Corpsmember of the Quarter: Francis Sanson

Francis exhibits outstanding leadership skills and demonstrates an earnest commitment to service and civic engagement. A dedicated member of the community, he volunteers with homeless shelters on the weekends and in his very first term, has already completed all community service hours required to graduate from Civicorps. Francis sets an excellent example of citizenship for Civicorps and beyond.

A quiet and hardworking, noble leader, Francis is a role model for their cohort and for the entire Civicorps community. Watch out for this young individual because they are undeniably going places!

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Corpsmember of the Quarter: Aaron Chanthavong

 

Mr. Chanthavong has done an excellent job at using his resources at Civicorps to help launch him into his career path. He is currently an intern at Tech Exchange where he leads the sales of refurbished computers; and he has taken it upon himself to guide, train and make new interns feel welcomed. He is a successful full time college student at Merritt College, earning A’s and B’s. He hopes to graduate with honors as he earns a degree in Computer Science.

Civicorps is delighted to recognize Aaron Chanthavong as Corpsmember of the Quarter for Summer 2018.

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A Second Chance Opportunity

A Second Chance Opportunity

By Dennis

One of the first things we learned in our Civicorps orientation is that being here is a “second chance opportunity.”  And if you see an opportunity, you should always take it.  Civicorps gives us opportunities that a lot of places don’t provide, and it has a lot to give.

Before I came to Civicorps I was getting straight A’s at school, I just felt like I wasn’t getting as much support with all the challenges in my life. I became homeless and was shuffling from home to home. I felt teachers didn’t care about the students, and were focused on grades and numbers.They didn’t care about me.

But the teachers here at Civicorps actually advise and help me make plans to succeed, whether it’s assigning extra work or finding a better class schedule for me to get great grades.  I feel like my teachers and counselors really care about me. I am grateful for the transportation, housing and emotional support that has also allowed me to be successful here.

The folks that are advancing with me are like family to me. Civicorps in general is like family to me.  I’ve never seen so much care and loyalty and trust.

And it’s not just about getting my high school diploma; being at Civicorps is also about building my career options.  When I finish the program, I know Civicorps will help me find employment.  Learning skills at the Job Training Center is such good experience to have on my resume.  When you join the JTC, you learn how to operate tools, how to be a leader and you contribute to the good of the whole community in Oakland.

I’m still a straight A student.  A+, actually!  I still need to study hard, and Civicorps is helping me with my challenges.

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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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