Proud family members, friends, mentors, and teachers cheered as students from the graduating classes representing five Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) community school programs received their diplomas during a June 16 ceremony. The ceremony featured former Sacramento Monarch and two-time Olympic gold medalist Ruthie Bolton as commencement speaker.
Held at the Sierra Health Foundation, the ceremony acknowledged the academic achievements of 28 students graduating from the Elinor Lincoln Hickey High School, North Area Community School, Gerber Road Community School, LINKS Academy at Marian Anderson, and the Boys & Girls Club LINKS Academy.
In addressing the graduating classes, County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon told the students to be proud of their achievements.
"Many of you beat some very tough odds to reach this point in your lives," Superintendent Gordon told the graduates. "But today is the day to tell all of the people who doubted you—and to tell yourselves—no one should underestimate you. Don't underestimate the great potential you possess."
Ms. Bolton told the graduating students they owe their success to supportive friends and family, and to hard work.
"You have come a long way and you have worked very hard and come very far to get where you are today," Ms. Bolton told the students. "Keep working and trying hard. If you fall down, get back up. You have to keep fighting."
Assisting Superintendent Gordon in the presentation of diplomas, along with Ms. Bolton, were Sacramento County Board of Education Trustees Greg Geeting and Jackie Levy. Also on hand to congratulate the students was retired Deputy Superintendent Marty Cavanaugh, who created SCOE's Golden Bell Award-winning LINKS program.
"You succeeded during those time that you thought you might fail. You did not let fear defeat you. You went the extra mile," Mr. Cavanaugh told the graduates.
SCOE community school students have the opportunity to benefit from enrollment in the LINKS program. LINKS is a groundbreaking SCOE career technical education model that is aimed at helping high-risk students succeed. Services are tailored to individual students based on their specific needs instead of through traditional, scripted education.
Sierra Health Foundation is a private philanthropic organization promoting improved health and quality of life for the people of Northern California. The foundation provides in-kind meeting and event space for nonprofit organizations through its Conference and Convening Program, welcoming thousands of guests annually.
Following the diploma ceremony, family members, friends, mentors, school faculty, and staff celebrated at a reception, hosted by Sierra Health Foundation.