By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Taylion High Desert Academy celebrated on Thursday the graduation of 27 students from its High School curriculum. The event featured a drive-by graduation in order to meet social distancing guidelines set by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“Our students have worked so hard to get to this point. We are extremely proud of them and know they will take on new and exciting projects that will allow them to make a difference in this world,” Taylion High Desert Academy Principal Aaron Ritter said.
COVID-19 guidelines might have eliminated the traditional graduation, but administrators and teachers put their heart and soul in making sure students were sent off in the most positive manner. “We are a family and today we celebrate the accomplishments of our students and their families,” Ritter added.
One of those success stories is Caleb Mateo, who retells below, in his own words why he considers his graduation “a miracle.”
“Graduating is the result of winning my personal inner battle with distraction and impulse. Throughout my high school experience circumstances, difficult times and poor influences would ignite my tendency to become distracted and impulsive. During those times, my school work was put aside and life would become out of control. My mother never gave up on me, even when I gave no reason for anyone to believe I would succeed in life.
Ultimately, changing my life had to start with me. Changing my life meant choosing to reset my path. The miracle occurred as soon as I changed my mind. All of sudden I started paying attention to positive resources, like my two brilliant sisters. It is strange to think that they had been there all along, but I wasn’t paying attention. The way forward was right in front of my face with these three supportive and wonderful resources. I had been focused on my emotions and impulses. I was trapped in a prison of my own doing. One choice to look at things differently and the path that was always there revealed itself. In my final semester I achieved a GPA of 3.5. Guess what else? I am a graduate of the class of 2020. Miracle,” said Mateo.
For graduate Natalie Moreno, this accomplishment is as valuable as the journey. “I never thought I would graduate. That all changed when I started at Taylion. They gave me hope and helped me grow as a person. Two years ago I wasn’t the person I am now, I learned and grew so much. They were always there for me when I needed help, for that I am grateful. They made my dream become reality – graduating with my diploma.”
With all these very capable students continuing their education and some entering into the job market, Taylion’s mission is to continue to bridge the achievement gap students face and help them succeed through a personalized learning model that prepares learners to be college and career ready.
Despite obstacles and detours Taylion students like Ariana Felix continue to exemplify the essence of perseverance and drive.
“On my path towards graduation, there were many obstacles and challenges in my way. Through overcoming these challenges though, I have always had the full support of everyone around me – parents, friends, and teachers as well. Thanks to these people, to my perseverance to become a better person, and my goal of becoming the first in my family to not only graduate, but also to go to college, I have overcome everything on my way. I am looking forward to the future I have paved for myself.”
Congratulations to the class of 2020, we are proud of you.
ABOUT TAYLION HIGH DESERT ACADEMY
Taylion High Desert Academy is a free public charter school serving grades K-12. Taylion is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). For more information on Taylion High Desert Academy, our classes and our caring staff call (760) 843-6622. Online at www.taylion.com.