A glimpse at our December 2018 graduates

Join Civicorps’ December 13th Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony at the Oakland Museum of California | RSVP

Moniqué 

By graduating, I am proving to myself that “si se puede, YES YOU CAN!”

Even though it’s taken me longer than planned, I am graduating, which is something that my parents and many of my family weren’t able to accomplish. I am grateful for the obstacles I’ve encountered because I have learned and grown from them to become independent, a better partner, and a leader. Having that diploma in my hand is a representation of my drive to succeed.

I am grateful for my partner Lamont. He and I started Civicorps together, and are graduating together. He is my rock as I am to his. Mr. Dunn (Dean of Students) has always said that we would be a distraction to each other, but that just fueled our want to succeed and prove him wrong. And we did it! For that I am also grateful for Mr. Dunn.

I plan to enroll in college, take business courses and dive into my entrepreneurial personality. I have dreams of getting my cosmetology certificate and a Bachelor degree in business administration. Then… embark in several of my start up ideas that includes a beauty skincare line… but for now, I want to enjoy the bliss of graduating, walk on stage wearing my high heels, glitter and make up!

 

Nuk

I first came to Civicorps in 2013, took a break in 2014 and came back in 2017. It’s been a journey to finally reach it to the end and receive my high school diploma.  I am grateful for the support I received at Civicorps and for finally seeing a best version of myself here.

One of my proudest moments while at Civicorps was when I won an award for an art piece I submitted to the ACLU. I love art, and have a talent for it. People know me as an artist, which at first, was hard for me to acknowledge. But when your passion is being recognized by others, it really makes you believe in it.

I am grateful today to have even been commissioned to do art work for others.  Who knows, maybe in the distant future I will have an art show. It’s all about perseverance, staying on track of your goals and fighting against your adversities. And that’s what I will continue to do.

I am setting an example to my family by crossing that stage and receiving my high school diploma. I want my son to know that his father will always work hard and will continue to achieve my dreams for him to be proud of.

Sandi

My oldest daughter came home from school one day and asked me if I went to college. It hurt me to say that I didn’t even graduate from high school. It was in this moment when I realized that I needed to be more of an example for my kids and show them that they should not settle for less.

I want opportunities to open up. I want to give them everything my parents didn’t give me. When I walk the stage to receive my high school diploma, I will tell my daughter that this diploma is for her. Going through Civicorps I have seen opportunities present themselves that I would have never seen staying at home. My education will continue, and I will not stop until I have achieved an Associate’s certification and a Bachelor’s degree.

I have two chainsaw certifications from Civicorps, not too many woman have earned that. I currently am a Customer Service Intern at Civicorps. From being in the field, to working behind a desk, I am capable of anything.

Tony

I am one of few Civicorps students that is graduating within a year, 10 months to be exact. That itself is something I am very proud of.

Growing up I was on track to graduate high school and go on to a 4 year university. But ever since 9th grade, I knew traditional school was not for me. I was bored, unmotivated, and felt unsupported. My parents always had the need to compare me to others. And it was these expectations that ultimately made me give up on myself.

Civicorps was my choice to try something new and on my own terms. It was here that I got to be independent and not have to feel like a failure. My teachers really believed in me and that’s what motivated me to begin thinking about the future and pursuing the things I want to do.

I am happy I will continue to remain part of this community as I complete a one year internship at Civicorps. In the fall of 2019, I will be enrolling in college studying biochemistry. My goal is to teach science and maybe become a science teacher at Civicorps. If I put my mind on it, stay focused, I know I can accomplish it.

Filed under: Blog, Civicorps Events, Student SpotlightTagged with: , , , ,

Health and Wellness Fair 2018

Civicorps once again had a successful Health and Wellness Fair sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. Many thanks to our guest presenters SambaFunk for energizing Corpsmembers with African dance; Rose Sharon Oates for guiding students in the practice of stress-relieving methods; Beneficial State Bank for advising in financial management; Good Vibrations for promoting positive and safe sexuality; and Civicorps staff for facilitating holistic self-care and healthy eating workshops!

110 Corpsmembers participated in the day’s activities. Thanks to our sponsor, a healthy breakfast was also provided. Throughout the day, Corpsmembers participated in 6 workshops and a scavenger hunt that ended with prizes including Safeway and Starbucks gift cards, Clipper Cards and trips to Chuck E. Cheese and Good Vibrations.

All Corpsmembers received valuable information in health wellness. We thank all staff who helped make this possible! We look forward to the next Health and Wellness Fair in 2019!

Filed under: Blog, Civicorps EventsTagged with: , , , , ,

Four June grads share what they look forward to after graduation!

ANTOINE

My teacher at Bridge Academy knew that I wasn’t going to graduate on time and connected me to Mr. Dunn, the Dean of Students at Civicorps. Mr. Dunn is one of the most influential people who finally made me realize my potential. He pushed my buttons, allowed me to be competitive with my academics, and prove that I could do it. At Civicorps, I really found a place where I got to focus.

I didn’t think graduating would have been possible. I even told my friend I am going to shed a tear when I walk the stage at graduation. My high school diploma will mean everything for me. I see my friends graduating from here and I know it’s going to make my mom proud. I can’t wait to look at Mr. Dunn with my diploma. I am going to be so excited and tell him “I love you. You got me here.”

“If basketball doesn’t work, I want to study law and be a lawyer. I just have to remember to always focus on me!”

BRENDA

I didn’t think graduating would be possible. I went through some hard stuff in high school, traumatizing events that distracted me from my education.

