For graduating seniors, this is a very different time. To ease disappointment of possibly not having a conventional graduation ceremony, Friends of San Pasqual Academy hosted a celebration for each graduate of San Pasqual Academy. Friends members Kathy Lathrum, Debby Syverson and Joan Scott met with each senior and gave them special items to help recognize them and honor them. Graduating is a huge accomplishment for the foster teens, since they have had to overcome so many obstacles. Many have attended numerous schools, have had their education disrupted and have experienced trauma. It is also a very emotional time for them, since they are not only leaving their school, they are leaving their home. For many, San Pasqual Academy provided a safe, supportive, nurturing environment, where they could focus on their studies, participate in athletics and have a “normal” high school experience. All the seniors were very appreciative for the recognition they received.
Many of these graduates plan to continue on with their education. Currently Friends of San Pasqual Academy is supporting over 80 high school graduates who are still attending schools that include UCLA, Cal State San Marcos, San Francisco State, San Diego State, Chico State, Humbolt State, San Jose State, Sacramento State, Palomar College, Miracosta College, Southwestern College and various trade schools.
“These are amazing kids who want to pursue a higher education. They have had to attend multiple schools as they’ve been moved around the foster care system, interrupting their efforts to meet the requirements for graduation or develop bonds with other students and adults. When they arrive at San Pasqual Academy, they are grateful to remain at one school, get involved in school activities, and continue their education in a safe, consistent, and stable environment”, states Lois Jones, board member of Friends of San Pasqual Academy. According to Teri Summerhays, board member of Friends of San Pasqual Academy, “Our foster students’ lives have been changed and continue to change due to the caring efforts of others. They are aware that many people in our community really do care about them and support them in various ways. This committed support of others motivates our foster teens to work hard, pursue their dreams and their self-esteem and self-worth are highly elevated. They are grateful and know others are cheering for them in life.”
Friends of San Pasqual Academy is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. They have been caring for the foster students and alumni of San Pasqual Academy for over 20 years. Board members include Teri Summerhays, Lois Jones, Dagmar Helgager, Kathy Lathrum, Karen Ventura, Andrea Reynolds, Debby Syverson and Joan Scott. Donations can be sent to PO Box 8202, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. For more information, visit friendsofsanpasqualacademy.org. or call (858) 759-3298.