August 26, 2016
The YouthSource & Education Department celebrated along 27 youth who have completed and received their GED. The celebration took place at the Salvation Army Red Shield Community Center, minutes from YPI’s Pico Union Community Center. Families, friends, staff, and youth gathered to celebrate the academic achievement of these youth.
The youth recognized in this celebration come from diverse backgrounds and have faced multiple barriers and challenges to their education. Yet, they have shown commitment and perseverance, not allowing the fact that they are not on a traditional educational track distract them from entering employment and post-secondary education, as the majority have already done so.
It is important to recognize milestones for our youth, like attaining their GED. They did not have a traditional high school graduation ceremony, so staff ensured they had their own celebration, which validates their GED as an important achievement, one that will open doors to their future careers. This celebration brought family members and friends together, validating the work and effort of our youth.
For the youth in this celebration, the length of time from when they enrolled and attained their GED ranges from two weeks to two years. This is a testament to the commitment of both the youth and YPI staff, to believe in the potential and abilities of our youth and address barriers without giving up. It speaks to the individualized approach to our services, understanding that every youth is different and their academic journey is unique and must be treated as such. In order to be successful, our programs must be flexible and adaptive to the needs of our youth.
The journey is not over for these 27 youth. They will now continue on, pursuing their career goals. They are a great example of tenacity and determination in the phase of adversity.