But when my little brother Angel was born, it changed my life for the better. My mother needed help taking care of him and for the first six months of his life, I became like his mother. He is the angel who came to make a difference. This was around the time that I signed up for Civicorps.

In my time at Civicorps, I have improved my communication skills, which landed me a job as a receptionist at a dentist office where I meet with different types of people. Being at Civicorps, I have really focused on me, which may sound selfish, but in doing so I was able to see what really matters in my life. I’ve stayed positive with my goals. I hope to work with technology and one day obtain my X-ray technician license. It’s where I see myself growing and learning professionally. Maybe someday I’ll have my own practice.

“Angel gave me a purpose: because of him I changed the bad influences in my life and focused on me. I stayed positive. I struggled but always came back to finish strong.”

ANTHONY

Three years ago, my mother brought me to Civicorps. When I got here, I knew that graduating was possible, but I did have trouble believing that.

The staff here showed me tough love. They saw me and allowed me to believe in myself. I became a Crew Leader at the Job Training Center, which in turn allowed me to grow as an individual. I have learned a lot about myself and my potential to do great things. It’s been a rewarding experience.

I want to tell new students to keep trying, no matter how hard it will be and how long it will take… keep trying! Civicorps has taken me farther than I ever believed I could be. And now I am excited for future job opportunities in welding or construction. Things are going in the right direction, and I look forward to my next steps in life.

“Being humble and being patient is what I am taking away from Civicorps. I learned a lot, but being quiet really made me see a different side of things.”

DAISHA

I enrolled at Civicorps in October 2016. It took me a while to really convince myself that I was ready to take this step. I had to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself, “Yes! You are ready!”

Growing up I didn’t have a lot of support. I was moving a lot, which always disrupted my education. The possibility of graduating really was a fairy tale. But my older brother helped changed that perspective. He made it to college, and then left for a while, but returned and graduated. Now he is a licensed police officer.

And when I became pregnant with my baby Zane, I had a bigger reason to not give up on my education. So many people told me I couldn’t do it, but in my mind I kept telling myself that a baby can’t stop me! Now I am one week away from graduating. I want my son to be next to me when I walk the stage. He is my reason for getting my education and creating a positive future for our family.

“I plan to go to Laney for my associate’s degree, and then take business classes at a 4 year university. In 10 years I hope to have a nail tech business, a reliable job that will provide my son a clear path for his education.”

Filed under: Blog, Civicorps Events, Student SpotlightTagged with: , , , ,

Civicorps Family Campout

Civicorps launched its first annual family campout this spring at Anthony Chabot Regional Park! The beautiful Civicorps community of young and old, came together for a weekend in nature. For many Civicorps students’ children, it was their first time camping. Games were played, the marshmallows went quick, wild turkeys rambled through the campsite, trails were explored, and many, many pancakes were eaten. Everyone woke up together feeling communal and positive. It was an opportunity to share Civicorps’ love of the outdoors with children and to establish connections with parents in authentic ways.

“It reminded me of why I love working for Civicorps and provided an opportunity for me to get to know some of our amazing Corpsmembers and their families.” – Brian Hickey, CFO at Civicorps

We were grateful to have had 9 Corpsmembers families present, as well as 6 staff families. In total, 25 children had a fun-time camping. Thanks to Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) for providing all the camping gear. Enjoy pictures from the camping trip below!

Filed under: Blog, Civicorps EventsTagged with: , , , ,

Civicorps Receives Community Partnership Award

On Thursday, April 19th, Civicorps was presented with Mutual of America’s Community Partnership Merit Finalist Award. This prestigious national  award recognized Civicorps’ Teamster Union Apprenticeship Career Pathway Program in partnership with Waste Management that provides a pathway to lucrative union careers in truck transportation.

The award luncheon was held at the Oakland Marriott City Center Skyline Room where 100 guests enjoyed the sweeping views of Oakland during the awards ceremony. Theodore Herman, Vice Chairman of Mutual of America Foundation and Abbas Moloo, Regional Vice President of Mutual of America made opening remarks. Then, Thomas Gilliam, Chairman and CEO of Mutual of America presented certificates to organizations who helped create this career pathway:

Phil Dillard, Board President; Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney; Alan Lessik, Executive Direcotor; Minna Tao, Recology Golden Gate

Mayor Libby Schaaf, gave a powerful speech on unity and perseverance, recognizing the strengths of the partnership. Then, the Mutual of America Foundation presented Civicorps with a $25,000 check. An unexpected surprise!

Mayor Libby Schaaf

To honor those key individuals who helped create this partnership, one-of-a-kind commemorative coins were presented to Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney, Waste

Management’s Jacob Buckley, Teamster Local 70’s Felix Martinez, and Recology Golden Gate’s Minna Tao.

The ceremony was filled with inspiring speeches that demonstrated the strong relationships Oakland has forged to create career pathways for Oakland young adults. Thanks to Mutual of America Foundation and all our partners for a joyous celebration!

Check out photos from the event: FB Album.

Listen to Civicorps on KCBS radio talking about our pioneering partnership.

Filed under: Blog, Civicorps Events, NewsTagged with: , , , , , ,

College and Career Fair 2018

Civicorps’ College and Career Fair 2018 featured opportunities for students to learn about job skills, trades, and pathways to college. We had representative from the following Bay Area programs:

During this series of presentations, students asked questions, signed up and applied for programs, and networked with the representatives. The College and Career Fair is an annual event that permits Civicorps students to explore different career options as they prepare to graduate and earn their high school diploma.

Filed under: Civicorps EventsTagged with: , , , ,