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.”

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"One Step Closer" by Norma

When I walk through the halls of Civicorps…

I take a moment…

and breathe.

I’ve made it!

My journey has brought me to a safe place. Two years ago I walked across the border, crossed the desert alone unaware of where I would end up. Today, I have persevered. Civicorps has become my second home.

When your family is three thousand miles away, it can be scary. In Guatemala, I had my parents guiding me. And now, my Civicorps teachers, counselors and peers have created a place of sanctuary. At Civicorps I am inspired to work hard and not give up. I have a support network that allows me to try new things. Most recently I played Hermia in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – something completely out of my comfort zone. I didn’t have my family present on opening night, but I had my Civicorps family.

“I have found a happy ending at Civicorps,
but in reality, it is just the beginning.”

Every moment I am at Civicorps, I know I am one step closer to earning my high school diploma. A dream come true.

If I was able to travel across countries and walk through the desert alone, I know I am capable of walking across the graduation stage with my high school diploma in my hand.  But this time, I will not be alone, because I will have my Civicorps family walking alongside me.*

Cuando camino por los pasillos de Civicorps…

tomo un momento…

y respiro.

                                                             ¡Lo hice!

Mi camino me ha llevado a un lugar seguro. Hace dos años crucé la frontera y camine el desierto, sola, sin saber dónde terminaría. Hoy, he perseverado. Civicorps se ha convertido en un segundo hogar.

Cuando tu familia está a tres mil millas de distancia, puede ser aterrador. En Guatemala, tuve a mis padres guiándome. Y ahora, mis maestros, consejeros y compañeros de clase han creado un lugar de santuario. En Civicorps estoy inspirada para trabajar duro y no rendirme. Tengo una red de apoyo que me permite probar cosas nuevas. Recientemente actué el papel de Hermia en “Sueño de Una Noche de Verano” una obra de William Shakespeare, algo completamente diferente a lo que estoy acostumbrada. No tenía a mi familia presente en la noche de estreno, pero sí la presencia de mi familia de Civicorps.

“He encontrado un final feliz en Civicorps, 
pero en realidad, es sólo el comienzo.”

Cada momento que estoy en Civicorps, sé que estoy un paso más cerca de obtener mi diploma. Un sueño hecho realidad.

He tomado un largo camino para llegar aquí, y sé que lograré caminar sobre el escenario de graduación con mi diploma en la mano. Pero esta vez, no estaré sola, porque tendré a mi familia de Civicorps caminando a mi lado.

*This interview with Norma was conducted all in Spanish.
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Corpsmember of the Quarter: Shaniya Burks

Shaniya Burks
Shaniya Burks

Every quarter, staff vote on a Corpsmember who demonstrates personal growth and program success to receive this prestigious award. For Fall Quarter (October, November, December), we honor Shaniya Burks.

Shaniya is a fierce Corpsmember winning over 10 awards at Civicorps and earning 5 tool certifications. As a Crew Leader she has inspired many, including our sponsors who have offered Shaniya interviews as soon as she crosses the graduation stage this June. Congrats Shaniya!

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Recycling Driver Kiara Selected as Corpsmember of the Year

Every year, The Corps Network chooses 6 youth from 130 Service and Conservation Corps across the country for the national Corpsmember of the Year award. Civicorps’ star Recycling Driver, Kiara, was chosen as a Corpsmember of the Year for her exemplary success at Civicorps Recycling and for being a role model to other women as she advances to her Waste Management union apprenticeship in 2018. Congrats Kiara!

Click below to read more about Kiara!

Filed under: News, Student Spotlight

Civicorps student, alumna, and crew supervisor share their stories with East Bay Times

Civicorps was recently selected as a recipient for an annual holiday grant called Share the Spirit, which is sponsored by the Bay Area News Group and benefits needy residents of Alameda and Contra Costa counties by funding nonprofit holiday and outreach programs. As part of the grant, three current and former Civicorps corpsmembers were interviewed by the East Bay Times and shared their stories of strength and finding community at Civicorps.

Read the full story by clicking below!

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