San Diego

Graduating seniors at Monarch School overcome odds

The graduating senior class at Monarch School in Barrio Logan acquired their highschool diplomas Thursday.

SAN DIEGO — The graduating senior class at Monarch School in Barrio Logan acquired their highschool diplomas on Thursday.

“I hope this entire community is proud of these kids because they are an example of what happens when you believe in yourself regardless of your circumstances,” mentioned Afira DeVries, President and CEO of Monarch School Project. “We’re talking about kids coming to school not sure what their security’s going to look like on a given day, struggling with hunger and food insecurity, managing transition when their parents are in a state of flux, and really just not being able to focus, not being able to be present, which is a significant challenge.”

Monarch School Project is a nonprofit partnered with the San Diego County Office of Education. Their function as a Okay-12 faculty is to serve impacted youth who lack steady housing.

“It’s a place where kids come and have both their academic and emotional needs met,” mentioned DeVries. “We have a really robust mental health component to our work and it’s really important for us to emotionally stabilize these students.”

Rosario Alvarez is valedictorian of her graduating class, and she or he thinks Monarch is a particular place.

“I like studying here,” mentioned Alvarez. “I think when I come to Monarch, that makes me like a better person. Here it’s like a family that is always looking for a positive change in the world.”

Diplomas in hand, these college students exemplify how perseverance can accomplish something.

“These last few years have been trying for everybody, but these kids should be an inspiration for anyone who’s facing a challenge and aren’t sure if they can make it,” mentioned DeVries. “Look what these kids did.”

For Alvarez, she has huge plans and may’t wait to start out school.

“I plan to go to Southwestern College and go for paralegal studies and then transfer to a 4-year university, getting to be a criminal lawyer.”

WATCH RELATED: ‘I got here a good distance’ | Graduation day for San Diego highschool seniors (June 2022)

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