With restrictions on gatherings, honoring this year’s graduates required some creative thinking by our staff. In Santa Clara County, staff surprised young people with celebratory care packages, while our San Francisco and Solano County Independent Living Skills Programs quickly adapted their annual graduation ceremonies to be held via video conference.
Addressing his fellow high school graduates at SF ILSP, Ziyad (pictured) acknowledged the many challenges they’ve all come through in their lives to reach this milestone and encouraged them to “rise, become what you want to become and don’t let anyone say no.” Ziyad’s rise will continue as he joins the Class of 2024 at California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
For Rami, A First Place participant in Los Angelels who earned her associate’s degree in psychology from Santa Monica College, a place to call home and the support of her First Place team has been instrumental in allowing her to pursue her goals.
“When you don’t have a support system, you don’t have a family, and you don’t have help, how can you do it all all by yourself?” she asks. “First Place changed my life. It made me want to be better and do better, and it helped me take my mind off things that I shouldn’t be worried about at this age and and focus on things I need to at this time in my life.”
Rami will be transfering to a four-year university in the fall to continue working toward her bachelor’s degree.
For Ziyad, Rami, and so many more, graduation is just the beginning. With your generous support, First Place can continue to provide life-changing services for those in the class of 2020 and far beyond, helping them set themselves up for lasting success.
Read on for select highlights of the Class of 2020 at First Place
High School Diplomas