Applause and cheers echoed through three Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) campuses on June 4 for a special "Celebration of Heroes."
Gerber Road Community School, North Area Community School, and Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High School special assemblies to recognize student accomplishments in academics, athletics, the arts, community service, student government, and more.
The schools also recognized community members who work with students in the LINKS program, SCOE's pioneering alternative education project that creates a bridge between academics and job readiness. Through participation in LINKS, students in SCOE Juvenile Court and Community Schools benefit from mentoring, work experience, and more to strengthen their academic and personal success.
Named by County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon as LINKS Mentors of the Year were Todd Humphreys (a mentor at Hickey High School), Gwen Jackson (Gerber Road Community School) and Karen George (North Area Community School).
Superintendent Gordon additionally recognized the LINKS Employers of the Year: Cesar Nevarez (SMOG Shop Diagnostics), who works with students at Hickey High School, and Clara Donaldson (Regional Transit), who employs students at Gerber Road Community School.
Several SCOE employees and volunteers were honored as LINKS Support Person of the Year: Zenneah Jenkins, Gerber secretary; Jasmine Espinosa, AmeriCorps staff member working at North Area Community School; and Cynthia Dunning, Hickey High School teacher.
"Hero" awards will also be presented to high-achieving students and adult leaders at additional SCOE Juvenile Court and Community Schools, including Morgan/River Oak, El Centro and Carson Creek Jr./Sr. High Schools.
SCOE's Juvenile Court and Community Schools program is aimed at successfully transitioning each student back to an appropriate educational, training and/or employment setting upon release from a youth detention facility or leaving court jurisdiction. SCOE serves approximately 650 students daily who are under the protection or authority of the juvenile court system, who have been expelled, or are otherwise considered at-risk.