BENEFITING: YOUTH JUSTICE COALITION
Meet some of the stars of FREE LA High School's Class of 2015: Noe Salazar. Rosalinda Rodriguez. Kevin Ramirez. Alba Barrios. Christopher Ayala. Miguel Lupian. Kelly Lazcano. Anneth Valenzuela.
These students are graduating from high school while also helping to support their families, getting up in darkness to get younger brothers and sisters to school, working hard to get off Probation or Parole, and crossing borders with cement walls and razor wire (whether those borders separate parents from children in foster care, incarcerated youth from opportunities outside, or separate families across national boundaries). Some are raising their own children. Some leave school to go to a full-time job at night.
All came back to high school - some with zero credits - after traditional schools pushed them out, suspended, expelled, arrested and even incarcerated them. Even when teachers, principals, Probation officers, and even some family and friends told them that a high school diploma was not in their future, they dared to believe that it was possible. And now they are graduating, and, even more important, they are excited about what comes after graduation.
Most important of all, these graduates have accepted that their own progress is not enough and they have helped to lead work to dismantle the school to jail track, expose the inhumanity of conditions inside juvenile halls, jails and prisons and challenged police violence.
Take a few minutes to meet these graduates. And, if possible, make a donation to support the future graduates of FREE LA High School.