OYA Facilities Honor Class of 2018

About 100 youth in OYA facilities earned college degrees, high school diplomas, or GEDs.

As graduates across the state celebrated important educational milestones this past month, 108 youth in Oregon Youth Authority’s facilities joined in the festivities — earning accolades for their hard work, and taking time to honor the teachers and OYA staff who helped them get there.

Overall, two students in OYA facilities earned college associate’s degrees from Chemeketa Community College, 69 students received high school diplomas, and 37 students earned their GEDs.

Research from the RAND Corporation shows that incarcerated people who participate in educational and vocational training programs are 43 percent less likely to be arrested for another crime than those who do not — which is why OYA emphasizes education for youth.

Congratulations to the students at each facility who recently became members of the Class of 2018.

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Camp Florence, Ocean Dunes High School: 3 high school diplomas

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Camp Riverbend, Riverbend High School: 2 high school diplomas, 1 GED. The graduates chose to celebrate informally instead of holding a ceremony.

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Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility, Monroe High School: 2 high school diplomas, 1 GED. Eastern also honored one student who earned a high school diploma in the community, but didn’t get a chance to walk at his graduation.

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Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility, Three Lakes High School; and Young Women’s Transition Program, Riverside High School: 13 high school diplomas, 22 GEDs

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MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Lord High School: 2 college associate’s degrees, 23 high school diplomas, 13 GEDs. Read more about their ceremony in the Statesman Journal: https://stjr.nl/2znoyhc

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Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, New Bridge High School: 14 high school diplomas

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Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility and Camp Tillamook, Trask River High School: 12 high school diplomas

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Graduate Quotes

“Where you are isn’t who you are. … Regardless of where you’ve come from or where you’ll be, you have the power in the palm of your hand to be successful. Use that power and do great things with it.” — Amber, Three Lakes High School, Oak Creek YCF

“I wasn’t thinking about GEDs and all that stuff when I was out. Now that I’ve accomplished it, I feel like I’ve gained something. It’s a step closer to college or trade school. Now I have more time to focus on the bigger picture.” — Consavi, Lord High School, MacLaren YCF

“You know those people that really helped you? Don’t forget to let them know what they mean to you.” — Tatyana, Three Lakes High School, Young Women’s Transition Program

“[Our teachers] supported us to not only get where we are now, but plan for what we want to succeed at in the real world. They have given us hope and made us realize that we do have a chance at better lives than the ones we were living before we got here.” — Randy, Trask River High School, Tillamook YCF

“I’m hoping to take this and move it forward into something positive. I know you don’t know me, but just the fact that you are paying attention and clapping means a lot to me.” — Tristan, Monroe High School, Eastern Oregon YCF

“I’m not just standing in front of you as a graduate. I’m also standing in front of you as someone who has had struggles and hardships.” — Ky’Rianna, Three Lakes High School, Oak Creek YCF

“Every day, this school encourages me to step up, and it encourages my peers to keep their head up in class, to keep their mind focused, and to pick up their pencil and do something successful. … This is what will make a future possible for kids that have only been provided the tools to burn down the bridges of society.” — Damian, New Bridge High School, Rogue Valley YCF

“I’m glad I graduated from something. I never thought I was going to do that. I honestly would not have gotten my GED if it weren’t for being at MacLaren.” — Daryan, Lord High School, MacLaren YCF

“I’m proud of myself for doing what I needed to do to get where I am today, clean and sober for six months and with a high school education. … I’ve made it this far — I can make it 80 more years.” — Mazi, Three Lakes High School, Oak Creek YCF

 

 

 

 

  1. Great article! So proud of all of these young people and grateful to their educators for guiding them.

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