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Graduation luncheon celebration for foster teens made special by many volunteers

Friends of San Pasqual Academy
Friends of San Pasqual Academy board members are shown at the celebration luncheon they hosted for the 13 graduates of San Pasqual Academy. Former County Board of Supervisor Ron Roberts, one of the founders of San Pasqual Academy, also was present at the luncheon. (L-R) Lois Jones, Dagmar Helgager, Teri Summerhays, Ron Roberts, Joan Scott and Kathy Lathrum.
(TextEditor

Courtesy of Friends of San Pasqual Academy

)

These are unusual times for many, but especially for the Class of 2021. It is a time when a graduate’s hard work and achievements are to be recognized and acknowledged and for the foster graduates at San Pasqual Academy, this also holds true. For many, they are the first in their family to graduate from high school. Many have attended numerous schools during their life and even have had their schooling interrupted. Some have attended up to five different high schools before coming to San Pasqual Academy. Abuse, neglect and trauma have been present in their lives.

National Charity League Sustainers
National Charity League Sustainers created many wonderful gifts for all the foster graduates. The items were assembled at the home of Holly Lewry and this project was coordinated by Diane Dale. Pictured are Kathy Flather, Holly Lewry, Vicki Minteer, Diane Dale, Natalie Arnett, Jane Coffin, Dana Mueller, Dominique Nielander, Deena Holcomb, Kelly Zimmer and Tricia Downey. The mothers and daughters of the Del Norte NCL Chapter have been supporting San Pasqual Academy for over 18 years.
(Courtesy of Friends of San Pasqual Academy

)

To celebrate them, a pre-graduation luncheon was held for the 13 foster graduates of San Pasqual Academy, coordinated by Debby Syverson. Friends of San Pasqual Academy board members personally handed each graduate special items that were donated and created by many caring individuals. All the foster teens were recognized for their achievement of graduating by the board members and were very appreciative of the many individuals and groups who donated very special items to them.

Kathy Lathrum and Dagmar Helgager
Kathy Lathrum and Dagmar Helgager display a duffle bag that has each student’s name embroidered on it. Teen Volunteers In Action, coordinated by Kathy Lathrum, filled these bags with sheets, towels, a pillow, hygiene items, a blanket and other useful items for all the graduates of San Pasqual Academy.
(Courtesy of Friends of San Pasqual Academy
)

Friends of San Pasqual Academy also awarded all graduates scholarships to further their education, whether it would be to a four-year or community college or to a vocational school. Currently, they are supporting over 80 graduates in higher education. Some of these colleges have included Cal State San Marcos, San Francisco State, UCLA, San Diego State, Humbolt State, San Jose State, Sacramento State, Cal State San Lois Obispo, Santa Clara, San Diego City College, Southwestern College and many others.

Jan Jordan, Teri Summerhays and Candy Mittag
Jan Jordan, Teri Summerhays and Candy Mittag display beautiful handmade quilts and pillow cases that El Camino Quilters created for all the foster graduates of San Pasqual Academy. El Camino Quilters have been creating these unique, one-of-a-kind items for all the foster teens for many years.
(Courtesy of Friends of San Pasqual Academy
)

Teen Volunteers In Action, for the 15th year in a row, donated personalized duffel bags that were filled with useful household items. Sheets, towels, a pillow, hygiene items, an alarm clock and more were included in the duffel bags that each had a graduate’s name embroidered on them. The Del Norte Chapter of National Charity League created beautiful baskets that contained various laundry supplies, a shoe rack, snacks and cards of encouragement. Home-made quilts were made by El Camino Quilters and the Junior Assistance League also provided many wonderful items for the foster graduates. A professional photo of each graduate was made possible by supporters of Friends of San Pasqual Academy. Each graduate received their senior portraits with great appreciation, since many of the foster teens do not have many photos of themselves. A much-needed laptop computer and printer, again made possible by the donors and supporters of Friends of San Pasqual Academy, were given to all 13 graduates. Friends of San Pasqual Academy also purchased George Foreman grills, toaster ovens, tool kits, first aid kits, grocery gift cards, Target gift cards, flashlights and other useful items that will help each graduate as they begin the next chapter in their life.

The Class of 2021 graduates were greatly appreciative of this special luncheon and for the wonderful gifts from many caring individuals. They were very grateful for all the time, hard work and labor of love of others, that made them feel remembered and recognized. The continuous efforts of many made this unusual, uncertain time something to celebrate.

A laundry basket full of cleaning supplies
A laundry basket full of cleaning supplies, quarters for laundry machines, snacks, an iron and more was given to the foster graduates of San Pasqual Academy. This basket was created by National Charity League members of the Del Norte Chapter. Pictured is Teri Summerhays, who was the coordinator of this project.
(Courtesy of Friends of San Pasqual Academy
)

Friends of San Pasqual Academy has been caring for the foster students and alumni for over 20 years and is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization. The graduation rate at San Pasqual Academy is 94%, compared to the national average of foster graduates, which is 45%. Friends of San Pasqual Academy takes pride in this successful, unique program and continues to fight to keep this home/school open for its current and future foster teens. To learn more about Friends of San Pasqual Academy, visit www.friendsofsanpasqualacademy.org. Donations can be sent to Friends of San Pasqual Academy, PO Box 8202, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.


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