BENEFITING: RANCHO CIELO INC
Rancho Cielo was established in 2000 for the purpose of addressing the unmet needs of at-risk youth in Monterey County. Through the combined efforts of Rancho Cielo’s founder and community stakeholders, Rancho Cielo was transformed from a rundown property to a vibrant campus. Over the last 16 years, we’ve added culinary and construction academies, classrooms, an administrative building, a gymnasium, and five transitional housing units.
Our five programs (Drummond Culinary Academy, Construction Academy, Youth Corps, Silver Star, and Transitional Housing) are designed to provide academic instruction leading to a high school diploma, vocational training, independent living and job skills, and preparation for job placement and/or higher education.
My name is Melissa and I teach dance classes at Rancho Cielo. As the school year ended I got to spend more time chatting with my students about their plans to start working either during summer or after graduating. One student in particular was concerned about transportation and independence when looking for jobs. I immediately wanted to help her learn to drive, receive a driver's license and save up for a car, insurance and registration costs.
While speaking with administrative staff about my interest in helping her, we began to discuss the possibilities of providing driver's training for more than just one student. I think that learning to drive is an important part of gaining independence. Some of our students at Rancho Cielo don't have parents who are present to help them learn to drive; some live on campus in student housing. If driver's education isn't provided to them prior to graduating, where else will they learn this important life skill?
The cost to provide driver's education for one student is roughly $300. With our goal of $3,000, we could provide 10 students with training over the upcoming school year.
We have plans to hold a car wash this summer so that the students can contribute to our fundraising efforts and feel a sense of ownership and accountability in earning this opportunity. Details about our car wash will be added soon!