Students and staff of Leo A. Palmiter High School and Elinor L. Hickey Jr./Sr. High School celebrated successes at the 19th Annual "School-to-World" Awards ceremony on May 24.
The "School-to-World" program is a partnership between the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and areas businesses. The joint venture offers students valuable entry-level job experience, connections with local business professionals, an opportunity for immediate use of newly acquired job skills, and an active way to learn social skills.
Serving as the guest speaker at the event was Pastry Chef Edward Martinez. His path to becoming an acclaimed pastry chef at Enotria, in Sacramento, is anything but typical. As a young man growing up in Fresno, he was a member of a street gang. In 2005, facing three felony charges for assault and battery, Martinez promised a judge to enroll in a pastry-making program, leading to a reduced sentence and eventual enrollment in culinary school.
"I worked harder than everybody and I never missed a day of school," he told the students. "I knew I had to work hard because of my background."
Chef Martinez praised the students for getting involved with the WorkAbility Program, a training program for special needs students and designed to promote career awareness and exploration while students complete their secondary education. He told the students he earned his GED while serving time in juvenile hall but was determined to make something of his life through the culinary arts.
"If you love something, make it your passion. Focus 100% on it," Martinez said.
The "School-to-World" program provides the services, support system, and opportunities that most at-risk students need to be ready for college and/or the workforce. The Palmiter and Hickey campuses 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 career technical education program offering career training courses for eligible Community School students. Services are tailored to individual students based on their specific needs instead of through traditional, scripted education.
During the ceremony, student Nichelle C. was presented with the "School-to-World" Award in recognition of her achievements. In addition, several local businesses were honored with Business Partner Awards for providing employment and other workforce preparation assistance to SCOE's "school-to-world" students:
- Ace Hardware
- Anytime Fitness
- Arden Park Florist
- ATV Wholesalers
- Carl's Jr.
- CVS Pharmacy
- Dimple Records
- Fulton-El Camino Parks & Recreation District
- Game Stop
- Great Escapes
- Johnny Rockets
- Nor Cal Fit
- Nor-Cal Woodturners
- Old Navy
- Sacramento Tree Foundation
- Soil Born Farms, Rancho Cordova
- Student Journalism Collaborative
If you are a business owner and would like to learn more about the "School-to-World" Program, call (916) 228-2005.