrated successes at the 10th Annual "School-to-World" Awards ceremony on May 24.

Palmiter and Elinor L. Hickey High Schools are operated by the Special Education Department of the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) for students with specialized learning needs. LINKS is a pioneering Community School program offering career training courses for eligible students. The program is designed to provide the services, support systems, and opportunities that most at-risk students need to be ready for college and the workforce.

Keynote speaker Atour Eyvasian, the Vice President of VANMEL, Inc, offered attendees his inspirational story. He came to America from Iran in 1984 with only a high school diploma.

"When I came here I had everything against me," Eyvasian said. "Most people thought I wouldn't make anything of myself."

His first job was as a janitor for a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant. He put himself through school, eventually earning a Bachelor's Degree and then a Master's Degree. Today, he owns ten Jack-in-the-Box restaurants.

"We have no idea how lucky we are to live in this country where we have the opportunity to choose," Eyvasian said.

The "School-to-World" program is a partnership between SCOE and areas businesses that offers students valuable entry-level job experience, connections with local business professionals, an opportunity for immediate use of their newly acquired job skills, and an active way to learn social skills.

"Our kids leave here ready to get jobs in the real world," says SCOE Vocational Specialist Michael Laharty.

During the cake and punch reception Business Partner Awards were presented to the following firms for providing employment and other workforce preparation assistance to SCOE's "School-to-World" students:

  • Goodwill Industries
  • Subway Sandwiches
  • Atria El Camino Gardens
  • Country Waffles
  • Maaloufs
  • Mediterranean Market
  • Ross Department Stores
  • Dollar Tree Stores (Arden, Mack Rd., Florin Rd., Northgate Blvd.)
  • KB Toys
  • CEC Entertainment/Chuck E. Cheese
  • Galt Ace Hardware, Inc.
  • CDS Parks and Recreation Department
  • Mimi's Cafe
  • Fulton-El Camino Recreation & Park District
  • Anna's Linens
  • Sbarro's Pizza

If you are a business owner and would like to learn more about the "School-to-World" program please call (916) 566-2005.

Student receiving award from Michael Laharty and Debi Lauer

SCOE Vocational Specialist Michael Laharty (center) and SCOE Job Developer Debi Lauer recognize students for their achievements.

Audience listening to Atour Eyvasian speak

Students from Palmiter, Hickey and the LINKS Program recognized for their achievements.