In a ceremony broadcast on YouTube today, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) celebrated the successes of 75 students who graduated from SCOE’s Community Schools and Senior Extension programs.
“Graduates, this has been an especially challenging time for everyone—and especially for all of you. I cannot tell you how much we have admired your resiliency and your grit,” Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon told the graduates. “We know how hard you’ve worked to reach this goal of earning your diploma.”
Cassandra and Rick Jennings were the keynote speakers for the graduation ceremony. Casandra Jennings, President of the Greater Sacramento Urban League, talked about the many challenges the graduates had faced, including COVID-19, social unrest, police brutality, and unjust situations. She emphasized that students need to focus on a productive path forward. “You are an overcomer. You have survived and thrived. If you set your goals, keep yourself focused, don't get distracted…then I think you'll be able to achieve your goals and really forge ahead. You have an opportunity to focus. To be resilient to anything that is coming before you.”
Rick Jennings, a Sacramento City Council member and CEO of the Center for Fathers and Families, echoed the challenge to set concrete goals, also encouraging the graduates to identify good people to guide them along the way—like his uncle had for him. “Because of Uncle Tommy, I got a scholarship to University of Maryland to play football and to run track,” he explained. “Because of his love and support for me, I won a Super Bowl ring with the Oakland Raiders in my very first year in the NFL. That support of a loving family member or a friend can help you go a long way in life.”
About the Community Schools Program
Community schools provide an alternative educational program for students from various Sacramento County school districts. Districts may refer students who have been expelled. Community schools provide core academics and interventions aligned with education standards. Students receive additional support and placement, counseling, and the opportunity for career exploration and Career Technical Education (CTE) courses.
About the Senior Extension Program
SCOE’s Senior Extension Program was launched in 2016 to re-engage students in jeopardy of dropping out of high school, or who have been out of school and want to return to complete requirements for their diplomas. The program involves a combination of independent study and classroom work that allows students to earn credits while still fulfilling work and family obligations—things that would otherwise have prevented them from completing their high school education.
Senior Extension is offered at the following SCOE school sites: North Area Community School, Gerber Jr./Sr. High School, and Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High School. Services are also offered in Galt.