Regional organizations are consistently delivering programs that offer youth and young adults the opportunity to acquire hands-on, practical experience, gain knowledge and be supported as they work toward their educational and career goals. Innovative programs promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) based learning and provide academic and life-skills mentoring to improve student achievement and overall graduation rates. Organizations are investing in new facilities and providing financial support to learners of all ages to ensure that everyone has the opportunity for a quality education. Programs like these are having a positive influence on the Live Well San Diego Education Indicator leading to economic, social and psychological factors that, over time, can also influence overall health and wellbeing.
Access Youth Academy has plans for a new facility in southeastern San Diego that will have the ability to serve over 1,300 students per year, like Djulia and Joyce who share their experiences as current students at the Academy.
SUCCESS STORIES INFLUENCING KNOWLEDGE
Over 850 young adults and allies came together to discuss ways to connect disconnected youth to educational and employment opportunities at the 2019 Opportunity Summit hosted by San Diego Workforce Partnership in partnership with representatives from 2-1-1- San Diego, Cajon Valley Union School District , San Diego Unified School District , DETOUR , RISE San Diego and others.
MAKING IMPACT PERSONAL
MiraCosta College students Carlos Castro and Rita Viland are great examples of overcoming obstacles and taking advantage of programs offered by community colleges.
Castro, just a few years ago, was expelled from high school, sidetracked by substance abuse, and had little interest in education. Thanks to MiraCosta College, the PUENTE Program, and Castro’s involvement with the MiraCosta College soccer team, he earned an Associate of Arts degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in social and behavioral sciences.
“Being involved in school, being engaged in class, it just made me
feel like I belonged, it made me feel good about myself,” Castro said.
Viland, born in the Transylvanian city of Oradea, originally came to MiraCosta College for its English Language Institute that offers international students the opportunity to improve their proficiency in English. That led to her enrolling in MiraCosta College’s Global Studies program that was launched last fall. Viland graduated in May with a certificate in Global Studies.
“The people who work at MiraCosta have gone out of their way to try to help me navigate the challenges that you can find when you’re here on a student visa,” said Viland. “I feel like I’m being supported by everybody.”
Growing up, Jesus Gama was fascinated by the mobile phone market, so Jesus brought on investors and started his own design and phone repair business, GamaTech.
As a student at Lincoln High School, Jesus Gama participated in a resume workshop lead by the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s CONNECT2Careers (C2C) program. He had positive memories about the trainers’ enthusiasm and he even put together his first resume during the workshop. “They had everything pretty much set up for you. I enjoyed working with them and they were very helpful. Help like that is unforgettable,” says Gama.
Recently, Gama got in touch with his C2C peer job coach and focused on creating a resume suited to his job interests. He worked to integrate specific edits to his resume that highlighted relevant experiences and skills he obtained since attending that first C2C resume workshop.
“CONNECT2Careers helped me create a great updated resume…I decided to take the resume they helped me create and went out searching for a job,” says Gama.
Gama used the C2C portal to explore employment opportunities and apply for jobs. Eventually, Gama accepted a position at a local restaurant, which best suited his work needs and helped him pay back investors of GamaTech.
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