Lindsey Salcido, CAHC’s Central Valley Coordinator for the Healthy Relationships and Economic Pathways (H-REP) program, was invited to attend the Merced County Office of Education’s graduation for the Break the Code and H-REP cohort on June 23, 2017. Read about Lindsey’s wonderful experience below!
I arrived around 11:50 am on a typical warm summer day in Merced. Walking into the classroom, I saw the energetic students eagerly awaiting the graduation ceremony. To the side of the classroom, a giant vanilla cake topped with a chocolate gradation hat and box of freshly baked cookies also awaited. As the clock struck noon, it was time to begin.
Adam Lane, a Health Educator with Valley Crisis Center, called up each student individually and handed them their certificate of completion for the H-REP program. Lara Olson, also a Health Educator with Valley Crisis Center, handed each student an H-REP canteen and lanyard with a USB drive. Each student sat down and explored their parting gifts. Monica Rocha, who teaches the Break-the-Code piece that introduces students to the fundamentals of computer use by teaching various operating systems, terminology, and internet skills, then approached the front of the classroom. She called up each student once again to present them with a certificate of completion. As everyone enjoyed cake and cookies, each student was called back to receive their stipend and Chromebook.
The excitement from the students lit up the room; they had made so much progress through the program, and it was thrilling to celebrate their accomplishments. H-REP is offering important tools to these youth and it is truly exhilarating thinking of the possibilities they have with the tools offered from H-REP and Break-the-Code.