SCOE Congratulates its 2017 Graduates
The Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) wishes the best to the students who received their diplomas through SCOE's Alternative and Special Education departments in 2017. Students were honored in a number of ceremonies this spring, including:
- A celebration brunch on May 23 for the more than 30 participants of a teen parenting program who were graduating from SCOE or other schools around the county
- A ceremony on May 26 for 33 students completing SCOE's Transition Program, which provides life and work experience for students with learning disabilities age 18-22
- A ceremony on May 31 for the 25 students receiving their high school diplomas through SCOE's Alternative Education programs.
Moving speeches by both students and the adults who served them were a hallmark of each ceremony.
Teen Parent Brunch
At the Teen Parent Brunch, several graduates (both mothers and one father) shared their journey from discovering they would have a baby to receiving their diploma. They addressed the challenges they had faced and overcome and the challenges still ahead, but also expressed optimism and gratitude for the school staff members and others who helped them along the way. They spoke of the importance of setting goals - even very small ones - and meeting them. They spoke of how their young children motivated them to strive for a better life.
Transition Program Graduation
At the Transition Program graduation, 33 graduates received certificates of completion and three students—Nathan Bray, Kendall Allums and Karla Alvarez—gave eloquent and moving speeches. Dinner and a celebratory dance ceremony followed.
Alternative Education Graduation
At the Alternative Education graduation, two speakers shared their stories of overcoming immense challenges to arrive at graduation day. Their stories were marked by perseverance and a sense of self-confidence gained from proving to themselves what they can accomplish.
One student said, "I told myself that I was going to prove the people wrong that put me down...but I learned I really had to prove it to myself—that I'm capable of following my dreams. This is why I teach my son now to never give up."
SCOE wishes all these students well as they move on to new journeys, challenges and successes!