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.

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KQED Podcast: Stories of Persevering for a Diploma

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, NPR One or wherever you get your podcasts to hear three Civicorps graduates share their stories: why they didn’t graduate high school, what convinced them to come back to school, and how they made it through.

“On a sunny day in early June, 12 young people received their high school diplomas at a moving ceremony at the Oakland Museum of California. Graduations are always full of emotion and excitement, but this one was a little different because these young people left high school, but came back to get their diplomas. The friends and loved ones gathered to celebrate their achievement knew exactly how hard they had worked for this moment and the obstacles they’d overcome.”

“High school dropout is a label I’m thankful to tear off me as a person,” said Jeremy Ward during his graduation speech.

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Corpsmember of the Quarter: William Cordova

Civicorps is delighted to recognize William Cordova as Corpsmember of the Quarter for Spring 2018. William goes above and beyond both in and out of the classroom to achieve his goals. He has the intrinsic motivation of a lifelong learner. His eagerness allows him to exceed expectations both in school and on the job. William has perfect attendance and volunteers as a teacher’s assistant. On top of his academic work and job training at Civicorps, William also takes classes at Laney College and began a part-time internship with Tech Exchange. He follows through with his commitments and is a great example of a professional and growth-minded individual.

 

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Connecting Youth to the Outdoors

Civicorps provides outdoor trips to our Corpsmembers as part of our Connecting Youth to the Outdoors (CYO) program, which introduces our students to the wonders of nature through trips that teach leadership and courage, foster healing from trauma, and build peer support while inspiring a life-long love of the outdoors.

On August 23rd, 7 Corpsmembers river rafted down “The Gorge,” a Class III section of the South Fork American River, with OARS out of Lotus, CA. For 5 Corpsmembers, it was their first time river rafting. This is a high adrenaline, challenging, yet super fun activity on the river. Corpsmembers swam in the river wearing their personal floatation devices, and also had the opportunity to dive from atop a 15 foot cliff.

“It was my first time white water rafting. I enjoyed working as a team and getting hit by the waves. I actually fell off the boat, but it did not phase me. I had a rush of adrenaline that made it so much fun!” – Tony, Corpsmember

Thanks to OARS White Water Rafting and Bay Area Wilderness Training for making this opportunity happen.

On September 7th, 10 Corpsmembers sea kayaked in two person boats from South Sausalito to Angel Island Friday morning. Eight of these Corpsmembers had never been kayaking. They described this new experience as fun, stress-relieving, and for some, an adventure to overcome fears.

“This was actually my second time kayaking, but never this far. I loved that we worked together as a team to get us to our destination. I had fun and really bonded with my fellow Corpsmembers. I recommend everyone to do it, it’s so beautiful, and towards the end, I really loved the night hike.” – Claudia, Corpsmember

The trip also included a night hike to the summit with 360 degree views of the Bay Area and all the bridges.  Corpsmembers stayed overnight in a historical Civil War era bunkhouse on Angel Island. By next morning, they were ready to kayak back to Sausalito.

Thanks to ETC Sea Kayaking, Angel Island and Bay Area Wilderness Training for partnering with us and giving our Corpsmembers an experience to remember.

Visit our facebook to view more photos!

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A Weekend at Yosemite National Park - 2018

June 15-17, 2018

Civicorps students and staff spent a weekend at Yosemite National Park, enjoying the outdoors and helping to keep the landscape beautiful. This year, we camped at Wawona Campground, where we set up tents, made s’mores and played games around the camp fire. Civicorps engaged in a service project, with students and staff  removing litter from 100 campsites. We also enjoyed the legendary Yosemite scenery; we swam in the freezing yet refreshing Merced River, hiked Vernal Falls, were mesmerized by the tall Sequoias in Mariposa Grove, and explored the Yosemite Village.

For many of our students, this was their first time visiting the majestic national park.

“Going to Yosemite for the first time allowed me to experience a different side of California’s natural beauty. I’ve never gone camping. I learned how to build my tent, I helped start a campfire and bonded with fellow Corpsmembers over s’mores, scary stories and games.” – A.D., Corpsmember

“On this trip, I learned that nothing can stop me if I put my mind to it. I met an 8 year old boy who did not have legs and was hiking. He inspired me. As long as I have breath and 10 fingers and 10 toes, I am never giving up on my dreams. I learned a lot about myself being in nature.” – Eboni’, Corpsmember Grad, Class of June 2018

“This was my second time going to Civicorps’ Yosemite trip. It’s an opportunity to bond and get to know other Corpsmembers and staff. Oakland can be stressful at times, and this weekend’s trip to nature allowed me to forget my problems and relax for a moment.” – Jorge, Corpsmember Grad, Class of June 2018

Check out more photos on our Facebook Page. #ServeOutdoors

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Corpsmember of the Quarter: Tyneisha Crooks

Tyneisha Crooks
Tyneisha Crooks

Every quarter, staff select a Corpsmember who demonstrates personal growth, determination to succeed, and achievement in the program to become Corpsmember of the Quarter. For Winter Quarter 2018 (January, February, & March), we honor Tyneisha Crooks.

Tyneisha is a fierce Learning Academy Intern at Civicorps. She helps all students and staff ,and keeps the academy running smoothly. In addition to her internship, Tyneisha volunteers with the student appeals panel and focus groups. For this year’s Shakespeare play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” with just two days before opening night, Tyneisha volunteered to play Hippolyta when a student was no longer available. Her positive attitude kept the show going! Congratulations, Tyneisha!

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